Determining the value of a South Carolina auto accident case is incredibly complicated and depends almost entirely on the unique circumstances of your case. Although this uncertainty can be frustrating at times, it often works out for the best for injured motorists. Why? The reason is that if all auto accident cases could simply be calculated with an easy mathematical equation, there would be no opportunity for victims to bring forward the specific and important facts of their case.
For example, if someone is injured due to especially callous or reckless behavior on the part of another driver, that can have an important impact on the ultimate compensation received in the case, but that type of individual circumstance may not be captured in a simple equation. Similarly, especially traumatic or emotionally devastating injuries from a particular accident can be understood by a jury more easily than they can be captured by any formula. Finally, long-term, complicated injuries that require ongoing treatment for a long time after an accident might not be appropriately considered if insurance companies simply performed a quick tabulation at the moment of injury. Many times, injuries take time to reveal themselves and if payouts happened instantaneously, car accident victims might find themselves footing the bill for expensive surgeries that are still taking place years after the initial accident.
So now that we understand why the lack of a simple and quick calculation for the value of your accident claim may not be such a bad thing, what are the factors that determine the value of a claim? In South Carolina there are three main components of every auto accident injury claim: medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. To find out more, keep reading.
In most cases, medical bills are the easiest category to calculate. That’s because medical bills, unlike pain
and suffering, typically come on an invoice that can simply be added up. Although calculating the total past medical bills is relatively simple, even this can become tricky when considering the cost of future medical expenses. In South Carolina, those seriously injured in a car accident can collect money for not only those bills that have already been paid, but also for those that are still to come. People with long-lasting injuries may require future surgeries or rehabilitation for years into the future. If so, a more complicated calculation is required to estimate the amount of money needed to cover these future bills.
The next piece in determining the value of a South Carolina accident claim is figuring out the amount of lost wages or lost earning capacity. Again, calculating lost wages in the past is fairly straightforward. However, for those with debilitating injuries, including those with brain damage or serious disfigurements, it is important to consider the potentially tremendous loss in earning capacity. For instance, if a brilliant plastic surgeon lost the use of his hands following a terrible accident, the amount of lost future earnings could be enormous and add substantial value to the overall claim.
Pain and Suffering
The final component of any South Carolina accident claim requires consideration of past and future pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. Pain and suffering and lost enjoyment of life include not only the emotional trauma caused by an accident and the subsequent recovery, but also allows for compensation for lifetime disability or permanent disfigurement. This category, more than any other, is difficult if not impossible to accurately value without considering the unique and specific circumstances of your case. Especially tragic cases could lead to huge payouts for pain and suffering while others may result in none.
If you have been involved in an auto accident caused by someone else’s careless, negligent or reckless conduct and are looking for help, contact Greenville SC Automobile Accident Lawyer David R. Price, Jr., P.A., today. We are dedicated to protecting our clients’ rights so they get the compensation they deserve and can get back on the road to recovery.
David Price is a Personal Injury, Civil Litigation, Collections, and Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law, and has been practicing law for 12 years. David Price believes in helping those who have been injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.