(FAQ) Frequently Asked Questions
1 I’ve been in an accident. What should I do first?
Go see your doctor or get to the emergency room. Your health is the top priority. Make sure to inform your doctor or nurse of all of your injuries and make sure that what you tell them is noted in your medical records. Good records of your injury, your symptoms and your treatments are vital for your case.
2 How much time do I have to see a lawyer?
In South Carolina, most injury lawsuits must be filed within three years of the accident. Shorter time periods may apply depending upon the circumstances so you really should seek help with your claim immediately once your injury has been stabilized. You will likely be contacted by the insurance company who will attempt to get a statement from you and settle your case for less than it is worth. It is very important that you speak with and attorney before speaking with the insurance company. Call us for assistance and an assessment of your case.
3 Do I really need a lawyer?
It depends. If you have been involved in a serious accident and will incur medical bills then the answer is most likely yes. It is true that you may be able to resolve your case on your own but unless you have substantial experience with insurance companies you will likely recover only a fraction of the money you would with the help of an experienced attorney. Mr. Gruenloh does not charge for an initial consultation so why not be safe? Contact us today to find out what your case is worth.
4 The insurance company wants me to give a recorded statement. Should I?
NO! Recorded statements are taken for the sole purpose of utilizing you own words against you at a later date. Even a seemingly innocent comment can be misconstrued and can be used to deny payment on your claim. These statements are recorded to preserve your testimony for use at trial. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE should you ever provide a recorded statement without first seeking the advise of an attorney. In most instances, the recording can be avoided.
5 The insurance company wants me to sign a medical authorization. Should I?
NO! Unlimited medical authorizations enable insurance companies to obtain and investigate your most personal information to include medical records, employment records, educational records, and financial records. They are used to find evidence which in many instances the insurance company will use against you to deny payment or reduce your recovery. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE should you ever provide an unlimited authorization to an insurance company without first seeking the advice of an attorney. When you retain an attorney, the attorney will obtain only the records necessary to support your claim and will provide only those documents to the insurance company in order to protect your privacy.
6 How much is my case worth?
The only way to determine that is for us to evaluate your case on an individual basis. Every case is different. The value of your case will turn on a variety of factors which we can assess to determine a range of acceptable settlement values. The severity of your injury, the length of your medical care, the amount of damage to the vehicles involved in the collision, the amount of your medical expenses, the conduct of the defendant, and the jurisdiction in which your case would be filed, all play a critical role in determining the ultimate value of a claim. You cannot determine the value of your case based on a simple formula nor should you evaluate your case based upon stories of settlements obtained by friends or relatives under different circumstances. No two cases are alike and each should be evaluated on its individual merits by an attorney with experience in handling personal injury claims in your area.