The aftermath of a South Carolina drunk driving accident can leave victims reeling. While the at-fault driver may face criminal DUI charges, that won’t help you pay for the medical bills and other damages you are left with. Victims have the legal right to pursue the recovery of damages following such incidents. If you have been hurt in a car crash with a drunk driver, our car accident lawyers can help you seek fair compensation for your physical and emotional trauma.
Types of Damages You Can Recover in South Carolina
Depending on the losses you have suffered, the at-fault party could owe you compensation for a number of different types of damages. Every accident victim has medical expenses, but many suffer additional losses as well.
Current and Future Medical Bills
Following a serious accident with a drunk driver, you may face costly medical bills. These can start with emergency medical care at the scene of the crash. Medical expenses can continue with ER visits and even life-saving surgeries. The bills may not stop after you are discharged from the hospital. Other examples include long-term rehabilitation, physical therapy, medication, and other follow-up care.
Both current medical care and expected future medical costs are among the damages you can seek to recover in a personal injury lawsuit. These anticipated costs can extend years into the future as you recover from your injuries.
Lost Income and Future Earning Potential
Much like medical costs, victims of drunk driving accidents can also seek damages related to lost wages. If your injuries prevent you from working, you may miss out on paychecks until you can return to work. You may be forced to use sick days or vacation time to recover. You can seek to be reimbursed for this loss in income.
The civil suit can include not only current lost income but also loss in future earning potential. Permanent or semi-permanent injuries may stop you from going back to your current job. If you can return to a position with lower pay, you can seek this difference as part of the damages.
Property Damage and Other Out-of-Pocket Expenses
Physical damage can be costly, too. Namely, you may need to repair or replace your car after an accident with a drunk driver. This may take the route of an insurance claim in South Carolina. Or, it is possible that it is part of any civil action you may take against the at-fault driver. You can also seek damages for other relevant property repair or replacement, plus other out-of-pocket expenses.
Pain and Suffering
Medical bills, lost wages, and property damage can all have a defined dollar amount. It is possible to support these claims with specific bills, receipts, and estimates. Personal injury claims can often extend into areas with no exact price tag, like with pain and suffering. The experienced team at Pracht Injury Lawyers can assess your case and help you name a justifiable number.
This figure can factor for:
- Physical pain caused by new injuries
- Aggravation of old or existing injuries
- Emotional distress and mental suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Length of recovery
- Expected permanence of injuries
Wrongful Death Damages
Unfortunately, some victims of drunk driving accidents succumb to their injuries. Their family members can seek damages related to wrongful death. This includes medical bills and funeral expenses, like burial or cremation costs. It can also include the pain and suffering they experience as a result of their loss.
Like pain and suffering, it can be challenging to assign a dollar value to punitive damages. This only applies when the actions of the drunk driver are egregious. They may have a very high blood alcohol content, or they may have been convicted of a DUI several times in the past. Severe injury or wrongful death may justify punitive damages as well.
Punitive damages account for money awarded beyond compensatory damages. This amount is meant to punish the defendant for their grossly negligent or reckless behavior. Unlike many other states, South Carolina does not place a dollar cap on punitive damages. We were able to help one client move forward with a $250,000 settlement after being hit by a drunk driver.
Why You Need an Anderson, SC, Personal Injury Attorney
It is vital to protect your legal rights after a serious car accident in South Carolina. The period following a crash with a drunk driver can be an overwhelming time. Christopher Pracht and the skilled personal injury attorneys at Pracht Injury Lawyers bring years of experience defending the rights of our clients and helping them achieve the justice they deserve.
Insurance companies often do not have your best interests at heart. They’d much rather settle for the smallest amount of money possible, leaving you with expensive medical bills and years of lost earning potential. Let us build the strongest case for you and help you recover full damages after an accident with a drunk driver in South Carolina.