Personal Injury Claim Statistics

  • According to the National Safety Council, there were 4.8 million medically consulted injuries caused by motor-vehicle crashes totaled 4.8 million in 2020
  • In 2020, the motor-vehicle injury costs were estimated at $473.2 billion. These costs can often be covered by the financial recovery you receive through a personal injury settlement. In the NSC study, costs included:
    • Wage and productivity losses
    • Medical expenses
    • Administrative expenses
    • Motor-vehicle property damage
    • Employer costs
  • A 2004 study by the Insurance Research Council, an entity that provides research and insights into public policy issues facing the insurance industry, found that hiring a personal injury lawyer resulted in a 3.5 time higher settlement payout and that 85 percent of insurance settlements involved an attorney.

Would You Benefit From Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer?

After being hurt in an accident in South Carolina, many people don’t know if they need to hire a personal injury attorney. They wonder what exactly an attorney will do for them and if hiring a legal team will be of benefit.

We are the first to admit that not every person needs a lawyer after being injured. In some cases, it is possible that you could walk away with more money if you handle the case on your own. However, there are many situations where an injury lawyer will potentially benefit you many times over – not just financially, but also in terms of peace of mind.

Much like doctors, different lawyers focus on different areas, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into before you officially decide to hire a personal injury lawyer. 

In the article below, we cover everything you need to know about working with a personal injury lawyer including: 


When should I hire a personal injury attorney?

Put simply, if you have been needlessly injured due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, I would consider at least contacting an attorney for a free consultation. The lawyer will listen to the facts of your case and assess whether legal representation would help.

Some situations where you will likely benefit from hiring a personal injury attorney include:


1. If you have severe injuries and mounting medical bills.

Your lawyer will help ensure all medical bills are identified and all future medical care is taken into account. Any settlement or verdict in South Carolina should factor in not only past medical expenses, but every expense that may be incurred down the road.


2. You were in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, and the other driver was driving under the influence.

Drunk driving accident cases are usually more complex than a typical car accident case because there may be multiple parties that can be held accountable. According to South Carolina’s dram shop laws, the bar or restaurant that over-served the at-fault driver can be held accountable for the injuries and harm the wreck caused. When the bar or restaurant gets involved, there is typically much more money on the line, so the case is more vigorously defended.


3. The accident involved a commercial vehicle.

semi truck collisionsSimilar to drunk driving accidents, when a commercial vehicle, like a company car or a semi truck are involved in a wreck, the damages are typically more severe and there is much more insurance coverage on the line. Hiring a personal injury attorney can help make sure your legal rights are protected.


4. Liability is being denied by the insurance company. 

When the insurance company disputes who was at fault, you are unlikely to receive fair compensation without a lawyer who can study the facts, investigate the incident, hire experts, and prove that you are not to blame for your injuries.


5. The insurance company is stonewalling you.

If you have attempted to settle your personal injury claim with the insurance company, but are simply not making any progress, hiring an attorney may help jumpstart the process. Insurance providers often intentionally draw out the claims process and hope that you’ll get frustrated enough to accept a lower settlement or give up on your claim for compensation altogether.


When NOT to hire a personal injury lawyer?

If there were minor injuries or no injuries at all, you can probably handle the case on your own. In situations like this, when the damages are thankfully limited, we like to inform people that they will likely walk away with more money in their pocket if they don’t have to pay a lawyer’s fees. If you’re unsure of what to say, or if you feel that the insurance company is being unfair, you can always call our office, and our attorneys would be happy to provide a free consultation.

We also send out numerous free copies of my books that provide easy-to-understand information about South Carolina personal injury, workers’ compensation, and car accident laws. They are helpful resources that can guide you through your situation and the legal process today and into the future.


Request free guides to SC personal injury law





What does a personal injury lawyer do?

We get this question a lot because people wonder where the advantage lies in hiring a personal injury lawyer. I put together this list of what I do as an accident attorney and how my team and I can potentially help maximize your case’s value.

1. Gather and preserve evidence to build a stronger case.

2. Negotiate with insurance companies.

3. Hire experts to help prove liability, determine future costs, and calculate lost earnings to help maximize the value of your case.

