What Are Non-Economic Damages and How Can I Get Them After a Car Accident?

Most people who suffer injuries in a car accident want to get compensation if they were not at fault. However, most victims don’t know about all the losses they can recover. There are usually two types of damages victims can seek following a car accident. The first is economic damages which include things like medical bills and lost wages. These are things that have a clear monetary value and they’re what most people think about when they hear the word “compensation”.  The other category is non-economic damages. These are intangible losses. 

They don’t have an obvious monetary value, but a dollar amount can still be attached to them. Disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering fall into this category. If you’re filing an insurance claim following a car accident, you can ask for both types of damages. However, you’ll have to prove that you actually suffered all the losses you’re claiming. To do so, you will need help from a Greenville auto accident lawyer.

Types of Non-Economic Damages

South Carolina law allows victims to seek compensation for a range of intangible losses. The most well-known are pain and suffering. You can get compensation for both the physical discomfort an injury causes and the emotional turmoil that results. Victims can also claim damages for:

  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress
  • Disfigurement
  • Disability
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of companionship
  • Humiliation
  • Fear 

This is not an exhaustive list. Depending on the nature of your injuries, your South Carolina auto accident lawyer may advise you to seek other damages. If your life changed dramatically in some way because of the accident, you may be able to get compensation. This includes being unable to participate in hobbies or take part in everyday activities with your spouse or children.

It is important to note that while these types of damages can’t be seen, you’ll still need to prove they exist. Your own account of your physical and mental challenges will have to be supported by medical records and expert testimony. Your attorney will assist you in gathering this crucial evidence. They may ask you to keep a diary in which you record your physical symptoms and emotions. They may also seek out an opinion from your therapist or psychologist if you’ve been seeing one. Without this evidence, you may not be able to get the compensation you deserve.

Calculating Non-Economic Damages 

Many car accident victims wonder how much they can claim for these types of losses. However, there are no specific rules that govern the calculation of non-economic damages.  The courts often look at a range of factors including the severity of the loss and the degree of negligence involved. The expected impact of the loss on the individual’s future also plays a major role in the amount they can receive.

Where pain and suffering is concerned, there are two methods that the courts may use. One is known as the multiplier method. It’s when the victim’s economic damages are multiplied by a specific number. That number is based on factors like the severity of the injury and the impact it has on the victim. The other option is the per diem method. This involves paying a certain amount for each day the injured person has to endure pain.

Why You Need to Contact an Attorney Immediately After Your Crash

As you can see, a lot goes into calculating non-economic losses and getting compensation for them. It’s impossible to do this on your own. Even if you have some legal knowledge, you should be focusing on your recovery. It’s best to reach out to a car accident lawyer as soon as you can. You won’t be aware of all your losses immediately, but you’ll be able to get guidance from a knowledgeable professional. One of the things that your attorney will do is ensure you file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations. Usually, you have two years from the date of injury to file a personal injury claim in South Carolina. However, if your claim is against a government entity, you will likely have a shorter timeframe.

Reach Out to Hernandez & Cabra Today

If you want to secure all the damages you deserve after a car accident in South Carolina, contact our firm today. Our team of Greenville auto accident attorneys will help you to calculate both economic and non-economic losses. Then, we’ll fight for you to get the compensation you need. Your first consultation is free, so you have nothing to lose by scheduling a case review. Contact us today!