If you get hurt in a car wreck or injured in some other type of accident that isn’t your fault, you can take legal action to get fairly compensated. You may be entitled to collect damages, which is the legal term for financial payment from a lawsuit.
Whenever someone is the victim of a personal injury, the amount of money they can seek is broken down into two categories. First is Economic Damages, calculated by medical bills for treatment of your physical injuries, medications, or even an ambulance ride. This also includes lost wages, the amount of money you can’t earn from your job because you’re too hurt to work. It’s repayment for the measurable costs you experience after the accident.
The second category is Non-Economic Damages. You could be paid a separate amount for long-term physical disability or limitations caused by the injury, loss of a companion, ongoing inconvenience, or for pain and suffering.
What is “pain and suffering?” Legally, it refers to the physical and emotional injuries suffered by a victim after an accident. This could be a combination of physical pain and mental or psychological agony. It might be the result of ongoing impairment, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, depression, or even anger. A traumatic accident or injury can have long-lasting effects.
How much can you collect for pain and suffering? In South Carolina, there is no statewide standard for adding up a dollar value of Non-Economic Damages. There’s not a chart that lists standard payment amounts. Each injury case is considered separately, and Non-Economic Damages are determined individually by the court. If you ever see a commercial for another law firm suggesting that a car wreck automatically pays $100,000, that’s just not true.
To determine pain and suffering, you need to look at the long-term disadvantages your accident injuries have caused and will cause, in your lifetime. This can be extremely difficult to do on your own, and we don’t recommend trying it. You need the professional experience of a personal injury attorney to establish fair and reasonable amounts that fit your specific situation. Trammell & Mills is a personal injury law firm based here in the Upstate that handles these types of cases all the time.
Economic and Non-Economic Damages apply to cases where you are less than 50% responsible for the accident or personal injury. There are statutes of limitations on recovering some damages, so taking legal action in a timely manner is important. And there are maximum dollar limit caps on some Non-Economic Damages, such as malpractice or claims made against the government.
If you’re the victim of a car wreck, if you get hurt because of negligence at someone’s home or business, or if you get an injury because of a defective product, don’t try to settle the matter yourself. And never assume that insurance will cover all your costs. Trust the experienced attorneys at Trammell & Mills to help you recover your Economic Damages, as well as fair payment for any pain and suffering you may experience.