A single accident can have long-term repercussions on your life and ability to support yourself. Pain and suffering damages can apply in personal injury cases in South Carolina, depending on the circumstances. If you want to claim pain and suffering damages in South Carolina, you will need to understand what evidence is used to prove this form of compensation.
At McCall Law, we are dedicated to helping victims in Florence, SC get the compensation they deserve for their mental anguish. Contact us today to speak with a qualified Florence personal injury lawyer.
What is Considered Pain and Suffering in South Carolina?
Pain and suffering is a legal term that encompasses physical and emotional pain or stress you suffered as a result of an accident. Not every state recognizes pain and suffering, but Pain and Suffering damages are something you can receive compensation for in South Carolina.
Here are some examples of things that fall into the category of pain and suffering:
- Physical impairment
- Mental anguish
- Impacted reputation
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress
- Loss of society or companionship
These damages apply almost entirely to personal injury claims for things such as car, boat, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents. To get this kind of compensation, you will have to prove that the accident resulted in extensive physical and emotional stress and discomfort. Because of this, you may need to hire a personal injury lawyer who can help you prove this aspect of your case.
When you have a claim, this falls into either non-economic or economic damages, which are used to determine how much you are compensated.
Because pain and suffering damages are non-economic, there is no way to put an exact dollar amount on how much this has impacted your life. Because of that, it can sometimes be challenging to prove pain and suffering to get the compensation you want.
How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated?
How much you can get from pain and suffering claims depends on multiple aspects of your claim. You and your lawyer will decide on a dollar amount and request it from the insurance companies. It will then be up to the jury to determine how much you are owed, depending on the evidence you have to back your case.
It is not uncommon for insurance companies to create a very generalized and less-personal offer for your accident claim. That is because they won’t take into account all the different factors that could impact the amount of pain and suffering certain injuries and accidents cause. For these kinds of claims, insurance companies will usually use one of two methods for calculating an offer.
The multiplier method calculates damages by taking the amount you are owed for your economic damages and multiplying it between 1 and 5. For example, if you were rewarded $10,000 in economic damages, and that was multiplied by two for pain and suffering, the insurance company would offer you $20,000 for these damages.
Per diem method
The second method insurance companies could use applies a very different way of calculating the dollar amount. Per diem calculates the amount you are owed per day and multiplies that by the number of days it will take you to recover from your injuries. If it was determined that you are owed $200 per day, and it took you five months to recover, you would then be owed $30,400 in pain and suffering damages.
The good news for pain and injury victims is that there is no cap on how much you can receive for pain and suffering in South Carolina. The only exception to this rule is for medical malpractice claims, as they have a limitation of $350,000 per claimant.
Proving Pain and Suffering Damages
In many instances, it can be difficult to get pain and suffering damages since pain and suffering are non-economic, so it does not have a market price that can be easy to calculate. But that does not mean it is impossible to get these damages if you have plenty of evidence and an experienced lawyer.
There are a few types of evidence you will want to have to prove that you have a pain and suffering case. This will not only back up your claims in court but also help you get the compensation amount you and your lawyer have decided on.
There are two types of witnesses you can use when proving pain and suffering, which include expert witnesses and personal witnesses. Expert witnesses often include medical experts who can attest to how your injuries have impacted you.
Personal witnesses, also called layman witnesses, include family and friends.
They provide a more personalized testament to how your injuries have impacted your quality of life. For instance, if you are an active person, they can personally attest to how this has impacted your lifestyle and ability to maintain hobbies and friendships.
Medical evidence, such as medical records, is very important for pain and injury damages. These records provide legitimate proof of the impact the accident had on you and how extensive the injuries are.
Besides medical records, other documents are useful when receiving pain and suffering damages. You can use evidence such as photos or videos of your injuries or receipts from the medications and treatments you have had to pay for.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney to Claim Pain and Suffering
Getting into an accident can feel very stressful and overwhelming. Not only do these injuries have an impact on your physical health, but they can also impact your mental health and your overall lifestyle.
At McCall Law, we provide community-driven and committed service to all our personal injury clients. You can contact us today to schedule a free evaluation by filling out our online form or calling us at 843-279-8148.
So, call McCall — don’t let a claim keep you in pain!