If you’ve been involved in a South Carolina auto accident, you are likely facing a tremendous amount of expense and stress. You will have medical expenses, property damage, lost wages from taking time off of work to recover, and potentially a long-term disability that may prevent you from returning to work at all. You may have loved ones who were also injured in the accident, which will involve further expenses and worry. In the worst accidents, you may have lost a loved one, their love and companionship, their financial or household contributions, and even have to pay funeral and burial costs.
Such injuries and losses can come with substantial mental and emotional health concerns that also require treatment and care. You may need counseling and medication for your physical and emotional pain and anxiety. This is why you need to get the maximum amount of compensation that is owed to you.
Some of these damages will be easier to prove than others. You can produce medical records and bills, your physician’s work restrictions, check stubs and/or a statement from your employer concerning your lost wages, estimates of your property damage, and records and bills from your mental health treatment, among other forms of evidence. Yet, when it comes to your pain and suffering, your psychological trauma, and the effects of losing a loved one, it is hard to put a monetary value on such damages. This is where the attorneys at the Elrod Pope Law Firm can come to your aid with the experience and skills you require to ensure that you get the maximum value of your claim. Some losses can never be adequately compensated by money, but that doesn’t mean that you aren’t entitled to compensation for these losses.
The Difference Between Economic and Non-Economic Damages
Your South Carolina auto accident is likely to leave you with substantial economic and non-economic damages. The economic damages are those that are easiest to validate with evidence of actual financial expenses and losses. This will include all of your current and future medical expenses associated with the accident, your lost wages and future earning potential, your property damage, and all other damages that can proven with physical evidence. The non-economic damages present a greater challenge because there is no hard evidence of their value. These are the damages associated with your pain and suffering, your psychological trauma, your loss of companionship and quality of life, and other such non-financial losses. These cannot be proven at a specific value based on bills or estimates, but they can be given a financial compensation value, typically based on the severity of the damage and past cases with similar non-economic damages. Your attorney will be best able to evaluate the value of such damages from a compassionate, experienced, and objective perspective.
How the Elrod Pope Law Firm Evaluates Your Non-Economic Damages
It is a common misconception to think that your non-economic damages will be based on a special formula, such as multiplying your economic damages by two. While it is true that your non-economic damages could be valued based on a multiplier calculation, the multiplier could vary widely. There is also the per diem (per day) method of calculating damages like pain and suffering, which gives you a particular amount of compensation for every day of your suffering. Yet, there is much more to your non-economic damages than physical pain and suffering. There is also the lost quality of life, the loss of consortium or companionship of a lost loved one, psychological trauma, and the effects of disfigurement that may be involved in your case. The greater your losses and the greater your suffering, the greater your compensation should be.
The Elrod Pope Law Firm is going to negotiate with the appropriate auto insurance company to reach a fair settlement agreement, based on these various non-economic factors in addition to the actual economic damages. With our years of experience and history with South Carolina auto accident claims, we’ll know how to fight for the compensation that you need and deserve. As an example, we might look at a recent case that involved similar injuries, and reach a non-economic compensation value based on this. If you sustained multiple broken bones, then we’ll look at other cases with multiple broken bones. We might also look at previous claims against the same auto insurance company to find out what that specific company has paid to other claimants in the past with similar damages.
We will also take into account what juries have decided in past auto accident claims like yours. This will let us know how much a jury would be likely to award you if the case goes to trial, and will also help us to determine when and whether a trial is better than a settlement offer. In most cases, your auto accident claim is not going to go to trial. It benefits you and the auto insurance company to avoid trial, because trials are time consuming and costly for everyone. So, this is a motivation on both sides to settle the claim outside of court.
Call the Elrod Pope Law Firm to Learn More About the Value of Your Claim
If you are suffering from injuries and losses associated with a South Carolina auto accident, contact the Elrod Pope Law Firm to learn more about how we can determine the value of your claim and get the compensation that you deserve.
Thomas E. Pope is a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Medical Malpractice Attorney who practices in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, and Lancaster, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 31 years now. Thomas E. Pope believes in protecting the injured. Learn more about his experience here.