General FAQs

How do I know if I need an attorney for my claim?

If you or your family experienced a serious injury from an automobile accident, or any other accident due to the negligence of another, you will benefit from speaking to a lawyer. This is because, often the insurance company for the person or entity that caused your injuries will either deny your claim or try to settle with you quickly, before you have an opportunity to fully explore your options and engage an experienced lawyer.

The Insurance companies take this tact because often an unrepresented injured person will unwisely settle a claim for much less than the claim is really worth.

If you have experienced legal support, your case will be thoroughly investigated and properly evaluated for your benefit. After proper evaluation of your claim, your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company from a position of knowledge and strength. This will assure that you receive equitable treatment from the insurance company. If you don’t, your lawyer will take further action, including filing suit and taking your case to trial.

Is there a charge for our first meeting or consultation?

No, there is no fee for your initial meeting with us.

How much money am I entitled to for my injuries?

There is no set amount and this is the primary reason you need a lawyer to evaluate your case properly and to protect your legal interests. Insurance companies and wrongdoers have no incentive to properly evaluate your claim or protect your legal interests; they have an incentive to do just the opposite.

Our experienced lawyers are familiar with how juries have reacted in cases that may be similar to yours. This gives us guidance in advising you regarding a proper evaluation and fair settlement.

That being said, medical expenses, lost wages, disfigurement, extent of permanent injury, as well as other losses and elements of damage may be recoverable in your claim. You may also be entitled to punitive (punishment) damages if the at-fault party was grossly negligent. (i.e. at-fault driver was D.U.I.)

Who may bring a claim for damages in a case involving an injury?

If you are a competent adult, at least 18 years old, and are injured, you must bring the lawsuit in your own name. If you are a minor, under the age of 18, or an incompetent adult, then suit must be brought by either your parents or guardian.

How is my lawyer paid? What if I can’t afford a lawyer?

For most cases, the attorneys at Hodge Law Firm work on a contingency basis. That means the lawyers receive a fee only if we help collect money for you. If the lawyer is successful, a percentage of the total settlement is retained by the lawyer as a fee.

If I have an accident, do I have to sue the other party to receive a settlement?

Not necessarily. If either party has liability insurance, and if the insurance company agrees to pay you the full value of your case, you do not have to bring a lawsuit. However, if they are not willing to pay you the full value of your claim, then your lawyer will prepare the necessary documents to file a lawsuit in the appropriate court.

In South Carolina, how long do I have to file a lawsuit?

Generally, you have three years from the date of the accident to file suit and another 120 days to provide a copy of the suit papers to the at-fault party. However, the time limit may be longer or shorter under certain circumstances. Your lawyer will be able to determine which time limit applies to your particular case. If you fail to file suit within the appropriate timeframe, your action will be forever barred so it is extremely important that you consult a lawyer as soon as you are able after your incident.