As part of his or her car accident lawsuit, an injured motorist must prove three propositions related to his or her injuries: (1) that he or she did in fact suffer injuries in the car accident; (2) these injuries were caused by the negligent actions of the other driver (or another third party); and (3) the extent of these injuries is both quantifiable and compensable by a monetary damages award. The first two propositions are established by evidence and testimony of eyewitnesses and/or expert witnesses. The last proposition can be proven in a variety of ways, depending on the type of damages involved:
- Economic damages such as lost wages and medical bills are proven through objective documents. The injury victim’s medical bills, pay stubs, and attendance records will be useful in establishing the expenses and losses he or she suffered as a direct result of the accident. This documentation can also be used to estimate the amount of future losses the victim may be expected to incur (such as the future cost of prescription medication or additional time the victim will need to miss from work).
- Noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering are more subjective in nature and hence more difficult to quantify. An experienced South Carolina car accident lawyer will generally turn to family and friends to help describe the quality of life the victim enjoyed before the crash and the quality of life he or she has now following the accident.
It is important to remember that proving the extent of injuries is only part of the puzzle: the injury victim must also show that these injuries are causally connected to the defendant’s negligent or reckless conduct.