When someone is injured through no fault of their own, they can get compensation in a personal injury lawsuit, and the purpose of that compensation is to get the victim as close as possible back to how they were before the accident that never should have happened.

But while injuries can heal and a check can pay back all the medical bills and lost income, that’s not enough to fully compensate victims of injuries. The money spent or lost wasn’t the only consequence of the injury: the victims also experienced a great deal of physical pain and emotional distress lasting for weeks, months, or even longer. And they deserve to be compensated for that too.

Although we can’t turn back the clock and stop that pain and suffering from happening, the team at Joye Law Firm works hard to make sure that our clients are compensated for everything their injuries put them through.

How to Prove Pain and Suffering

It might seem like pain and suffering would be hard to prove, because no one can feel the pain except the injury victim themself. While proving pain and suffering can be difficult for this reason, it’s not impossible, and your lawyer can look to numerous sources as evidence to prove your pain and suffering.

These may include but are not limited to:

  • Testimony from your medical provider(s)
  • Testimony from people close to you (friends, family, coworkers)
  • Prescriptions for any pain relievers that were written for you post-injury
  • Journal entries (keeping a daily diary detailing your pain level, mood, and treatment stages after an injury can be useful evidence)

How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated in South Carolina?

In grief. Blue joyless woman staring aside and hugging knees

Pain and suffering damages are also called “non-economic” damages because there’s no easy way to put an exact dollar value on them like you can for “economic” damages like medical expenses and lost wages. Or as the South Carolina Supreme Court puts it, “Pain and suffering have no market price.”

Victims and their legal teams can request a certain amount, and insurance companies can still offer a certain amount, but ultimately, when personal injury claims go to trial, it will be up to the jury to decide how much is owed for pain and suffering.

There is no simple answer on how much an injury is worth in terms of pain and suffering because it depends greatly on the individual. For example, while a broken finger may not be a significant injury for many people, it could be devastating for a musician.

Aspects that are taken into consideration when calculating pain and suffering damages include:

  • The severity of the pain and how long it took the injury to heal
  • The general health of the victim before and after the injury
  • The age of the victim (especially when considering permanent or disfiguring injuries)
  • The limitations the injury posed or poses on the victim’s daily activities
  • Whether the injury impacted the victim’s ability to participate in and enjoy their hobbies
  • The impact of the injury on the victim’s relationships with friends, family, and coworkers

Our firm looks closely at the ways our clients’ injuries have negatively impacted their lives to help determine a fair amount of compensation for their pain and suffering.

How the Insurance Company Calculates How Much to Offer

While your lawyer and the jury will consider all of the above, it’s also important to recognize how the insurance company will decide how much to offer, which is significantly less personalized.

There are two main methods:

  1. Multiplier Method: This method simply takes the amount of money owed for your economic damages and multiplies it by a number between 1 and 5. So if you had $10,000 in economic damages, and a multiplier of 3, they would offer $30,000 in pain and suffering damages.
  2. Per Diem Method: This method determines an amount to provide per day, multiplied by the number of days it takes you to recover from your injury. So if they decided on $100 per day, and you needed 6 months (180 days) to recover, they would offer $18,000 in pain and suffering damages.

Is There a Cap on Non-Economic Damages in South Carolina?

South Carolina does NOT have a cap on how much an injury victim can receive in damages for their pain and suffering after an injury. The only exception is for medical malpractice claims, which are limited to $350,000 per claimant.

Contact Us for a Free Case Evaluation

Injuries impact accident victims in so many ways that go far beyond the time they spend in the hospital. Our goal is to make sure that injury victims are compensated for all of it. After a car crash or other accident, contact Joye Law Firm to speak to an experienced South Carolina personal injury lawyer about how your injury has affected your life and what you should demand from the at-fault party. Your initial consultation is always free, with no obligation to hire.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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