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Columbia Personal Injury Attorney > Blog > General > What Types of Damages Are Available in Personal Injury Cases?

What Types of Damages Are Available in Personal Injury Cases?

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Without ever planning for it or seeing it coming, you or a loved one may be involved in a serious accident that causes severe injuries. When a traumatic accident occurs, the situation can feel totally helpless, and you may have low expectations about the future.

While there is no doubt that a serious personal injury can change your life, and may even leave you with a life-long disability, there may be hope for your financial recovery. By filing a personal injury claim against the responsible party, you may be able to recover compensation for the full value of your losses. Attorney Marc Brown is here to help. Learn more about the types of damages that may be available in a personal injury case, and contact us today to request a free consultation.

Economic Damages

The first category of compensatory damages—damages that are designed to compensate the victim—is economic damages. Sometimes, these are also referred to as special compensatory damages. Generally, economic damages refer to monetary compensation for actual, calculable economic costs that the plaintiff has incurred or is expected to incur as a direct result of their injury. Types of economic damages that may be available in a personal injury case include:

  • Medical expenses. When a person is injured in an accident, they will inevitably require medical care. In the United States, healthcare costs are some of the most expensive in the world. A person who requires serious care may incur large amounts of medical debt, even facing bankruptcy in some cases. Through a personal injury claim, you’ll reserve the right to seek compensation for the full value of your medical expenses and future medical costs. This includes any costs of prescriptions, medical equipment, hospital stays, surgeries, therapies, and more.

  • Property damage. Depending on the type of accident in which you were involved, you may have incurred property damage costs in addition to physical injuries. If this is the case, you can seek compensation for the full value of your lost property, such as the value of a totaled vehicle.

  • Lost wages, earnings, and benefits. A serious injury doesn’t just mean economic losses in the form of medical bills. It can also mean a disability or injury that prevents you from being able to return to work in either the short- or long-term. When this is the case, you deserve to be compensated for the full value of any lost wages you have suffered, as well as future lost wages. You also have the right to seek compensation for other earnings and benefits you would have accrued but for the accident, such as the value of wages of the promotion you were expected to receive, the retirement savings you would have accumulated, etc.

  • Other economic losses. If you have suffered any other economic losses as a result of your accident, you can seek compensation. For example, travel expenses to and from the doctor, the costs of a personal aid to assist you after your accident, etc.

Noneconomic Damages

Noneconomic damages, also called general damages, are harder to quantify and cannot be calculated in a precise and totally neutral manner. That’s because these damages are not reflective of actual economic losses that a person has suffered. Instead, they represent the value of a person’s intangible losses. Types of noneconomic damages that are recoverable in a South Carolina personal injury claim include:

  • Pain and suffering. These damages are awarded to individuals who have suffered injuries that have resulted in physical pain and suffering. These damages may be calculated using the per diem or the multiplier method. The opinion of an expert who can testify to the degree and duration of pain and suffering will be necessary.

  • Physical impairment and disfigurement. In addition to compensation for pain and suffering, an individual who experienced physical impairment and disfigurement that is lasting will likely be entitled to compensation for this harm.

  • Emotional distress and mental anguish. In addition to suffering physically, serious injuries can also take a toll on a person mentally, too. Emotional distress and mental anguish, including the development of psychiatric conditions like depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, may affect someone who’s been involved in a serious accident.

  • Injury of reputation or humiliation. Injury victims are also able to recover for any impairment to their reputation and standing in the community, personal humiliation, shame, and disgrace caused by the actions of the at-fault party.

  • Loss of enjoyment of life. Individuals who have suffered injuries are entitled to compensation for being limited in their ability to participate in and get pleasure from the normal activities of daily life. Injury victims should also be compensated for the inability to pursue his/her talents, interests, and/or hobbies.

  • Wrongful death general damages. Loss of consortium, loss of society and companionship, etc. If you have lost a loved one in an accident, you can bring forth a wrongful death claim for damages. In addition to the above damage types, you can also seek compensation for the value of the loss of the deceased’s companionship, guidance, and love.

Punitive Damages

Finally, the third type of damages recoverable in personal injury cases is punitive damages. Punitive damages are not designed to be compensatory. Instead, they are designed to punish a defendant for egregious wrongdoing. While compensatory damages are uncapped in South Carolina, there is a cap on punitive damages. This cap is $500,000 or three times the amount of compensatory damages, whichever is greater. (South Carolina Code Section 15-32-530). Note, however, that there are some exceptions. If the trial court finds that the defendant had an intent to harm, for example, then there is no cap on punitive damages.

Get Legal Help Today

Just because there is the possibility of recovering compensation for the full value of your losses does not necessarily mean that you will be able to recover all that you deserve. The value of a personal injury settlement is based on many factors. By working with an experienced injury lawyer, however, you can significantly improve your chances of recovering the settlement you deserve. For help with your case, contact the Marc Brown Law Firm today and request a free initial consultation.

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Marc Brown

Marc Brown Law Firm

Meet Attorney Marc Brown

Marc Brown is an experienced personal injury and civil rights attorney serving clients throughout South Carolina and Georgia. Marc is motivated by the challenge of helping his clients solve their complex legal issues, and most importantly, he obtains favorable results. He is a caring and conscientious attorney who brings the experience and resources of a larger firm to his practices in Sumter and Columbia, SC.

A Personable & Dedicated South Carolina Attorney

As someone who has always had a keen sense of right and wrong and a desire to achieve excellence and fairness in all things, pursuing law was a natural career choice. After graduating with honors from the prestigious Emory University School of Law, Marc went on to become a dedicated litigator who focuses on personal injury, workers’ compensation, and criminal defense cases.

Why Choose Us?

Choosing an attorney is a very important decision, but it can be difficult. When you choose the Marc Brown Law Firm, we do everything we can to keep you informed, put your needs first, and to make sure justice is served. Here are just a few reasons to choose us:

The Right Experience

Attorney Marc Brown has experience that matters. Prior to opening this law firm, Marc spent nearly a half a decade defending big insurance companies and large corporations in personal injury and commercial litigation matters across the United States. Marc knows exactly how insurance companies and corporations evaluate claims and what they look at when deciding to increase the amount they are willing to pay. He thinks outside the box to find additional or hidden opportunities for favorable results.

We’ll Come To You

After being injured in a serious accident, you need to focus on getting better. Serious accidents can be hard on an individual, physically and emotionally. The Marc Brown Law Firm is dedicated to fight for you while you recover. If you are unable to travel to our office for any reason, we will personally visit you! Just give us a call to talk whenever you may be in need of assistance. We’re here to help.

Clients First

At the Marc Brown Law Firm, we choose to put our clients first. Our clients are more than just a case number. We think of each of our clients as extended members of the family. We make sure to inform our clients of all their legal options and provide timely updates throughout the life their case.

24/7 Availability

We are available around the clock for our clients. If at any point we are unavailable, we promise to promptly respond to all messages within hours.

Dedicated

We work hard so that our clients receive the justice they deserve! When necessary, Attorney Marc Brown retains investigators, engineers, and other experts to help prove your case. Insurance companies are big, but Marc is experienced and resourceful. We fight for each of our clients so that you can receive the maximum compensation available to you.

No Fees Unless We Win*

We work on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no upfront cost to clients. You only pay lawyer fees when we win your case. This also means that your attorney is only paid a percentage of what is recovered for you. The Marc Brown Law Firm has a vested interest in ensuring that each of our clients receive the maximum recovery available to them. We are determined to fight tirelessly to recover for you.

Marc Brown and The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 award