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What damages can you claim from a car accident?


What damages can you claim from a car accident?

Car accidents can have significant financial consequences, especially for those that suffer severe injuries.

When someone else is at fault for your accident, you have the right to seek compensation for damages through a civil lawsuit in South Carolina.

Economic damages

Economic damages refer to compensatory losses and include:

  • Expenses related to medical care, including the cost of ambulance services, medications, rehabilitation, hospital and doctor visits and future care
  • Lost wages, including income lost from missed work, future missed work and a loss of earning ability if your injury left you with a disability.
  • Cost of damaged property, specifically repairing or replacing your car

The specifics of economic damages depend on the details of your case.

Non-economic damages

Non-economic damages are compensatory losses with no specific monetary value. They include:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish
  • Diagnosis of depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Losing your ability to enjoy life
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of reputation
  • Loss of companionship

Calculating the monetary value for non-economic damages can be complex, but an attorney will typically refer to precedent.

Punitive damages

Punitive damages are different from compensatory because they do not accommodate the plaintiff for losses. Instead, the court may require payment of punitive damages to the plaintiff in cases of particularly egregious behavior. For example, excessive speeding or drunk driving may be cause to order payment of punitive damages.

Every car accident has unique circumstances that affect the settlement amount. Although rare, cases sometimes go to trial when you cannot reach a settlement.