Under South Carolina law, victims of a car crash are supposed to be fully compensated for their losses by the person or entity responsible for causing the crash. Although it is impossible for any attorney to guarantee a specific dollar amount, a Columbia car accident lawyer can help you gain a better understanding of what you could reasonably expect to recover.
Whether you settle your claim or bring a lawsuit, your compensation will be unique to your particular situation. Your compensation will be based on how much you can convince the jury or the insurance company that your claim is worth.
A lot of factors go into this determination, including how serious your injuries were and how much they will affect your ability to earn a living. Each case is evaluated on an individual basis, and it is impossible to make a generalization about how much money someone could recover after a car accident.
Your compensation could be affected by factors such as how strong your case is and how much insurance coverage the responsible party has.
- If it is clear that the defendant was to blame, then the insurance company might be more eager to offer you a generous settlement because you’ll likely win in court.
- If you are skilled at negotiating a settlement or at convincing a jury you were seriously hurt, this can make a difference too, which is why many car accident victims hire a South Carolina lawyer who has significant experience with negotiations and trials.
- If the responsible driver had only a $25,000 liability policy limit, then you may have a hard time recovering more than $25,000, even if your losses far exceed that number. Under insured motorist (UIM) coverage on your own policy could come into play in a situation like this. It’s important to have help from a lawyer who will look into all available sources of compensation.
How Is Compensation Determined?
The laws in South Carolina indicate that you are supposed to be “made whole” after an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence.There are certain accepted costs and losses that should be apart of your compensation.
You could be entitled to recover compensation for:
- Car Injury Medical costs —Every dollar of your medical bills should be paid, with no co-pays or expenses to you. Any legitimate medical treatments arising out of the accident should be completely covered. This includes hospital bills, surgeries, medications, diagnostic procedures, visits to specialists or any other treatments.
- Future care costs —In many cases, car accident injuries are permanent or last long after your settlement has been paid or the trial has ended. If you need ongoing pain management, physical therapy, surgeries or any other future medical treatment, these costs should be included in your compensation.
- Adaptive medical devices — If your injury caused you to suffer some type of impairment or disability, you may need adaptive devices. From a special vehicle you can drive when paralyzed, to an electronic wheelchair or a ventilator, there are countless medical devices that may be used over the course of your recovery or even for the rest of your life. The cost of these devices should be covered.
- Pain management costs —If you have ongoing pain from your injury, you may need pain medication, chiropractic care or other treatment to help you to cope with and minimize the discomfort. These costs should be paid by the person responsible for causing the accident.
- Rehabilitative care –– If you need physical rehabilitation, either in-patient or out-patient, these costs should be included in your compensation.
- Personal care assistance –– In some cases, someone who suffers an accident needs ongoing nursing care or will need to go into a nursing home. In other instances, you may be able to remain in your home but need help to do basic tasks. These are costs incurred because of the crash and should be covered.
- Lost income/wages –– If you have to miss any work because of your accident-related injuries, you should be compensated for the missed work. That is true even if you used sick leave or vacation time.
- A reduction in earning capacity –– Sometimes, a car accident injures someone in such a way that they can no longer work at all. In other cases, your injuries will prevent you from earning what you did before the accident. If you lose the ability to earn a living or if your income is reduced, you should be compensated for that.
- Damage to your property — If your car or other property was damaged in the accident, the cost of repairs or replacements should be included in your compensation.
- Permanent injury/disfigurement —If you were disfigured or suffered a permanent injury, the effects of this lasting harm and its impact on your quality of life should be taken into account when deciding your compensation.
- Pain and suffering —Calculating pain and suffering damages is very difficult because it is hard to put a dollar amount on how much your pain is worth. However, the law says that victims are entitled to compensation for the physical pain the injuries caused.
- Emotional distress —If you suffer emotional problems as a result of the crash or injuries, you could be entitled to compensation. Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and insomnia are common examples of emotional distress.
For those who have lost a close relative in a car accident, monetary compensation could also be available. These damages are called wrongful death damages and include payment of medical expenses, funeral costs, loss-of-companionship damages and lost financial support.
Hurt in a Auto Accident? The Louthian Law Firm Can Help
The amount of compensation you receive after a car wreck has a direct and profound impact on your future quality of life. At the Louthian Law Firm, our South Carolina vehicle accident lawyers are dedicated to making sure you get the money you need and deserve.
We have defended the rights of accident victims and other injured South Carolinians since 1959, and we’re committed to providing personalized service to you while aggressively going after the responsible parties. Because we know how financially devastating an accident can be, we never charge you a dime until your case is won.
For a free evaluation of your case, call the Louthian Law Firm today toll free at 888-662-9821 or locally in Columbia at 803-454-1200. You can also fill out our online contact form.