Pain and suffering is determined after a car accident by a variety of factors, including your personal testimony, the liable party’s testimony, physician records and testimony, any corroborating evidence you (or your lawyer) has, and any state laws that govern your ability to recover money for pain and suffering.
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about three million people are injured in motor vehicle accidents in the United States every year. This number equates to a lot of pain and suffering, both physical and emotional. As this article will demonstrate, a Greenville car accident lawyer can help you fight for all of the compensation your pain and suffering entitles you to receive.
Defining Pain and Suffering
First, just what is pain and suffering? It is a kind of non-economic damage—that is, it affects you physically and/or psychologically rather than financially. Maybe you sustained physical injuries that cause you chronic pain, or maybe you still have nightmares about the car accident. These are both examples of pain and suffering.
Because pain and suffering is a non-economic damage, it is often very difficult to quantify and prove to an insurance company. In addition, some states have laws that limit how much a person can ask for and receive in non-economic damages. Fortunately, South Carolina only limits non-economic damages to $350,000 in medical malpractice cases, per South Carolina Annotated Code § 15-32-220. Nothing caps your recovery in typical personal injury cases such as car accidents. Hammack Law Firm has the resources and experience to help you maximize your recovery for pain and suffering.
You may sue for pain and suffering in personal injury cases (if you were the one affected) and wrongful death cases (if your loved one suffered before succumbing to their accident injuries).
For a free legal consultation, call 864-326-3333
You Might Qualify for Both Non-Economic and Economic Damages
If you are thinking of suing for pain and suffering, you will probably qualify for other types of damages, both non-economic and economic, as well. A few examples are listed below. However, to receive more information about what you may or may not be entitled to, you might want to discuss your case with your attorney.
Besides pain and suffering, non-economic damages can include:
- Disability if the accident impacted your physical and/or intellectual capabilities
- Disfigurement if your injuries have left you with noticeable scarring
- Loss of consortium if your marriage has suffered since the crash
- Reduced quality of life if your injuries forced you to make major lifestyle changes, such as asking others for help with getting dressed or dressing your kids
Economic damages will compensate you for the money you lost or could not earn due to your injuries. Examples can include:
- Lost wages if your injuries forced you to take time off work
- Lost earning capacity if your injuries will prevent you from ever earning as much as you did before
- The cost of medical treatment if your injuries were serious enough that you had to go to a doctor, a hospital, a pharmacy, or another medical facility
- Other costs if you needed to hire help (e.g., a house cleaning service) to handle tasks that you are no longer capable of
The Attorneys at Hammack Law Firm Can Help
While some lawsuits are straightforward and simple, others can get complicated. This is especially true if there is more than one liable party or if the other driver is uninsured or underinsured (these are two separate issues in South Carolina). No matter the details of your case, your personal injury lawyers at Hammack Law firm would be happy to help protect your rights in the following ways:
- Providing a case evaluation: many law firms will assess your case for free.
- Finding evidence: this step is especially important with non-economic damages like pain and suffering. Your lawyer will use medical records, witness statements, and more to prove the validity of your case.
- Calculating damages: a lawyer can help you calculate how much money you can recover for each of your damages, including pain and suffering.
- Filing your case: your case does not officially begin until you notify both the liable party and the court. A lawyer can help you do so. They can also file any other paperwork your case requires.
- Handling negotiations: your lawyer will stand up to the insurance company and fight hard for the damages you need and deserve.
- Going to court: if negotiations stall, your lawyer will prepare a court case and deliver it on your behalf to a judge and jury.
If you need help understanding how pain and suffering is determined after a car accident or any other aspect of your lawsuit, contact Hammack Law Firm at (864) 326-3333. Our goal is to make South Carolina a safe place while holding negligent parties accountable and fighting for our clients’ compensation.
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