Should I Pursue Damages Following a Car Accident?
We may have all been there at one point, with car accidents as common as they are. You decide not to pursue damages right away because it seems like a straightforward accident, and you are moving forward. But what if more issues occur or lingering issues from your injury are an issue? You may have even miscalculated the damages and realize now that you don’t want to settle for far less than you deserve.
As long as you are within the statute of limitations and are still in the settlement process, you can typically still pursue damages through the courts. Contact your trusted attorney today to learn what your specific options are.
If you are considering pursuing damages, it’s beneficial to understand how the laws work in South Carolina surrounding this and what you may be entitled to.
There are two main types of damages that you can pursue following an accident: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are straightforward, as they are monetary losses you have suffered that you likely have a paper trail for. Typical items in this category are:
Medical bills – all relevant medical bills relating to the injuries you sustained can be calculated. These bills may include the initial exams, any procedures or surgeries necessary, and any follow-up appointments or therapy that may have been necessary.
Damage to your vehicle or property – the damage your property sustained during the accident may be significant. You may be entitled to pursue these costs if you were not at fault for the accident.
Lost wages – not only the loss of wages that occurred if you missed work on the day of the accident but the missed wages that you incurred while tending to your injuries, such as doctor or therapy appointments.
Diminished future wages – another element considered is the future wages you may no longer be eligible to earn due to injury. If your earning capacity is diminished, this can also be calculated.
Non-economic damages are more challenging to calculate as they aren’t tangible. An experienced attorney can help you gather and calculate these losses and pursue them.
Pain and suffering – Both physical and emotional pain may exist following your accident, and you shouldn’t have to suffer without compensation for what you have to endure.
Emotional distress – perhaps you have ongoing anxiety, sleep issues, depression, or other forms of psychological distress resulting from the accident. Your attorney can thoughtfully calculate the estimated costs of this distress.
Loss of enjoyment of life – if you were once an avid golfer or motorcycle rider and can no longer enjoy those hobbies due to your injuries, this loss can also be calculated.
Loss of consortium – if you or your spouse can no longer actively give support or affection, these losses are hard to endure, and you may be eligible for compensation in this aspect as well.
How Much Can I Expect to Receive if I Pursue Damages?
There is no black-and-white response to this question, unfortunately. Each accident is different, as well as the injuries sustained or the costs associated with them.
Work with an experienced attorney who can help you zoom in on some of the losses you have incurred to determine what they think is a reasonable amount. With a focus on this area of law, they are invaluable in helping you determine what you can reasonably expect.
There are a few exceptions to this timeline, so it’s essential to consult your attorney and discuss. For example, suppose you were under the age of 18 when the accident occurred. In that case, you may have additional time to pursue damages, or if you are affected by a disability or incapacitated in any way, you may also be allowed additional time to begin your lawsuit.
How Long Do I Have to Pursue Damages?
In South Carolina, you have three years from the car accident date to pursue damages. You must report the incident immediately to the appropriate parties and seek a complete medical exam to determine what injuries you may have sustained and how to treat them. Document all necessary information, such as details about the accident, your healing, and all medical documentation.
The exception to the three-year rule is if your case involves wrongful death due to a car accident. In this case, the timeline would start on the date of the death rather than the date of the accident and is still three years.
Your Tireless Advocate
Enduring a car accident and the injuries that may follow are never fun. You’re stressed out trying to heal while missing work, with medical bills piling up. Don’t settle for digging yourself out of a financial hole alone.
By working with an experienced attorney, they become the fierce advocate you deserve, with compassion and tenacity to aggressively seek what is rightfully yours.
With nearly 30 years of practicing law, we have an established reputation and have worked with clients in the local courts all the way to the Supreme Court. We listen carefully to our clients, no matter the size of their potential claim, and aggressively pursue a reasonable outcome.
Don’t hesitate to act now if you have lingering questions regarding whether or not to pursue a legal route. We will work with you to determine if you are within the statute of limitations, what exceptions may apply, and your specific options.
Call our office today at (864) 689-4482 to get started.