If you were injured in a truck accident in South Carolina and someone else was to blame, you may have the right to demand compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. The purpose of this compensation is to offset the financial, physical, and emotional toll that the accident has on your life.
However, recovering the money you spent on medical bills and the income you lost from time away from work may not be enough to make up for the total impact of the accident. Many truck accidents have disruptive consequences that go far beyond financial losses. If you endured physical pain, emotional distress, post-traumatic stress, or other types of mental suffering, your life may be turned upside down. You may seek compensation for those psychological injuries as well.
An experienced personal injury lawyer at Joye Law Firm can help you evaluate the types of compensation that it is appropriate to seek after an accident caused by another driver. Call us today at (888) 324-3100 or contact us online to learn more in a free initial consultation.
Can You Sue for Pain and Suffering After a Truck Accident?
In many cases, you may seek compensation for pain and suffering after a truck accident in South Carolina. At Joye Law Firm, our experienced attorneys work to demand full and fair compensation on behalf of our clients. That includes pursuing compensation for each client’s pain and suffering. We will seek evidence to support your claim for pain and suffering damages, such as:
- Testimony from friends, family, co-workers, and others close to you who have first-hand knowledge of how your injuries have affected your life
- Testimony from witnesses, such as the doctors and other medical providers who treated your accident-related injuries
- Medical records and proof of any prescriptions you received for pain relief, treatment of depression or anxiety, or other drugs you needed post-injury
- Entries from your daily diary of your post-accident pain levels, overall mood, and treatment progress, which we advise all clients to create
Keep in mind that under South Carolina’s comparative negligence doctrine, the amount of compensation you can receive from a personal injury lawsuit will be reduced proportionately by the amount of fault you are determined to bear for the underlying accident.
For example, if you suffered $100,000 in losses in an accident for which you were 25% at fault, you could receive $75,000 in compensation. If a judge or jury decides you were more than 50 percent at fault, you could be barred from recovering compensation.
Types of Damages in a South Carolina Truck Crash
The term “damages” refers to the amount of money you may be awarded in a personal injury lawsuit to compensate you for the losses you suffered due to the underlying accident. To understand how pain and suffering damages fit into a truck accident case, it’s helpful to know the three main types of damages allowed in personal injury cases in South Carolina. They are:
- Economic damages – Economic damages are awarded for specific monetary losses that have exact dollar amounts. This includes compensation for medical bills, incidental expenses, and lost wages.
- Non-economic damages – Non-economic damages are awarded for intangible losses that do not have an exact monetary value such as pain and suffering.
- Punitive damages – Punitive damages are intended to punish wrongdoers and discourage others from behaving similarly in the future. These damages are uncommon. Courts typically award them only in cases where the at-fault party acted with intentional malice or extreme recklessness.
Some states place caps on the amount of money an injured person can recover in compensation for pain and suffering. South Carolina only places a limit on pain and suffering damages in medical malpractice lawsuits. If a person has a successful medical malpractice case in South Carolina, he or she may be eligible for a maximum of $350,000 for pain and suffering Compensation.
Damages That You Can Recover After a Truck Accident
The amount of damages available after a South Carolina truck accident depends on multiple factors including the seriousness of the injuries, the degree of fault, and the insurance policies available to provide compensation.
The way pain and suffering damages are calculated can vary significantly from case to case.
Generally speaking, there are two ways insurance companies put a dollar value on pain and suffering:
- Multiplier method – In the multiplier method, non-financial damages are determined by multiplying the financial losses (medical bills, lost income, and other calculable expenses) by a number between one and five, depending on the severity of the pain and suffering the victim experienced.
- Per diem method – In this method, the accident victim is given a certain amount of compensation for each day they are expected to experience pain and suffering.
In most cases, victims and their attorneys will send demand letters to the insurance companies requesting a certain amount of compensation for pain and suffering. Then, the company or companies will make a counter-offer. If the parties cannot agree on a settlement amount, the case can go to trial, where a judge or jury will determine how much to award for pain and suffering.
When personal injury lawyers, insurance adjusters, and juries calculate pain and suffering damages, they typically consider the following factors:
- The nature and severity of the injury and subsequent pain
- How long it took for the pain to subside
- The age and overall health of the victim before and after the accident
- Whether the injury or pain caused the victim any limitations
- Whether the injury or pain prevented the victim from participating in or enjoying their daily life, usual activities, or hobbies
- How the injury or pain affected the victim’s relationships with others
- Any other ways the injury or pain impacted the victim’s life
In addition to pain and suffering damages, you may be entitled to compensation for the following losses:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Incidental, out-of-pocket costs
- Lost wages from missed time at work
- Losses in future earning potential
- Repair or replacement costs for vehicle damage
Truck Accident Pain and Suffering Settlement Examples
Here are just a few of the truck accident case results we have secured for deserving South Carolina injury victims, many of which included pain and suffering damages:
- A $12 million trial verdict for a father and infant son killed in an 18-wheeler crash
- A $6 million trial verdict for a work-related truck accident case
- Two $3.86 million settlements for the families of two South Carolina men who were killed in a single tractor-trailer accident
- A $2.3 million settlement for a moped rider who was struck by an 18-wheeler
- A $1.025 million settlement for another tractor-trailer accident case
- A $975,000 settlement for a severe back injury caused by a truck accident
- A $375,000 settlement for a truck driver who suffered a brain injury as the result of a tractor-trailer accident
Every case has factors that make it unique. Our past results are not predictive of the outcome of future cases. But they do show our experience handling complicated truck accident cases and the effort we make on behalf of our clients to seek a positive outcome.
Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer at Joye Law Firm Today
At Joye Law Firm, our mission is to help you seek full compensation for your accident-related losses, including for the pain and suffering you have endured. Call our firm today at (888) 324-3100 or contact us online for a free initial consultation with a South Carolina truck accident lawyer.