4. Identify all possible sources of compensation after someone is injured.

Insurance claims for personal injury5. Take your case to trial if an insurance company refuses to pay a fair settlement.

6. Set up liens against your medical bills, so they won’t go into collections while you wait for your settlement money.

7. At the end of your case, our legal team can attempt to negotiate to reduce your medical liens.

8. Client-focused injury lawyers will take everything off your plate, so you can focus on healing while they focus on your case.


What questions should I ask a personal injury lawyer before I hire them? 

If you decide to hire a personal injury lawyer, here are questions you should ask them before signing any paperwork.

1. Do you exclusively practice personal injury law? Or do you juggle family law, criminal law, real estate closings, etc...?

2. Do you have experience with this type of case?

3. Will you be the actual attorney working on my file?

4. What resources will you devote to my case?

5. What steps will you take to make sure I am kept informed?

6. What results have you achieved for previous clients?

7. What do your previous clients have to say about you?

5 star South Carolina personal injury lawyerYou may ask an attorney this, but make sure to do your own research as well. A lawyer may say their clients love them, but online reviews could tell a different story. Check out the attorney’s testimonial page, Google reviews, Facebook reviews, and Yelp reviews. This will give you a better understanding of how you can expect to be treated throughout your case.

Keep in mind that actions speak louder than words. Throughout your research process, how have you been treated? Have you been able to speak with a lawyer? Does someone answer the phone or have you had to leave multiple voicemails? Are the members of the legal team nice to you? The way you are treated at the beginning of your case will provide great insight into how you’ll be treated one week, one month, and even one year from now.


Why should I hire a personal injury lawyer in South Carolina?

After experiencing a catastrophic injury, you only have one chance to receive a fair outcome. Once you sign settlement paperwork, your case is over, and there are no more opportunities for you to get additional compensation. Hiring a lawyer can help make sure no stone goes unturned, so that all possible sources of recovery – for current and future medical bills, lost wages, lost enjoyment of life, and punitive damages – are exhausted.

Hiring an attorney can help you feel confident that nothing was left on the table and that you will be taken care of now and into the future.


How do contingency fees work in an injury case?

Most lawyers who handle accident and personal injury cases recognize that the last thing you want to do after being hurt is to pay a retainer fee. Your focus is likely on medical bills, getting back to work or school, and regaining your health. Even if you could afford a retainer fee, that money is better set aside to pay for other expenses you face.

Personal injury lawyers generally work on a contingency fee basis, which means they receive a contingency fee of 33%-40% at the end of the case rather than charging retainer fees or an hourly rate. A contingency fee is a fee that is based on the final value of your settlement or verdict, meaning if you're unable to receive any recovery, you don't owe the lawyer anything. On the other hand, if they secure a $100,000 settlement for you, the lawyer's fee will be 33% to 40% of that. 

If any attorney in South Carolina tries to charge you anything other than a "contingency fee" for your case, you may want to consider speaking with someone else. As I often tell clients, if an injury lawyer believes in your case enough to take it on, they will be willing to accept a fee at the end of the case that is "contingent" upon how much compensation they obtain for you. 

We offer free consultations and would be happy to answer your questions. Our offices are conveniently located in Columbia and Myrtle Beach, and we have been proudly servicing clients throughout the surrounding areas. Contact us online today or call us at 803-790-2800 (Columbia, SC) / 843-427-2800 (Myrtle Beach, SC)



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My experience with everyone at the Law Office of Kenneth Berger, LLC was excellent. I would highly recommend them to anyone in need of a lawyer! Kenneth and everyone at the office were always friendly, caring, and helpful. The entire staff's commitment to treating clients like family is nothing short of amazing. From the first meeting throughout my entire case, I felt as though I could not have been in better hands. They all worked efficiently and thoroughly towards the best result possible for me. I was always kept in the loop and NEVER had to wonder what was going on with our case and if I had questions, they were answered promptly. I cannot thank them enough for all they did.
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Kenneth Berger
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Columbia and Myrtle Beach car accident and personal injury lawyer dedicated to securing justice for clients.