No. Short answer why: you're a person, not a math equation. Calculators calculate a number based on the assumption what's being plugged in is always the same. But cases, at least to me, aren't just cases. Cases are about people. Everyone is unique. 

So many factors go into evaluating a settlement. Most of them vary with each case, making it virtually impossible to say every type of case is worth the same amount.

So, let me help you gain a better understanding of the purpose of these settlements and the factors that go into figuring out what a settlement is worth.

You can always get your questions answered in a free, no-pressure strategy session with me, a Spartanburg, SC personal injury attorney. Call toll-free at 888-230-1841 or fill out a Get Help Now form

Understanding Personal Injury Settlements in South Carolina

Personal injury settlements compensate victims for injuries suffered as a result of someone else's fault. Examples of personal injury claims include car accidents, motorcycle accidents, 18 wheeler accidents, slip and falls, trip and falls, plus injuries caused by nursing home or assisted facility neglect of a loved one, or medical malpractice.

In the vast majority of cases, an insurance company makes the settlement payment. Insurance companies do not look out for victims. They look out for themselves by keeping settlement payments as cheap as possible. The easiest way to do that is to prey on an inexperienced, injured person who doesn't know any better. The insurance company adjuster’s chief weapons are delay, denial, and lowball offers of quick cash to cheat deserving victims.

The one who wants you to use a “settlement calculator” the most may well be the insurance company. Adjusters often try to tell people things like, “I've handled thousands of these rear end crashes over my career, and they are only worth 1 1/2 times your medical bills.” You just can't trust that because it comes from a skilled professional who's trained to cheat you out of money. If you're seriously hurt, the best way to protect your rights and financial future is to hire an experienced professional of your own.

Don't be doubly victimized by the insurance company. Call me toll-free at  888-230-1841 or fill out a Get Help Now form.

Why Can't I Use a Calculator to Find out My South Carolina Settlement Amount?

Almost every factor that contributes to the value of a personal injury settlement in South Carolina requires professional experience to evaluate properly. Let me show you factors that figure into a settlement that just aren't as clear as they seem:

  1. Liability or fault. In some cases, your own fault has to be taken into consideration. This is especially true in slip or trip and fall cases. But just because an injury is partially your fault doesn't prevent you from getting a settlement. Naturally, the adjuster will try to make you feel otherwise. You've got to know the law and the facts to help you overcome that. In some car accident cases, the investigating officer might name you at fault. But the officer usually wasn't there when the collision occurred. Sometimes, you're not there or able to tell your side of the story because you've been rushed to the hospital or are left unconscious. Even that evidence can be overcome, as I've done it before.
  2. Pain and suffering, or human loss. It just seems like so many lawyers reduce a lot of accident-related side effects into merely “pain and suffering.” But it's so much more than that. That's why I call it human loss.” You've got to be able to take into consideration: 
    • Past, present, and future human loss. All injuries generally bring with them stages of healing where pain and disability are at their worst, gradually get better, and then reach the point where they’re as good as they're going to get. You can't plug that into a calculator. You're better off with a professional storyteller- an experienced South Carolina personal injury attorney- who can spend time with you to develop the story of your case and how it affected you over time, then tell that story effectively to an insurance company, defense lawyer, or even a jury to get a proper settlement.
    • Loss of enjoyment of life. There's no button on a calculator for “things you missed out on in life,” like vacations, time with children and loved ones, pursuing hobbies, or anything else that makes you happy.
    • Physical disability. Similar injuries to different people affect each person differently. That's why you need your story told by a skilled storyteller, which a talented lawyer can be.
    • Mental disability. If you've got a brain injury, you simply can't afford not to have an experienced South Carolina personal injury lawyer. Brain injuries are hard to understand. Adjusters can be resistant to accepting them as serious injuries, especially concussions. An experienced accident injury lawyer will know how to present medical evidence, including possibly a questionnaire from your doctor, to convince the adjuster you've got a serious injury and that you should be compensated fairly.
    • Psychological trauma like anguish, embarrassment, anxiety, and depression. If these are part of your case, you're going to need an experienced South Carolina accident attorney to help make sure the insurance company knows your trauma is real. These cases are best if no one has to take your word for it because a medical professional backs up your claim.  
    • Permanent injury. No calculator can present you with the value of an injury that never goes away. But a skilled South Carolina accident injury attorney can help evaluate a proper settlement for one based on experience and knowledge.
  3. Punitive damages. In South Carolina, punitive damages are hard to get. The classic case justifying punitive damages is a car accident caused by a drunk driver. However, even if punitive damages are possible, there's no calculator to state their value. Don't expect an adjuster to take your punitive damages case seriously unless you've got a seasoned South Carolina personal injury attorney who knows how to establish the value of punitive damages and get a settlement to reflect it.

Here's What You Really Can Use the Settlement Calculator for in Your South Carolina Accident Injury Case

I tell all my people the truth, so part of that here is letting you know what you really can use a calculator for in your injury case:

  1. Adding up medical bills. 
  2. Calculating lost income from work as a result of your injuries. To do that, you need two things: (1) doctor notes writing you out of work and (2) a statement from your employer reflecting how much time and money you lost. To help make it easy, our clients get a statement from us to give their employers to fill out and return to us.
  3. Calculating the present value of future medical care. Just because you can do this doesn't mean it's a good idea for you for several reasons. First, you need to get a list detailing exactly what future care you need. Second, you need to make sure the doctor can verify you need the treatment using “magic words” that meet legal requirements for this evidence to be admissible. Third, you need to get the cost of that treatment. Here's a shocker about that: your doctor will have no idea. You've got to get it from staff or look at hiring a life care planner. Finally, you've got to know exactly how to properly calculate present value, which can be hard for lawyers. Sometimes, we have to hire experts like economists to help us do that.

How Doing One Thing You Might Not Want to Can Make Your Life Easier and Better

I've been helping South Carolina accident victims from my Spartanburg office for decades. I know you don't want to call a lawyer, and I know you probably aren't the suing type. But when you get hurt because someone else wasn't careful, it shouldn't be you who bears all the costs and the consequences.

The insurance company will certainly not calculate you being a nice person into their settlement. Count on them using that to take advantage of you.

Don't let that happen. Just call me toll-free at 888-230-1841 for a FREE, NO PRESSURE strategy session we work to make easy on you. If you don't need a lawyer, I'll tell you. If you do, I'll tell you why and show you how we work together as a team to get you a proper settlement.
Rob Usry
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Rob is a Spartanburg personal injury lawyer. Rob also practices as a workers' compensation attorney.