One question car accident victims have is, how much can I sue for? Don’t be embarrassed—it’s a critical consideration in your case, and you need to know.
In South Carolina car accident cases, you can actually sue for however much you want, with some exceptions I touch on below—but that doesn’t mean it’s the right amount or that you’ll get it. What you really need to know is how much your case is worth. In other words, what’s the settlement value for a car accident case?
I’ll give you the answer to that based on my experience as a Spartanburg car accident attorney. Because it's a really complicated question, feel free to call me for free info about your case, or to to answer any other questions. Call toll free at 888-230-1841.
“Case value” is based on some critical factors—but how much you should realistically expect usually comes from one major consideration you probably didn’t think about. But first, let's talk about cases where the law limits what you can sue for.
When South Carolina Law Limits What You Can Sue For- and What You Can Do About It
Sadly, the South Carolina legislature adds insult to some serious car accident cases by limiting how much victims can financially recover. The primary beneficiaries of this gift, who get a discount on their accountabliity are:
The limit is $300,000 per victim, and no more than $600,000 combined for every victim. So if a DOT truck runs a red light, smashing into a family of four, causing the family to incur $2 million in medical bills, the most any one of them can get is $300,000, and the total settlement for the entire crash will be a maximum of $600,000.
It gets worse. While a case with severe injuries or even wrongful death seems like a "slam dunk," it's just not. Many victims are shocked to discover even though the South Carolina government insurance fund has less to lose, they fight even harder to keep it. And you may have an option for more settlement money from your own insurance policy- if you convince the government to pay its insurance limit. That makes hiring an experienced South Carolina car accident attorney even more important.
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Car Accident Settlement Factors
How much would a jury verdict likely be if your case went to trial? Most cases do settle—many without even filing a lawsuit. But all insurance companies should value cases based on what a jury would likely order to be paid to the victim. I say “should” because that doesn’t mean the insurance company will do what’s right, or even sensible. That’s why you’ve got to be prepared to file a lawsuit if the insurance company refuses to settle.
Most important, you’ve got to prove the value of the case. That’s where an experienced car accident attorney can really help. In fact, it’s a key reason to hire a car accident attorney, especially if you’re seriously hurt.
There are a legion of factors involved in arriving at a proper settlement amount. The worse you’re hurt, the harder it is, because medical records pile up—yielding hundreds or even thousands of pages of complex evidence. You’ve got to be able to extract the most important nuggets from that minefield of documents and present them to prove that evidence is admissible in court.
Pain And Suffering As A Settlement Factor
As for “pain and suffering,” remember everyone’s skeptical of it. You’ve got to know how to make it real. I consider it the biggest part of each client’s case. It’s so important and so challenging to justify that I don’t call it “pain and suffering” because I consider those words poison to juries.
I call it human loss. Many factors go into making a convincing case for human loss. Because everyone’s different, this aspect of your case is truly unique to you. I work hard to get to know you so we can express the unique harm the car accident imposed on your life. I’ve found when I make my clients look like people, the insurance company realizes what they go through is real. I work hard to prove it creatively. It’s my most important job as a car accident attorney.
Another factor that’s got to be handled right is proving your right to future medical care if you need it. Again, it’s complicated, but a skilled attorney can make sure you’re protected.
Wondering how we put all this together? No problem. Here’s our process to handle your case.
Ready to talk to a lawyer about your situation? Call us at 864-582-0416 or fill out a contact form with your information.
And now for one last thing that you might not have considered.
A Major Consideration That Can Determine How Much of a Settlement You Actually Get
A car accident case can often come down to how much insurance is available to pay a settlement. Auto insurance coverage is a complex process where you’re confronted with experienced insurance representatives trained to cheat you out of a proper settlement.
Sadly, many at-fault drivers don’t have enough liability insurance to cover your injuries. If you don’t have the right coverage, the only other place to get a verdict paid is from the at-fault driver’s personal assets.
Most folks don’t have enough assets to pay a big verdict. Even if they do, South Carolina law gives exemptions, including $50,000 for their home. And the at-fault driver could file for bankruptcy, which would bring our lawsuit to a halt until the bankruptcy case is over unless we agreed to just pursue insurance.
And you might not want to go after the at-fault driver personally anyway. Some folks just decide to limit their recovery to insurance.
Did you catch where I said if you don’t have the right coverage? If you’ve got the right coverage, you might be able to use your own policy to help pay. It’s called underinsurance, or UIM. That’s why you need a skilled car accident attorney to review your policy to determine if you have that option.
Even if you do have UIM, you still need professional legal help. To the shock and dismay of many victims who are forced to use UIM, your own insurance company turns against you.
Don’t Get Overwhelmed—Get Professional Help From A Spartanburg Law Firm
I’m not too proud. I know no one wants to go to an attorney any more than they want to go to the dentist. But sometimes you just need professional help, and this the only chance you’ll have to do your case right.
As a Spartanburg, South Carolina car accident attorney, I work hard to make your case easy on you. I welcome you to check out what other folks say about me in unscripted, unedited, and unpaid reviews on an attorney review website and Google+.
As a service to folks like you, I’ve written a FREE BOOK on crash cases, which you can download.
As always, you can meet with us for free, and I promise it won’t be a root canal.