If you’re injured and it’s someone else’s fault, you may want to seek monetary compensation for your injuries in a civil suit. (If you’re injured at work, you should file a claim through workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is often your exclusive remedy when you are injured while on the job.)
The following is an overview of the different damages you may be entitled to in South Carolina.
Economic damages are related to a claimant’s expenses or loss of income due to the accident. For instance, if you’re in a car accident that totals your car, keeps you out of work, and causes injuries that need medical care, you can seek economic damages to compensate you for the cost of your car, lost wages, and medical bills.
South Carolina code lists the following economic damages:
- Medical expenses and medical care
- Rehabilitation services
- Education costs
- Custodial care
- Loss of earnings and earning capacity
- Loss of income
- Burial costs
- Loss of use of property
- Costs of repair or replacement of property
- Costs of obtaining substitute domestic services
- Loss of spousal services
- Loss of employment
- Loss of business or employment opportunities
- Loss of retirement income
- Other monetary losses
The other broad category of damages in South Carolina is noneconomic damages. Unlike economic damages, noneconomic damages are intended as compensation for emotional suffering or similar conditions that aren’t tied to a specific dollar amount. For instance, if you’re in a car accident that traumatizes you and leaves you permanently disfigured, you may seek noneconomic damages to compensate you for your unique suffering.
South Carolina code lists the following noneconomic damages:
- Physical impairment
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Loss of society and companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Injury to reputation
- Other nonpecuniary damages
- Any other theory of damages including fear of loss, illness, or injury
The economic and noneconomic damages listed above are intended to compensate the victim for the financial, emotional, and physical injuries they have sustained. This makes them distinct from punitive damages, another form of noneconomic damages which are intended to punish the wrongdoer rather than compensate the victim.
Punitive damages may be sought in most personal injury cases in South Carolina and are awarded in a separate procedure after compensatory damages have been determined.
In some cases, there may be prohibitions or limits to punitive damages. In others, there may be no limit to punitive damages. This is something to discuss with your attorney. Without an attorney representing you, these are likely a category of damages that will be ignored or disregarded by insurance adjusters in evaluating your claim.
Work with a Personal Injury Attorney to Understand What You’re Entitled To
Above is just a brief overview of the types of compensation available in South Carolina civil suits. It is not comprehensive and doesn’t detail the various exceptions and nuances in the law that can make a big difference to the outcome of your case. To understand what compensation you may be entitled to, speak with one of the personal injury lawyers at The Carolina Law Group. You can start today by scheduling your free, no-obligation consultation.
The Carolina Law Group has four offices in upstate South Carolina for your convenience: Greenville (principal office; call 864.312.4444), West Greenville (864.312.4444), Greer (principal office; call 864.757.5555), and Spartanburg (principal office; call 864.757.5555). Call today.
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