Car accidents are always stressful. Suffering from serious injuries because of someone else’s negligence can add to the pain and stress you are experiencing. If you’ve been injured in a car accident in South Carolina due to another driver’s recklessness, you can seek compensation to help make you whole.
For many of our clients, their first question is “How much money will I get for my car accident settlement?”. You may have medical bills that are quickly piling up, especially if you are not able to immediately return to work due to your injuries. It is important to know the different types of damages you can seek after a car accident in South Carolina, so you can understand what you may be able to receive.
Our experienced South Carolina personal injury attorneys are dedicated to helping you recover a full, fair settlement if you’ve been seriously injured in a South Carolina car wreck. To set up a free consultation, contact us today at 803-790-2800 (Columbia, SC) / 843-427-2800 (Myrtle Beach, SC).
What Are You Entitled To In A Car Accident? Types of Compensation You Can Receive
While no amount of financial compensation can make up for the fact that you should never have been injured in the first place, a settlement can help ease the financial burden of being involved in a car wreck.
In a personal injury case for a auto accident claim, the plaintiff (the person who files the claim) is eligible to receive compensatory damages (money) for the harm that was inflicted upon them by the negligent driver. There are two types of damages you can seek compensation for after a wreck: economic and noneconomic damages.
Economic Damages After a South Carolina Car Accident
Economic damages are any tangible losses that occured due to the accident. These damages are measurable, objective, and verifiable because they have a concrete dollar amount attached to them - like medical bills, physical therapy costs, etc. Economic damages are intended to cover any out of pocket expenses that you may have had to take on due to your injury. Common economic damages that may be recovered in a South Carolina car accident claim include:
- Past and future medical expenses. Medical expenses are any bills that arise out of your injuries, such as hospital or ER bills, ambulance bills, therapy expenses, or medication. Future medical expenses may be awarded if you will need long term medical care due to your injuries, such as if you have been permanently impaired. Our attorneys can hire a medical expert to calculate future medical expenses thatmay consider factors such as physical therapy expenses, at-home medical equipment or services, prescription medication, or follow-up doctor visits. We can use the expert report to demand additional funds from the insurance company to cover future costs as well as your current medical expenses.
- Past lost wages, future lost wages, and loss of earning capacity. Your past lost wages are calculated by adding together what you would have earned during the time you had to take off from work to recover. If your accident has affected your ability to work, your future lost wages may be calculated based on your wages before the accident and what your projected earnings until retirement would have been compared to what you are able to earn now. If your accident has left you unable to return to your previous job, you may be awarded damages for loss of earning capacity. When determining how much they should pay for lost wages, insurance adjusters will consider the loss of any job-related skills and whether or not you will be able to continue earning what you were before the crash. For example, if you are a doctor that suffered a brain injury, you may not have the ability to return to the same profession after the crash, or if a mechanic loses the ability to use his hands in a crash, he may not have the ability to earn the same wages as before the crash.
- Property damage. If you’ve been involved in a car wreck that resulted in serious injuries, chances are your vehicle has probably suffered severe damage as well. If the accident was not your fault, you are entitled to compensation for your car repairs, whether it be from your own insurance company or the at-fault driver’s. Although our firm does not handle property damage cases, we know many of our clients have questions about the property damage arbitration process. You can find more information about how to recover compensation for property damages here.
Non-Economic Damages After a South Carolina Crash
While it is usually fairly easy to get an accurate assessment of economic damages, noneconomic damages can be complicated because they are more subjective. The key difference is that economic damages are intended to return an injured individual to their original state (as much as possible), while noneconomic damages are meant to compensate for the harm (both physical and mental) that was inflicted upon the injured person.
At the Law Office of Kenneth Berger, we understand the huge impact suffering a severe injury can have on your life. Our team approaches every case with the empathy and respect we would want for our own loved ones if they were going through something similar. We take the time to listen to your story, hear from the people around you about how the accident has impacted you, and take into consideration every detail of your case so that we can help you seek a fair settlement.
If you’ve suffered a catastrophic, life-changing injury, some of your biggest losses may be noneconomic. Our attorneys work with you and your loved ones to help prove how your life has been impacted due to your injuries. We gather evidence from experts, medical professionals, and loved ones in order to build a strong case on your behalf.
Noneconomic damages are not readily quantifiable, so it can be more difficult to win a fair settlement on your own. An experienced car accident attorney can help you recover the compensation you deserve for the harm you’ve experienced.
Some noneconomic damages you may be able to recover include:
- Pain and suffering. One of the most commonly sought after damages, pain and suffering is intended to compensate injured individuals for the physical and emotional pain they have suffered due to their injuries. An experienced car accident attorney should work closely with you to build a persuasive case that includes evidence such as medical records and doctor testimony.
- Lost enjoyment of life. If you’ve suffered a catastrophic injury that has left you unable to participate in daily activities you enjoyed before the accident, you may be eligible to receive this type of damage. For example, if your accident has resulted in the paralysis of your legs, you may no longer be able to engage in hobbies or physical activities you once enjoyed. Lost enjoyment of life is intended to compensate injured people who can no longer enjoy the same activities they once did because of their injuries.
- Loss of companionship or loss of consortium. This type of damage is typically related to wrongful death cases, but can also be applicable if a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury. We understand that the loss of a loved one is truly immeasurable and no amount of money can ever justify a tragic loss of life. However, compensation is the civil system’s best available form of justice and can at least provide some kind of closure for the families who are experiencing a loss of support, affection, and comfort.
- Emotional distress. This type of damage is meant to compensate for any psychological distress you have experienced as a result of the accident. For example, ongoing anxiety and insomnia can be symptoms of psychological distress. Emotional distress damages are incredibly subjective, so it can be a good idea to keep documentation of any visits with mental health professionals.
If you’ve suffered serious injuries due to another driver’s negligence, it is always best to seek a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney. Qualified legal representation can help you seek a full, fair recovery for all your damages.
How Much Will I Get From My Car Accident Settlement in South Carolina?
The amount of compensation you may receive is dependent on the unique facts of your case. There is no straightforward answer, and we cannot promise that you will receive a certain dollar amount. However, the attorneys at the Law Office of Kenneth Berger always take every necessary measure to help maximize the value of your case. We take on a limited number of cases so that we can dedicate our full attention to your needs as our client.
Although everyone’s case is different, there are some common factors that may affect how large your settlement is, including:
- The severity of your injury,
- The amount of your medical bills, and
- The amount of lost wages.
How Much Does a Lawyer Get Out of a Car Accident Settlement?
Most personal injury attorneys in South Carolina use a contingency fee system, which means you do not pay any fees until they secure a financial recovery on your behalf. Once a settlement or verdict is determined for your claim, most lawyers take between 33%-40% of the compensation they obtain for you.
At the Law Office of Kenneth Berger, our firm has a policy that our attorney fees will never exceed the amount that our client takes home. Even if we may be entitled to 33%, we may reduce our fee so our client receives the greater portion. We always put our clients first because we recognize that you truly need the compensation to help you move forward. Your health and wellbeing are our top priority above all else.
Contact A South Carolina Car Accident Attorney Today
If you’ve suffered injuries from a car wreck in South Carolina that was not your fault, you are entitled to compensation to help you move past this traumatic experience. At the Law Office of Kenneth Berger, we treat our clients with respect and compassion. Our dedicated attorneys maintain regular communication throughout the duration of the case so you always know where your claim stands.
Car accidents are stressful enough. Don’t take on the stress of fighting for your legal rights on your own. Let our team of experienced attorneys advocate on your behalf.