Columbia, SC – When someone is involved in an accident, one of their first concerns is usually paying for things like medical bills, property damage, and losing out on income due to missed time from work. However, a significant part of the law of damages in the state of South Carolina focuses on non-economic losses due to things like trauma, mental health, emotional pain, and disappointment with a reduced quality of life. There are several different arguments that injury attorneys make to ask for these losses from a jury at the conclusion of a trial, or through a settlement agreement.
Figuring out non-economic damages
These are often intangible losses because there is no specific price that can be put on a person’s emotional state and the psychological effects of medical problems and other forms of trauma. This issue often makes it very difficult to estimate the amount of non-economic damages that may be available, but like any other accident case, a good general rule is that more severe injuries will result in a larger damage award for the victim. For example, while someone may be inconvenienced by a minor car accident, paying for property repairs and scheduling a doctor’s visit will likely not translate into a large amount of non-economic damages in the same way that someone will be emotionally affected by having to be in a wheelchair permanently. A victim who needs constant medical attention may also place more of a burden on their family members as well, which can cause psychological stress.
The state’s guidelines
According to the South Carolina legislature things like physical impairment, emotional distress, loss of society and companionship, injury to reputation, and fear of future losses and illness may be considered in calculating an award for non-economic damages. There may also be punitive damages awarded if clear and convincing evidence is used to prove willful, wanton, or reckless conduct. Punitive damages are essentially meant to deter certain types of egregious behavior by forcing a defendant to pay additional money for unacceptable actions that caused an injury.
Civil lawsuits and damages
Economic damages are also available to victims during a civil case against the entity responsible for their losses. In addition to the non-economic damages discussed above, an accident attorney will attempt to assist the victim with receiving compensation for their tangible losses due to medical treatment and diagnosed health problems.
Legal professionals provide assistance to accident victims
Anyone who has sustained injuries during a motor vehicle accident has the option of retaining a lawyer and pursuing a civil lawsuit. Louthian Law Firm, P.A. has fought for local clients in the Columbia area for decades.
Firm contact info:
1116 Blanding St., #3A, Columbia, SC 29201