Find out if you have a claim today
Suffering a personal injury can seriously derail your life. You could find yourself out of work with mountains of medical and other bills piling up, dealing with mental anguish and, of course, physical pain and suffering. If you believe depictions of attorneys you see in the media, you may think it’s best to try to handle all of this on your own. At Auger & Auger, we’re here to tell you: We’re on your side.
Our Columbia, SC personal injury attorneys have been representing victims for over 25 years. During that time, we have gone toe-to-toe with insurance companies, both in and out of the courtroom, to fight for our client’s rights to compensation. When you choose us to represent you, rest assured that we’ll treat your case as if you were a close friend or family member. If you or a loved one has been injured due to someone else’s actions or negligence, call us today or come by our office for a free consultation.
In our over 25 years of practicing personal injury law, the attorneys at Auger & Auger have recovered millions on behalf of our clients. One of our partners was once an attorney for the insurance companies, so she knows their tricks to avoid paying out a full settlement. Now, we turn those tricks against the insurance companies to get every penny you deserve.
When you choose to hire us, you will always be informed of the latest developments in your case. While some attorneys may choose to only talk to clients when they absolutely have to, we relish the chance to speak with you, let you know what’s going on, and make sure you and your family are doing okay. We believe consistent contact is key, and we welcome any and all questions you may have about our firm, our methods, or anything else about your case.
Finally, our attorneys work on a contingency basis. So if we don’t get compensation for you, we don’t get paid a dime. In fact, we ensure that policy with our legally-binding Zero Fee Guarantee.
Our Columbia attorneys represent victims of many different types of personal injury, including:
In some situations, it may seem very clear who was at fault in an accident or injury. In others, there may be questions about what happened or who was responsible. Accidents are often complicated circumstances, and we encourage you to speak with a personal injury attorney to be sure you have all the facts. Some accident victims will forgo compensation for their injuries because they mistakenly believe they were at fault when they weren’t.
The first element of establishing negligence in a personal injury case is the duty of care, which varies depending on the situation. In very general terms, everyone is expected to make an effort not to hurt others. A person may have a more specific duty of care in particular situations, such as:
The second element necessary to prove in a personal injury case is that the defendant (the person or entity you would file a lawsuit against) breached or failed in their duty of care. If you were injured in a car accident because the other driver was drunk and speeding, then it would be fairly easy to argue that they breached their duty of care as a driver. In other situations, it may be more difficult to prove your case, but your attorney will do their best to find as much evidence as possible.
The third element to proving your claim is to show that you were injured due to this breached duty of care. To do this, your attorney will ask you questions about the accident, who was present, if there was any video of the incident that you know of, etc. They will also probably need access to your medical records. Occasionally the other party or their insurer may claim that you had a preexisting condition and the accident was unrelated. Or they may question that you were hurt at all, or that your injuries are as severe as you say. These situations are very frustrating, but your lawyer will support you every step of the way and work to prove the other party’s negligence caused your damages.
After your injuries, you may be handed a large hospital bill while you’re still in pain and unable to work. Other bills start accruing as you remain out of work, going to doctor’s appointments and physical therapy. You might also be in physical and possibly emotional pain. What can you do in this situation?
We recommend contacting a Columbia personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your injury. They will answer your questions and walk you through the claims process, which is sometimes complicated and time-consuming. If you need to appeal to the insurance company, file a lawsuit, or address other difficulties, your lawyer will assist you with these steps as well.
This is the most common way that personal injury cases begin. When you sit down with an attorney to discuss your case, they will ask questions to determine who might be negligent. In many cases, the responsible person or entity may have an insurance policy that covers their liability in this type of situation. Although you may run into some difficulties with the insurance carrier (we’ll discuss these in detail in the next section), it is usually easier to make an insurance claim than it is to sue the negligent party directly. However, a lawsuit is still a good option in some situations, which we’ll discuss in more detail later.
If you were in a car accident, the most likely liable party is the other driver (although there are a few situations where someone else may also be liable). In other situations, it may be more difficult to work out liability, but your Columbia personal injury attorney will help you with this. For instance, in some situations, a property owner may be liable, while a person recklessly using a piece of property might be responsible in others. Or, the maker of a defective product that harmed you could be liable. Determining liability can be confusing, so we recommend speaking with an attorney before filing an insurance claim.
Prior to filing your claim, you and your attorney should discuss your damages – the losses you experienced as the result of your injuries. Potential damages include:
After you and your attorney agree on the amount you want to seek in damages, your lawyer will compile the paperwork and file your claim. You can rest assured that everything will be filed correctly and on time and that your lawyer has taken steps to avoid any potential issues with your claim.
The insurance carrier will eventually respond. There are two main possibilities:
In some cases, they could agree to pay what you asked for, especially if you did not have an especially large amount of damages. However, the offer could also be for less than you asked for, and the insurer may or may not give you a reason why.
It’s your decision if you want to accept the offer or not, but your attorney will answer any questions you have and advise if they know of other options for pursuing compensation. For example, if your injuries were severe and your damages came to a large amount, it’s possible that they simply exceeded the insurance policy’s limits. In this situation, your attorney might advise you that you cannot get a better offer from the insurer. But depending on the situation, you may be able to seek compensation from another party for your remaining damages.
There are also cases where the insurer may offer less than the amount you requested, even though it doesn’t exceed the policy limit. If this happens, your attorney may negotiate with the insurer to reach a more equitable settlement. In most personal injury cases, we can settle out of court, but there are a few situations where the insurance company simply won’t come to a fair agreement. If that happens, you have the option to pursue the insurer in court, and we will support you through this process as well.
If you have already filed a claim on your own and received an offer, it’s still possible to consult an attorney before accepting or declining the offer – and we strongly advise you to do so. It’s very difficult for most people to calculate the value of a claim on their own, and insurance companies frequently make offers for less than the claim is worth. Discussing the offer with a lawyer allows you to be confident you were adequately compensated for your damages. If the offer is not sufficient, your attorney can negotiate with the insurer on your behalf.
Unfortunately, this is a typical response. Insurance adjusters know that some people will just accept a claim denial without argument, and some accident victims have lost the compensation they deserve. But you don’t have to be one of them – your lawyer will help you appeal the denial or take the insurer to court if necessary.
Here are some of the more common potential reasons the insurance company may give for denying a claim:
We will fight your claim denial to the full extent that the law allows, but sometimes there are valid reasons for a claim to be denied. For example, the responsible party may have allowed their insurance to lapse or may have done something that invalidated the policy, like driving without a valid driver’s license. In these circumstances, we will walk you through any other options for seeking compensation. These include:
When you are injured by someone else’s actions or negligence, you have legal rights. At Auger & Auger, we’re here to help you find justice. Call or come by our office today for a free consultation. If you don’t like what we have to say, there is no obligation to hire us after our initial meeting. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.
Call (803) 470-5298 for your free consultation, with no fees due until recovery!