Recovering from an injury can be stressful and costly. Medical bills, loss of income, and mental anguish are common among those recuperating from an accident.

If you or a family member experienced injury or illness caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury settlement.

In South Carolina, victims can recover economic, non-economic, and punitive damages for their losses. South Carolina caps non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases, and also has a cap on punitive damages in all personal injury cases.

To determine the value of your claim, ensure your legal rights are protected, and maximize your settlement, call the South Carolina personal injury lawyers at Joye Law Firm.

Economic Damages for Personal Injury Settlements

Economic damages, sometimes referred to as compensatory damages or actual damages, are compensation for tangible losses that have a definitive monetary value. The value of these compensatory damages is factual and easy to calculate. Examples of economic damages include medical expenses, loss of income, property damage, or rehabilitation costs.

A victim may also receive compensation for future medical expenses. Independent expert testimonies are typically required to prove that future medical care is needed. When injury victims suffer disabling injuries, expert testimony can also be used to determine how much victims are owed for lost future income when they are no longer able to work. Victims can also receive compensation for reduced future income, if they can no longer work as many hours or can no longer do the same type of work as before the accident because of their injuries.

There is no cap on economic damages in personal injury cases, provided the plaintiff can present evidence of their expenses. Medical records, medical bills, expense receipts, and pay stubs can support the value of your personal injury claim. A skilled personal injury attorney can also help you keep track of these expenses and calculate estimated future expenses.

Non-Economic Damages for Personal Injury Settlements

There is no cap on non-economic damages in personal injury cases in South Carolina, except for in medical malpractice cases. Examples of non-economic damages can include physical pain, emotional distress, reputation loss, and reduced quality of life. Non-economic damages are often referred to as “pain and suffering” in personal injury cases.

Depending on the nature of a medical malpractice lawsuit, the compensation cap can vary. For medical malpractice claims against a single healthcare provider or institution, the compensation for non-economic damages is limited to $564,168 for each claimant, a 3.4% increase from 2023. In medical malpractice lawsuits against more than one healthcare provider, the compensation for non-economic damages is limited to $564,168 from each liable institution. The limit for compensation combining all institutions must not exceed $1,692,503.

Punitive Damages for Personal Injury Settlements

While economic and non-economic damages are intended to compensate the victim for their losses, punitive damages act as a deterrent and a punishment for the defendant when they are guilty of extreme negligence. South Carolina allows victims to sue for punitive damages if they:

  • Have recovered compensatory (economic or non-economic) damages
  • Can prove their harm was the result of the defendant’s willful, malicious, or reckless actions

South Carolina caps punitive damages in personal injury settlements. These damages are limited to three times the value of compensatory damages or $699,761, whichever is higher.

Damage Caps Can Change Annually

At the end of the fiscal year, South Carolina’s damage caps may be adjusted according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) fluctuations. The CPI measures the change in prices of goods and services over time.

The Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office Board of Economic Advisors consults the CPI annually to determine whether the limits should increase or decrease.

South Carolina’s Modified Comparative Negligence Law

South Carolina recognizes a modified comparative negligence law for personal injury verdicts and settlements. Under this law, the degree of fault or legal liability can reduce the amount of compensation you receive in a jury trial after an injury when you may have been partially at fault.

If you are more than 50% at fault, you cannot receive compensation.

Get Maximum Compensation with an Experienced Legal Team

At Joye Law Firm, our team has the legal experience, litigation knowledge, and professional connections to deliver outstanding legal representation.

We always strive to earn maximum compensation for our clients. Some of our successful verdicts and settlements include:

  • $6 million payout in a work-related trucking accident
  • $4.3 million in a case involving a tractor-trailer
  • $2.7 million in an injury settlement involving a collapsing stairwell
  • $475,000 settlement in a work injury case
  • $450,000 in compensation after a child was seriously injured in a retail store

Contact Joye Law Firm today for a free, no-obligation consultation if you or someone you love has been injured due to someone else’s negligence. If we take on your case, you can rest assured that you won’t owe us a penny unless we win your case, because we take all cases on a contingency fee basis. Since our doors first opened in 1968, we have focused on a client-centric approach, and every client benefits from over 300 years of combined legal experience between our attorneys. We can help you assess the value of your claim and fight to recover the maximum compensation. Don’t fight the insurance companies alone, Just Call Joye at 888-324-3100.

Originally published February 14, 2022. Revised March 11, 2024.

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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