Auto Accidents

How do I know how much my accident is worth?

Well, the truth is we don’t know yet. However, once you go through your medical treatment, once we’ve had an opportunity to investigate it, once that work is done, then we can determine what the value of the case is. What you need to be worried about right now is you need to have a good, competent attorney who can represent you in the case. I think we’re that attorney- that can handle the case. We’ve handled thousands of them in the past, and we can help you.

Do cases usually settle without going to court?

Most cases do settle without going to court. We find in our practice that about ninety-five percent of the cases settle without us filling suit. Of that five percent we file suit on, a small percentage of those actually go to trial in the courtroom.  Now, the reason that I believe that that is the case is because our firm knows how to handle those cases. And we have the ability and the reputation with the insurance company of putting forth a case, knowing the value and getting it resolved.

Do you get good results for your clients?

Yeah, we get great results for our clients. What we do is we do a full investigation into the case, and also into the available insurance coverages. There’s lots of different types of insurance that people have on their automobile policies, and that other people have on their policies. And it’s knowing how to use those coverages for an advantage that gets great results for our clients.

What do I have to do after I hire you?

After you hire us, you really don’t have to do anything other than get better. And the reason why is because we take care of dealing with the insurance company. We take care of gathering your medical records, of getting all the documents, of doing an investigation into the case. What that allows you to do is go to the doctor, get better and let us handle the rest of it.

What Makes You Different?

I think what makes Harris & Graves different from other law firms is that we honestly care about our clients. You know, the practice of law is how we make a living but, at the same time, we actually help people. And that’s our motivation- is to help people.

How Much Does It Cost?

The good news is it doesn’t cost you anything to hire us to represent you. The way we get paid is we get paid at the end of the case whenever it’s resolved. And the way we get paid is based on a percentage of what we recover for you. There can be some costs that are involved in your case and we get reimbursed for advancing those costs as well. But the bottom line is, is that at the end of the case the doctors or the hospitals they’re going to get paid for their medical treatment, we’re going to take out our fees and costs, and you’re going to get the money that you deserve.

How long does it take to settle a case?

Well, that varies. And it varies based on the amount of medical treatment that a person has. Some injured people have medical treatment and they’re done in a few weeks. Some it’s months or even years that the treatment lasts. What we typically do is we’re not in a position to start negotiating a settlement on the case until the person is finished with their treatment.  Once they’re finished with the treatment though, we try to have all the medical records, all the documents and be ready to go so we can send that to the insurance company and try to resolve the case as quickly as we can- usually within a couple of months.

Social Security Disability

How do I apply for disability benefits?

If someone believes they’re entitled to Social Security benefits, what they need to do is they need to apply first for the benefits. Now, on our website there’s actually a Social Security tab. And on there are the instructions of how to file a Social Security claim- how to get it started. Typically, it’s only after someone has been denied benefits that an attorney gets involved in the case.

Does having a lawyer make getting my benefits easier?

Having a lawyer not only makes it easier to get your benefits, but in most cases, having a lawyer is necessary to get your benefits. Most people are denied at the first stage. That’s the stage where you don’t need a lawyer necessarily. But in the second stage, and on though the appeals, it is a legal process in front of a judge. And it’s important to have a lawyer represent you. Here at Harris and Graves, we represent lots of people before those judges. We’re familiar with it, and we know how to do it.

Why would I get denied my disability benefits?

The truth is it seems like most people get denied on that initial application. And they’re a lot of reasons for that. But, primarily, it’s because the Social Security Administration whenever they view the materials, it just doesn’t seem to meet their criteria. The reason it doesn’t is because nobody has organized the materials in a way that they’ll look at it and understand it and determine that somebody is disabled. That’s what we do as a law firm. After someone has been denied and we get involved in the case, then we organize that material and present it either to the Social Security Administration, or to an administrative law judge who makes the determination on whether or not there is a disability.

Who decides if I'm disabled?

The truth is it seems like most people get denied on that initial application. And they’re a lot of reasons for that. But, primarily, it’s because the Social Security Administration whenever they view the materials, it just doesn’t seem to meet their criteria. The reason it doesn’t is because nobody has organized the materials in a way that they’ll look at it and understand it and determine that somebody is disabled. That’s what we do as a law firm. After someone has been denied and we get involved in the case, then we organize that material and present it either to the Social Security Administration, or to an administrative law judge who makes the determination on whether or not there is a disability.

Workers' Compensation

What should I know about workers' comp?

Well the thing about worker’s compensation is that it’s a very complex set of laws. And unless you have an attorney that knows each of those laws, and what benefits are available to you, then you might get left out. For example, there are a number of things you can collect- medical expenses, prescription costs, wages while you’re out of work, permanent impairment and even travel back and forth to the doctor. So there are a lot of things that are like that in worker’s compensation, which you can recover for. If you don’t have an attorney who’s representing you might not find out about some of those things which you’re actually entitled to get.

Are there time limits to file a workers' comp claim?

Yes, there are time limits to file a worker’s comp claim. In fact, there are two big time limits. The first is that within ninety days of the injury occurring the injury must be reported to the employer. The second is, is that if you’re going to bring a worker’s comp claim itself through the Worker’s Comp Commission that has to be filed within two years of the date of injury.

What is partial impairment and how does it affect my case?

When someone is partially impaired, what it means is that some part of their body has suffered a permanent injury. And it’s what entitles them to a recovery of worker’s comp benefits for the permanent injury. Now, there’s several types of permanent injury. One of those types of permanent injury is a totally total permanent injury. With a total permanent injury, that means you can’t return to your job at all, usually. But with a partial permanent impairment what that means is that some part of your body is not the same as it was before the injury happened. And under our law in South Carolina, you’re entitled to recover for that injury to you and it’s effect on you for the rest of your life.

Can I get fired for filing a workers' comp claim?

The law in South Carolina says that you cannot be fired for filing a worker’s compensation claim. That is called a retaliatory discharge and it is not allowed according to South Carolina law.