If you or a loved one got hurt in an accident that was someone else’s fault, you are entitled to compensation, also known as “damages”. Accident injury claims are appropriate in a number of different scenarios; some of the most common being car accidents, commercial truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, medical errors/malpractice, workplace accidents, and slip and fall accidents that happen on the premises of another party.
You can file a claim for damages against all parties that contributed to your losses. In some cases, this could be only a single person or entity such as the driver of a vehicle that crashed into you. In other cases, however, there could be multiple parties involved; for example, a commercial truck driver might have been the one who crashed into you, but their employer might have also played a role by giving them unrealistic deadlines that incentivized the driver to break the law and/or violate federal trucking regulations.
There are a number of factors that go into determining what types of compensation you might be entitled to for your injuries and which parties you should file a claim against. This is why it is always a good idea to at least speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer after an accident, so you fully understand your legal rights and options.
Types of Compensation Available in Accident Injury Cases
There are two general types of compensatory damages that you can pursue in an accident injury claim:
These are direct economic losses that apply specifically to the injured person and can be linked directly to the accident:
- Medical Costs: All expenses associated with treating your injury and your subsequent recovery; such as the cost of the ambulance, emergency room treatment, hospitalization, surgeries and other procedures, follow-up medical appointments, physical therapy and other types of rehabilitation, and in the case of a permanent and debilitating injury, the cost of ongoing medical care.
- Lost Earnings: Getting injured in an accident often requires you to miss some time from work. You should be reimbursed for all of your lost wages for the time in which you are unable to work because of your injury. In addition, if you suffered a permanent injury that prevents you from going back to your previous job and/or participating in any other type of gainful activity, you should be reimbursed for lost earning capacity.
- Property Damage: Damage to your vehicle or any other property that occurred because of the accident. This might include necessary repairs or the replacement of a vehicle that is totaled, as well as the cost of towing a damaged vehicle and getting a rental car while you were waiting to get your vehicle back.
These are intangible losses that generally happen to all accident victims that suffer moderate to severe injuries. Examples include:
- Pain-and-Suffering: During the recovery process, you will undoubtedly experience numerous days in which the pain of the injury seems unbearable. The legal system allows you to seek damages for the pain and suffering you have to endure.
- Emotional Distress: Physical pain is not the only type of pain that is common after getting injured in an accident. There is also the anxiety, sleepless nights, and depression that is often associated with an injury like this. You should be able to recover compensation for this as well.
- Diminished Quality of Life: If the crash leaves you unable to participate in activities you once enjoyed, you can seek compensation for the decrease of quality of life that you have experienced.
- Disfigurement and Permanent Injury: If you suffer disfigurement, loss of limbs, loss of senses, permanent brain damage, and other permanent changes to your body, you can seek compensation for the ways in which these changes impact your life.
There is another category of damages that is not technically considered compensation, but it is still a monetary award that accident injury victims sometimes receive. Also known as “exemplary damages”, punitive damages are awarded in more limited cases in which the actions of the party (or parties) responsible for the accident were willful, malicious, fraudulent, or grossly negligent. The intent of this award is to punish the wrongdoer and to help serve as a deterrent against similarly egregious actions in the future.
Injured in an Accident in South Carolina? Speak with an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one suffered injury in an accident that was caused by another party, you are entitled to various forms of compensation, depending on the specifics of your case. But do not expect those responsible to willingly reimburse you in full for your losses, in fact, they will do everything possible to minimize the amount of damages they have to pay you. This is why it is so important to have strong legal counsel by your side fighting hard for the full and fair compensation you deserve.
If your accident occurred in South Carolina, contact Peake and Fowler for assistance. Call our office today at 803-788-4370 or message us online for a free, no obligation consultation and case assessment. We look forward to serving you!