Which Injuries Are Eligible for Compensatory Damages in South Carolina?
If you have been injured in a car accident, truck accident, or work-related accident, your first priority is likely going to be getting medical attention. Once you have confirmed that you are safe and your injuries have been tended to, it’s time to get serious about taking care of the legal issues you may be facing.
When you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. In this article, the Peace Law Firm team will guide you through the different kinds of damages available to you after an accident. We will discuss how to identify which injuries are eligible for compensatory damages in South Carolina and how we can help you recover after your accident.
What Are Compensatory Damages for Injuries?
Compensatory damages are meant to compensate an accident victim for losses caused by another party’s negligent actions. In an ideal world, compensatory damages should put you back in the same position you were in before you were injured. In South Carolina, you may be entitled to recover two different types of compensatory damages: economic damages and noneconomic damages.
The point of economic damages is to compensate you for the monetary losses caused by your accident. Economic damages are generally measurable, objectively verifiable losses that arise from your accident. Medical expenses are one example of economic damages. The amount of a medical expense can be verified by referring to doctor bills and hospital receipts. Most economic damages are eligible to be counted as compensatory damages.
Noneconomic damages compensate you for the non-monetary consequences of your accident. Unlike economic damages, noneconomic damages are subjective and cannot be easily measured by objective things like hospital bills and receipts. Common noneconomic damages include:
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Loss of consortium, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
While this isn’t an exhaustive list, these kinds of damages may qualify as noneconomic damages you can be compensated for after an accident. An experienced South Carolina injury lawyer can help you navigate your claim and maximize your recovery.
Examples of Compensatory Damages
Compensatory damages are designed to compensate you for your losses now and in the future. Your award will take into account both your economic losses and your noneconomic losses—subject to certain damage caps. While there are generally no monetary caps on what you can recover from an individual defendant, there may be some limits on your recovery if you are suing for medical malpractice.
There is no list of specific injuries eligible for compensatory damages. If you have been injured and you have damages, you should seek what you and your lawyer believe you are entitled to under the law. These can help prove your damages if you pursue a claim.
Some common examples of compensatory damages awards include:
- Awards for medical expenses. Your medical expenses can include everything from doctor and hospital visits to physical therapy and prescription drugs. This will also cover current and future medical care.
- Awards for lost income. If you need to miss work due to your injury, you may be able to recover the amount of money you would have earned had you not been sidelined from your job due to your injury. Likewise, if you had to take a lower-paying job due to your injury, you may be entitled to the difference in pay.
- Awards for property damage. You may be entitled to recover the costs of fixing or replacing personal property that was damaged in an accident, like your car or personal belongings.
It is important to save all information you have relating to your costs and expenses for your injury. Records such as doctor bills and receipts can help you accurately calculate your potential compensatory damages.
Why Having a Lawyer Is Important When Seeking Compensatory Damages for Injuries
If you were the victim of another person’s negligence, you have a legal right to receive compensation. You should always consult with an experienced attorney before accepting any offer from an insurance company following an accident.
Insurance companies will typically offer you far less than you deserve, and if you accept their offer, you will typically not be able to reopen your claim to seek additional compensation if you need more treatment. Contact a member of the Peace Law Firm team today to discuss how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.
How the Peace Law Firm Can Help You
At the Peace Law Firm, we represent accident victims, not insurance companies. If you or your loved one suffered serious injuries from an accident, we can help. To schedule a free, confidential review of your case, contact our legal team today by phone or online. Our law firm is in Greenville, and we serve victims in South Carolina and North Carolina.