A key component to any car accident claim is to determine which party was at fault.
In most cases, the defense will respond to a demand letter with accusations of complete or partial responsibility. If the plaintiff is partially responsible, they can still receive compensation for damages in South Carolina.
Damages from a car accident case
Damages refer to the compensatory, economic and non-economic, losses suffered by the plaintiff. Examples include:
- Lost income as a result of current and future missed work
- Costs for medical treatment of injuries, including hospital stays, medications, doctor visits and rehabilitation
- Cost of damage to property
- Pain and suffering caused by physical injuries
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment in life
The value of compensatory damages depends on the severity of the accident and resulting injuries. How much is recoverable depends on the plaintiff’s percentage of fault and the case they build.
When both parties are responsible for an accident, South Carolina applies the comparative negligence rule. This rule requires the jury in a personal injury trial to determine what percentage of the fault belongs to each party and deduct the plaintiff’s percentage from the total recoverable compensation. Because the state follows the modified comparative negligence rule, the plaintiff is only eligible for damages as long as the defendant is at least 51% at fault.
The processes for valuing non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, can be complex. However, the value of your claim depends on the severity of the accident and injuries.