Frequently Asked Questions
Am I eligible for Social Security disability benefits?: To be eligible for Social Security disability benefits, you must have worked enough to have the required work credits. Then, your health problems must keep you from doing any kind of substantial work. Those health problems must last or be expected to last at least twelve months in a row or result in death.
What if I have previously filed for Social Security, but was denied?: Disability applicants are often wrongfully denied benefits by the Social Security Administration. If you have been denied, an appeal must be filed within 60 (sixty) days, so it is necessary to contact our office as soon as possible.
What if I have not worked enough to have the required work credits?: If you have not accumulated enough credits to qualify for Social Security disability, you might qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI is a needs-based program and is restricted to those who have a low income.
I was discharged from the military years ago. Can I still file a veteran’s disability claim?: Most service members file for injuries or illnesses they received many years after they were released from active duty. It is important that you file your claim as soon as possible. The sooner your claim is filed, the sooner we can get the Department of Veterans Affairs to start working on it.
Can I be fired if I file a workers’ compensation claim?: South Carolina Code Section 41-1-80 protects an injured worker from retaliation or punishment by an employer because the worker filed a workers’ compensation claim. That means an employer cannot legally fire you or demote you just because you are hurt on the job or file a workers’ compensation claim.
What should I do when I am pulled over by a police officer?: First, be polite. “Yes sir” and “no sir.” Remember, whatever you say or do can and will be used against you. Give the officer your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance if asked. If you have a Concealed Weapons Permit (CWP) you should also give that to the officer. You do not have to give the officer permission to search you or your car. You do not have to answer any questions. Things become more complicated if the officer suspects that you are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The officer may want you to perform “field sobriety tests.” If it has gotten to this point, the officer probably believes that you are guilty of drunk driving. You will likely be arrested for DUI no matter how well you think you will do on the tests. For that reason, it is best that you politely refuse to perform the field sobriety tests. You will then be transported to the law enforcement center (jail). You will be asked to give a blood, urine, or – more likely – a breath test. It is usually best to politely refuse all tests even though your driver’s license may be suspended for refusing. (It is better to risk having your license suspended than to increase the chances of conviction for DUI.) Click here for our printable "Driving Rights Wallet Card."
What happens if I refuse a breathalyzer test?: Unfortunately, SC law requires that your driver’s license be suspended for ninety (90) to one hundred eighty (180) days for refusing such a test.
What happens if I refuse a field sobriety test?: Declining to take a roadside test does not carry the same consequences as refusing to take a breathalyzer, though the motorist may be arrested on suspicion of DUI for refusing an FST. That is the police officer’s discretion. In other words, if you plan to refuse a breathalyzer, then you might as well refuse field sobriety testing as well.
How accurate are the DUI road-side tests?: Most notably, the SCRI (Southern California Research Institute) found that standardizing the tests gave the horizontal gaze nystagmus a 77% accuracy rate, the walk and turn a 68% accuracy rate and the one-leg stand a 65% accuracy rate—and when all three were used together, they were correct 82% of the time. Which means that a field sobriety test is only 82% accurate in perfect testing conditions and when administered properly.
Do I have to talk to an insurance adjuster about my claim or give the insurance company a recorded statement?: If you are injured by a careless or reckless driver, you do not have to talk to that driver’s insurance adjuster or give a recorded statement. Remember, the other side’s insurance adjuster does not work for you. Their job is to save the insurance company's money by not paying you the benefits you deserve. The only reason the insurance adjuster wants to talk to you is to find some reason to not fully compensate you or your loved one for being injured. Roach Law Firm recommends that you do not discuss the details of your injury or the way in which you were injured until you have first consulted with an attorney. Any documents you sign or settlements you agree to prior to speaking with an attorney could affect your ability to recover full compensation for your injury.
If I suffer an injury, what is the first thing I should do?: If you are hurt, the most important thing is your well-being and you should seek medical treatment immediately. After your initial medical needs have been addressed, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. A delay in consulting an attorney can sometimes cause critical pieces of evidence to be permanently lost, which could significantly affect your potential case.
How much will this cost? How do I pay for your services?: All cases are different. Roach Law Firm typically does not require a fee upfront and handles most claims on a contingency fee basis, which means that our fee is a percentage of the recovery that our firm is able to obtain for you. Generally, our contingency fee is one-third (33 and 1/3%) of the final settlement. If you would prefer to hire an attorney on an hourly basis, that option is also available.
Will my case go to trial?: Whether or not your case goes to trial depends on a variety of factors. Many cases are settled before trial. Although Roach Law Firm always remains open to settlement offers, if a settlement offer is inadequate in relation to the severity of your injuries, our firm has the experience to handle your case throughout the trial process.
Can an attorney settle my case without asking me?: At Roach Law Firm, we will never settle your claim without your consent. Recommendations of whether or not to settle are made, but the ultimate decision always lies with you.
How soon after a settlement is made is money received and distributed?: There are many factors to consider. In many cases, the funds relating to your claim are received within seven to 14 (fourteen) days after the release is signed. To further protect our clients and our firm, if a third-party sends our office a settlement check, our policy is to hold the money in our IOLTA Bank Account for 7 (seven) days before disbursing the money to clients and lien-holders. Social Security cases, Veterans Disability cases, and cases involving an extremely large settlement, the State, private individuals, and/or out-of-area insurance companies often take much longer. In some instances, Roach Law Firm will need to obtain the approval of the Court before a settlement is finalized.
What if I am unsure whether or not Roach Law Firm handles my type of case?: Feel free to contact our office anyway. We sometimes take cases that are outside of our normal practice areas, such as Criminal cases, Family Court related cases, Adoptions, Estate Planning and Wills, et cetera. If we cannot take your case, then we will be more than happy to offer advice and refer you to a firm that we trust.