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Understanding pain and suffering in South Carolina personal injury cases

“Pain and suffering” is a key component of personal injury claims that address the mental and emotional toll of a serious injury. Under South Carolina law, you are entitled to seek compensation for pain and suffering as part of your personal injury claim.

At Smith Jordan Law, our Greenville personal injury lawyers work hard to recover maximum compensation on your behalf. Contact us online or call (864) 343-2222 to learn how we can help in your case.

pain and suffering personal injury

What is pain and suffering?

Pain and suffering encompass the physical and emotional distress resulting from an injury. This includes the actual physical pain experienced, as well as emotional and psychological impacts like anxiety, depression, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Types of pain and suffering

Physical pain

This refers to the bodily pain and discomfort you endure due to the injury, including chronic pain and ongoing medical treatment.

Emotional distress

Emotional distress covers the mental impact of an injury, such as anxiety, depression, fear, and insomnia.

Loss of enjoyment

If your injury prevents you from enjoying activities you once loved, this loss of enjoyment can be compensated as part of pain and suffering.

Permanent disfigurement or disability

Long-term or permanent changes to your body or capabilities can also be considered under pain and suffering.

Past and Future Pain and Suffering

Past Pain and Suffering

This refers to pain and suffering that happened in the past.  For example, if you broke your leg a week ago, your pain and suffering over the last week is past pain and suffering.

Future Pain and Suffering

This refers to pain and suffering that is reasonably expected to continue.  For instance, if you have surgery and your doctor tells you it will continue to hurt for several months, then the pain you feel in the future is future pain and suffering.

Calculating pain and suffering in South Carolina

Unlike economic damages, which are straightforward to quantify, pain and suffering (non-economic damages) are more subjective. In South Carolina, several methods are commonly used to calculate these damages.

Multiplier method

This method involves multiplying your actual economic damages (medical bills, lost wages, etc.) by a number typically between 1.5 and 5, depending on the severity of your pain and suffering.

Per diem method

The per diem method assigns an hourly or daily rate to your pain and suffering and multiplies it by the number of hours or days you’ve been affected by your injury.

Factors influencing pain and suffering awards

Several factors can influence the amount awarded for pain and suffering.

Severity of injury

More severe injuries typically result in higher pain and suffering awards due to greater physical pain and longer recovery times.

Impact on daily life

If your injury significantly affects your ability to work, engage in hobbies, or perform daily tasks, you may receive a higher compensation.

Duration of pain and suffering

The length of time you experience pain and suffering also plays a role. Chronic conditions or long-term impacts can increase the amount awarded.

Medical evidence

Detailed medical records and expert testimony can help substantiate your pain and suffering claims.

Steps to file a pain and suffering claim

Step 1: Seek medical treatment

Immediately after an injury, seek medical treatment. Comprehensive medical records are crucial for proving pain and suffering.

Step 2: Document your pain and suffering

Keep a detailed journal of your pain levels, emotional distress, and how the injury impacts your daily life. This personal account can support your claim.

Step 3: Consult an experienced attorney

At Smith Jordan Law, we specialize in personal injury cases and understand the nuances of calculating and proving pain and suffering. We will guide you through the legal process and help gather the necessary evidence.

We’ll make sure you file your claim on time

In South Carolina, the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is three years from the date of the injury, as outlined in South Carolina Code of Laws Section 15-3-530. It’s important to file your claim within this timeframe to preserve your right to compensation.

We’ll help you recover full compensation

Understanding pain and suffering in South Carolina personal injury cases is essential for ensuring you receive the full compensation you deserve. We are committed to helping you navigate these complex claims at Smith Jordan Law, providing legal representation and support. If you have suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, contact us today to discuss your case and explore options for compensation for your pain and suffering.

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