Insurance Claims in Hilton Head Island, Bluffton and the "Low Country" Region of South Carolina

Perhaps one of the most important tasks for a personal injury lawyer is to determine if there is insurance coverage to compensate an injured client. The law of automobile insurance is complex and often complicated, especially for non-lawyers who have little experience with it. South Carolina, like every state, requires drivers to maintain liability insurance on their automobiles. It is illegal to operate an automobile in South Carolina unless it is insured. However, not every driver obeys the law, and in some cases our clients are injured by uninsured illegal drivers. Fortunately, the State of South Carolina also requires drivers to maintain "Uninsured Motorist Coverage" on insurance policies which will provide protection should you be injured by an illegal driver who has no insurance of their own.

In some cases, our clients have serious injuries and the at-fault's insurance coverage is not enough. In that case, you may have insurance coverage on your own auto policy that is due and payable to you. It is called "Underinsured Motorist Coverage" and every driver should have it. But it is not required by law. Do you know if you have Underinsured Motorist Coverage on your own policy? Do you know what your coverage limits are? If you have several cars covered by your policy, you may be able to "stack" the coverage from each policy if your injuries require.

Remember, insurance companies generally do not "volunteer" compensation unless it is in their best interests, not yours. It is your responsibility to make the claim, and you should have lawyers that can navigate the complexities of insurance policies and determine all available insurance coverage. At Bauer & Metro, P.C., we will determine your insurance coverage and make sure you are informed. Determining your insurance rights is crucial. If you miss something now, you may not be able to come back later and make a second claim. Do not make the mistake of proceeding without competent advice. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your rights.

How Insurance Companies Operate

Whenever an injured person alleges negligence and makes a claim for compensation to an insurance company, the insurer assigns an "adjuster" to the claim. The adjuster's job is simple: evaluate the claim and pay you as little as possible. Low level adjusters are often the first you speak with. They rarely have much authority to pay compensation and require authorization from higher ups to compensate you. Nominal settlement offers seem to be the norm until an injured party retains an experienced attorney to aggressively pursue the insurance company. We recommend that any injured person consult and attorney as quickly as possible, preferably before speaking with the insurance adjuster. However, if an injured person does communicate directly with an insurance company, he or she should consider the following:

  • Your Statement is Likely Being Recorded- Insurance companies frequently record conversations between the adjuster and claimant. In most cases, the adjuster will ask you to provide a "recorded statement". You should consult counsel before agreeing. It seems insurance companies will always attempt to use your statement against you later on. Therefore, you should consider refusing a recorded statement unless contractually required with the insurance company. At very least, you should carefully consider your words before speaking.
  • Insurance Companies will Request All of Your Medical Records- In most cases, and insurance adjuster will request that you sign a "Medical Release Form" which will be used to order copies of all your medical records, past and present. Only medical records which are relevant to the injury claim should be released. When the insurance adjuster asks for entire medical history, you can refuse. This is their attempt to snoop through your medical past in effort to find information that may embarrass you.
  • Do Not Sign Anything- Never sign anything before reviewing the document with a lawyer. You may be releasing the insurance company form responsibility without realizing it. If you sign a "Release", your case is likely over.
  • Misleading Statements- Insurance adjusters may attempt to convince you that you do not need a lawyer. Remember, their priority is to save money for their employer. They are likely not acting in your best interests.

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I was in Hilton Head for a friends wedding and had the misfortune of being pulled over and was arrested for DUI. Driving while under the influence is nothing to be taken lightly these days. It can affect your job and many other things due to not being able to operate a vehicle. In no way am i condoning drinking and driving, but let's face it, everyone makes mistakes. I was terrified! It felt like ... - Kye G