Can I Recover Damages for Pain and Suffering in South Carolina?

Victims of car accidents in South Carolina are entitled to compensation for both financial and non-financial losses. The latter can fall into several different categories, one of which is pain and suffering. This sounds like a frivolous claim to many people. That may be why even some injured individuals wonder if it’s even a real thing. 

However, the courts can and do award compensation for this type of loss when it can be proven. Not all types of injuries lead to pain and suffering. If you received only minor injuries, you won’t be able to convince anyone that suffered serious psychological harm. However, if you experienced severe injuries, you may be eligible. As with other claims for damages, you will need to be less than 50 percent at fault for the accident. Keep reading if you’re wondering what pain and suffering is or how the court attaches a dollar figure to it.

What is Considered Pain and Suffering?

The term pain and suffering encompass many types of non-economic harm. Pain usually refers to physical pain caused by a traumatic injury. Suffering covers psychological damage like anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress and the emotional harm caused by scars or physical limitations. Pain and suffering can be temporary or chronic and it can have varying effects on the victim’s life. Notably, everyone experiences it in their own way so it can be difficult to prove the need for compensation.

A woman experiencing chest pains

How Can You Prove Pain and Suffering?

Car accident victims in Greenville, SC can claim compensation for past, present, and future pain and suffering. To prove this type of loss, you’ll need to present documentation from experts. Physical therapists, orthopedists, psychologists, and psychiatrists can all testify to your condition. Your lawyer will assist you in gathering the necessary evidence.

You can also help to show the court the effects of your pain and suffering. Greenville car accident lawyers often recommend that their clients keep a daily log outlining their challenges. Some of the things you can include are:

  • the severity of your pain
  • the activities that you can no longer do 
  • the changes you’ve had to make to your everyday life

If you can no longer play your favorite sport or engage in activities with your children, mention this. If you do not have to rely on assistive devices or you’re unable to work, this is also worth mentioning.

Placing a Dollar Figure on Your Losses

There are no specific guidelines on pain and suffering damages. Judges and juries usually consider all the circumstances surrounding the accident as well as the strength of the evidence. You will be required to prove that your pain and suffering was due to the defendant’s actions. Then, the court will consider a range of factors including:

  • Your age. Younger victims tend to get larger amounts if they have to live with pain for the rest of their lives.
  • The nature of your injury and duration of recovery. Brain injuries and injuries that result in long-term pain or disability often result in larger awards.
  • The extent of your medical needs
  • How the injury affects you. Your past, present and future pain and suffering will be taken into consideration. The more certain it is that you will experience future pain, the more compensation you are likely to get.
  • The limitations you experience on a daily basis as a result of your injuries
  • The impact on your ability to spend meaningful time with your loved ones
  • The impact on your ability to engage in activities you enjoyed before the car accident.

Juries are often instructed to reasonably compensate victims. Since they don’t get lots of guidance from the court, they often use personal experience and common sense. Compensation for pain and suffering can, therefore, vary widely from case to case. Your auto accident lawyer in Greenville, SC may be able to give you an idea of how much you may recover.

Contact Hernandez & Cabra to Discuss Your Case

If you want to know whether you can claim compensation for pain and suffering, reach out to a Greenville auto accident lawyer. We’ll look at the facts of your case and evaluate the mental and physical harm you suffered. Determining noneconomic damages can be difficult but it’s not impossible. We have access to experts who will help you to prove your losses.  Keep in mind that you have three years to file personal injury claims in South Carolina. This may seem like a long time. However, it will go by quickly so contact our experienced team today to get the help you need.