What Type of Compensation Can I Expect From My Personal Injury Case?
The most important thing that you can do immediately following your accident or injury is focus on getting better. This is especially true for the most serious types of injuries, whether it’s brain damage caused by traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injuries, burn injuries, severely broken bones or other serious injuries.
Our team of accident injury lawyers are often asked what kind of compensation can be expected in a personal injury case. While every personal injury case is different, in South Carolina, you can expect compensation for the following:
- medical bills, including future medical care for permanent injuries
- lost wages
- pain and suffering/loss of enjoyment of life
Obtaining Fair Compensation in a Personal Injury Case
The law in South Carolina recognizes that the quality of life of the spouse of an injured person also suffers, and it allows personal injury recovery for this injury even though the spouse did not suffer physical injury himself or herself. A loss of consortium case is separate from the injured victim’s case.
A personal injury plaintiff may be entitled to a legal award of the costs for future medical care for permanent injuries. Typically, this must be proven with expert testimony.
Most states, including South Carolina, allow additional personal injury recovery when an injury interferes with a plaintiff’s ability to lead a normal life. With an elderly personal injury client, this could mean the ability to play with one’s grandchildren, to walk and exercise as one did prior to an injury, to communicate meaningfully with others, or to engage in the pastimes one previously enjoyed.
A patient who was injured as a result of medical malpractice may be entitled to recover his or her lost wages, past and future, incurred as a result of the malpractice.
Mental Suffering Damages in a Personal Injury Case
Mental suffering in personal injury for which one may recover damages can include the following:
- Fear of the consequences of a personal injury while awaiting help;
- Fear experienced in the period between realizing an incident likely to cause personal injury was going to occur and the time of occurrence;
- Fear experienced after a personal injury about what else could have happened;
- Anxiety about one’s physical health and future well-being;
- Fear of the need for future surgery as a result of one’s personal injuries;
- Fear of increased vulnerability to future personal injury;
- Post-traumatic stress disorder.
In a personal injury case, an injured person may be entitled to recover the costs of treatment for injuries as a result of the negligence or intentional conduct of a third party.
Pain and Suffering in a Personal Injury Case
Pain and suffering is the term used for damages designed to compensate someone for his or her personal injuries that are physical and emotional in nature. Experienced personal injury lawyers may be able to add to the settlement compensation a victim can receive for out of pocket damages like lost wages and medical bills.
The South Carolina Courts generally do not recognize shortened life expectancy as a separate personal injury. However, in determining the seriousness of someone’s injury, the South Carolina Courts may consider decreased earning capacity, pain and suffering, and mental suffering from knowing one’s life will be shorter.
South Carolina jurors are typically told to determine a plaintiff’s future damages based on standard life expectancy tables. However, due to improvements in medical science and living conditions over the years, your attorney might argue that your life expectancy was/is actually greater than the standard tables would indicate, thereby entitling you to greater damages and better results.
If you have followed good health practices, such as not smoking, exercising, maintaining a good weight and eating properly, this information might help your attorney in arguing that you are entitled to greater damages due to your longer life expectancy.
Ask Our Personal Injury Lawyers about Punitive Damages
Depending upon the nature of the case, punitive damages may be awarded. For example, in a case where it is shown that a nursing home engaged in malicious or reckless conduct, punitive damages may be awarded. Because injured nursing home residents are generally older, in poor health, and have a relatively short life expectancy, damage elements that are common in other personal injury cases, such as lost earning capacity, future pain and suffering, and future medical expenses, will not be as significant. Awards against nursing homes are mostly made up of punitive damages, and damages for mental anguish, pain and suffering experienced by the injured person, medical expenses, and the loss of affection and companionship by the surviving spouse or children.
Serving Clients Throughout South Carolina and Beyond
Our accident injury lawyers are skilled in dealing with the various obstacles that arise during the course of your case. Although many of the people we assist in these cases are from here in South Carolina, we regularly help clients from throughout the Southeastern United States. In certain types of product liability or pharmaceutical cases, we help people who have suffered from across the country. If you or someone close to you has been injured or killed due to an accident, contact the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. today. We are happy to provide a free consultation with one of our attorneys.