One of the first things our new clients ask us is how much their case is worth. There’s nothing wrong with asking about damages. After all, the main reason you hire a car accident lawyer in Greenville is to get compensation for your injuries. If the other driver caused the crash, they need to be held accountable.
Of course, it wouldn’t be fair for a South Carolina personal injury attorney to guarantee you a certain amount. All sorts of things can happen between the day of your crash and trial.
The defendant may submit evidence showing that you were partially responsible for the accident. Or you may learn that the defendant was drunk at the time of the accident. This sort of information changes the landscape of your personal injury lawsuit.
The best thing to do is call our office and schedule your free, initial consultation with one of our car accident lawyers in Greenville, South Carolina.
Before You Think About Damages, You Need to Prove Negligence
For you to receive any damages, you need to prove that the defendant was at fault. The way you do this in a personal injury case is by proving negligence. Negligence simply means that the other driver didn’t behave the way a reasonable person would given the circumstances.
There are four elements to proving negligence. Your South Carolina personal injury attorney will need to demonstrate all four to qualify for damages. These elements include:
- You must show that the defendant owed you a duty of care – This isn’t hard with a car accident case. All drivers owe a certain duty of care to other motorists. At a minimum, they must obey all traffic laws.
- The defendant breached their duty of care – Your car accident lawyer in Greenville will also have to show that the other driver breached this duty. They can do this by submitting a copy of the police report. Or they may need to have one of the eyewitnesses testify. Essentially you need to point out what the defendant did wrong in order to prove fault.
- Your South Carolina personal injury attorney must prove that you were injured – One thing we are constantly reminding our clients about is the fact that you can’t sue just for the sake of suing. You need to demonstrate that you suffered a physical or financial injury.
- Finally, you need to show that your injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach of duty. This shouldn’t be all that difficult. If you went to the hospital immediately following your car accident, it will be hard to argue that something other than your accident caused your injuries.
If your car accident lawyer in Greenville can prove all four elements of negligence, you’ll have an excellent chance of receiving damages.
What Kind of Damages Can Your Car Accident Lawyer in Greenville Demand?
In your original civil complaint, you’ll have to fill out a section on damages. You won’t be able to come back and increased your demand later. This is why it’s so important that your attorney decide what kind of damages they feel you’re entitled to.
In South Carolina, you’re entitled to all or the following types of damages:
- Medical bills and future medical bills – The defendant will be responsible for Any medical bills you incurred as a result of the accident. This includes any future medical care that you’re going to need. Your doctor can testify to the future care you’ll need. Your South Carolina personal injury attorney will determine the costs of this future care and demand compensation.
- Lost wages – If you missed more than a couple of weeks from work, you could demand reimbursement. Your attorney will submit copies of your payroll records showing what you normally would have earned.
- Lost future income – Some accident victims suffer such serious injuries, they aren’t able to do the same kind of work as they did before the crash. You can demand the difference between what you would have earned compared to what you’ll actually earn going forward. You can demand the difference for every year you would have worked. So, if you were 35 at the time of the crash, your lawyer will demand thirty years’ worth of lost income.
- Property damage – Obviously, you’ll be able to demand the money it cost to repair or replace your vehicle. If your car was totaled, you can demand the fair market value of your vehicle.
- Pain and suffering – These damages often make up the lion’s share of your claim. These damages are meant to compensate you for the mental and physical anguish caused by the crash. The general rule is that you can demand three times whatever your medical bills were.
Keep in mind – you may not be entitled to all these types of damages. It all depends on the facts of your case and the seriousness of your injuries.
Contact a Seasoned South Carolina Personal Injury Attorney Right Away
The steps you take in the days following your South Carolina can make or break your case. For example, when you give a statement to the police officer investigating the crash, it will be documented in his report. If you say anything during this interview that makes it look like you caused the accident, it will come back to haunt you. The same is true about what you say to the insurance adjuster when they call. This is why it’s so important that you talk to a South Carolina personal injury attorney right away. If you wait too long, they may not be able to help you. Call today and schedule your free, initial consultation.
Take the time to sit down with a lawyer who’s handled plenty of cases like your before. They can let you know how strong your case is. They can even give you a ballpark figure of what your case may be worth. Once they assess your damages, they’ll have a much better idea of what kind of money you can demand.
Since the initial consultation is free, you don’t have anything to lose.