Our South Carolina Auto Accident Attorneys Explain
Car accidents injure an estimated two million U.S. drivers each year. Some accident survivors are fortunate and do not suffer serious injuries from the collision. However, there are plenty of other instances where accidents lead to life-altering injuries or deaths. Many car accident cases settle before going to trial. If you are pursuing a car accident settlement, the potential amount you may recover depends on circumstances unique to your case.
Serious injuries warrant a larger settlement. This is because accident survivors with serious injuries are generally not able to return to their former occupations, or may be unable to work ever again. Accident survivors with serious injuries are also far more likely to suffer mental anguish and psychological problems (PTSD). Below, our South Carolina auto accident attorneys explain how injuries and other factors can affect an accident settlement.
How Do Injuries Affect a Car Accident Settlement in South Carolina?
The severity of an injury can affect the amount recovered from a car accident settlement. Certain types of catastrophic injuries can cause millions of dollars in economic and non-economic damages over a lifetime. The age of the plaintiff can also factor into the amount recovered.
For instance, figures published by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) estimate that a 25-year-old with a complete C1-C4 injury can incur more than $5 million in basic living expenses over the course of his or her lifetime. This type of spinal cord injury results in tetraplegia, a loss of function below the neck.
The figures published by the NSCISC are not a complete snapshot of damages that are possible following a C1-C4 spinal cord injury. It would also be important to consider the person’s prior employment, level of education and family situation prior to the accident.
Serious injuries (like a spinal cord injury) can lead to expenses from:
- Hospital bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Home modifications
- Vehicle modifications
- In-home medical care
The expenses above may be included when determining the value of a settlement or jury verdict. Noneconomic damages caused by pain and suffering can also factor into an accident injury claim.
Other types of more common injuries can lead to major life disruptions. Car accidents are very likely to cause concussions. Some concussions may cause health issues for weeks, months or even years after an accident.
Psychological disorders, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), could also make it difficult to return to work or pursue an occupation or education. Even if your injury is not as serious as a spinal cord injury, you may be able to obtain a settlement that compensates your damages.
Car Accident Settlements and Wrongful Death
Car accidents kill more than 35,000 U.S. drivers each year. Some of these accidents occur due to the negligent or reckless actions of other drivers. Surviving family members may be able to pursue a wrongful death settlement or jury verdict against the at-fault party.
Much like a car accident case involving injuries, it may be possible to obtain compensatory damages. If you lost a loved one in an accident, then you may be able to recover damages for:
- Funeral expenses
- Hospital bills
- Noneconomic damages (loss of companionship, loss of guidance, pain and suffering)
- Lost income
- Loss of gifts or benefits
Factors that could affect the settlement amount include the decedent’s former occupation, work history, age at time of death, education and potential earning capacity and even services provided at home.
Contact Our South Carolina Auto Accident Attorneys for More Information
An experienced South Carolina auto accident attorney may hire medical experts to assess damages from an accident involving deaths or serious injuries. Our firm can answer questions you have about pursuing a settlement.
Many car accident cases settle. However, there are scenarios where it may be appropriate to take your case before a jury trial. The South Carolina car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson Jr. can answer any questions you have about taking your case to trial.
We offer free consultations and take cases on a contingency fee basis. To schedule a free consultation with our Rock Hill personal injury law firm, call (803) 324-7200 or use the contact form on our site.