What Types of Compensation Can You Pursue Following an Accident in South Carolina?
If you’ve never been in an accident, you may be more rare than you think with the frequency of car accidents happening every hour across our country. According to Forbes, more than 5 million car accidents occurred in a recent year, statistically. What you may not realize is that there are several forms of damages that you can pursue following an accident if you feel you were not rightfully compensated for your losses.
Two types of compensation, or damages, can typically be pursued following an accident. They are economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages consist of mostly tangible financial information, such as medical bills, any further related bills regarding specialists, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and more.
Lost wages are another tangible loss that you can calculate by using what you make a week or hourly and determining how much wages were lost for the time spent away from work tending to your injuries.
Property damage that occurred to your vehicle is another tangible loss that you can calculate easily with paperwork from body shops where you took your car to be repaired.
A few economic losses that may be more challenging to calculate are expected future wages, future medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, and more. Expected future wages may mean you expect to have ongoing issues and medical costs surrounding them, such as regular exams or further therapy necessary to manage your persistent injuries. Your experienced attorney can help you forecast these expenses and calculate them so you can be accurately compensated for them.
Diminished earning capacity is another more difficult item to calculate, but it can change the outcome of your damages immensely. Suppose you were injured in an accident and are now no longer able to work at the level that you once were or perform the duties that you had been in your career. In that case, you may be forced to change jobs or take on fewer tasks, leaving you vulnerable to making less money in the future through retirement. If this is true and would not have been a factor had you not gotten in the accident, this is something to pursue and be compensated for to ensure you and your family are as financially stable as you were before the accident occurred.
Non-economic damages are typically harder to calculate as they aren’t tangible. Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and more are items that you can typically pursue following a car accident.
Pain and suffering can be challenging to calculate. Still, an experienced attorney can help you apply a monetary figure to the amount of pain and suffering you have endured and what you can reasonably expect to continue to endure in the future as a result of your accident.
Loss of enjoyment in life is another critical factor. For example, were you once fully immersed in hobbies such as biking, hiking, baking, or knitting, and now are no longer able to participate due to injuries from your accident? This means that due to the accident, a life-changing loss is occurring, and you should be compensated for that loss.
Much like your own loss of enjoyment, your spouse may be suffering too. Suppose you both had an active lifestyle before the accident and are now spending less time together; this can mean that you should pursue compensation for loss of companionship or loss of consortium if that is an issue.
Emotional distress can be in the form of PTSD or other symptoms that are ongoing as a result of your accident. You should be compensated if you are experiencing these symptoms as a direct result of your accident. Evidence of this may be that you didn’t see a psychologist or other doctors regularly for depression or anxiety before, and now you need to. Your experienced attorney can help to ensure you are adequately compensated in this area.
What Can I Expect to Be Compensated Following an Accident?
Each situation is going to be different, and the amount of compensation will vary with each different situation. Some accidents are relatively minor, meaning the severity of injuries is far less, as well as the circumstances leading up to the accident.
In other cases, the accident is much more severe, and the details leading up to it may be an aggravating factor, according to the courts. Examples may be that the other driver was driving while intoxicated, distracted driving, or significantly speeding, and that was the reason for the accident. If this is the case, you may be able to pursue far more damages in this case than you would in a minor accident.
A less common category of damages that can be pursued is punitive damages. Punitive damages are reserved for cases where the defendant acted especially egregiously or negligently, which resulted in an accident.
Punitive damages are meant to set an example for others to avoid the same mistakes and to punish the perpetrator for choosing to act as recklessly as they did, which led to injuries or death.
There is a cap or maximum to punitive damages, and they don’t apply to each case, so speak with your attorney to determine if they apply to your case.
An accident can have a life-altering effect on you and your family. Don’t settle for less than you deserve while you are suffering or accommodating this new chapter in your life while enduring financial stress.
Contact our office today at (864) 689-4482 to learn how we can best assist you and your family moving forward.