Generally speaking, when a person brings a personal injury lawsuit in South Carolina, they typically request compensatory and punitive damages.
Compensatory damages are designed to make the claimant whole, and they can be divided into two parts:
a) Past and future out-of-pocket expenses such as medical bills, lost wages, property damage, etc.; and
b) Past and future pain and suffering (mental anguish, inconvenience, humiliation, etc.).
Punitive damages are designed to punish the party at fault, and although the media would like to make you think otherwise, they are rarely awarded in South Carolina. For a plaintiff to recover punitive damages, they must prove (by clear and convincing evidence) their injuries were the result of the Defendant’s wilful, wanton or reckless conduct.
Ultimately, at trial, the twelve members of the jury will decide the amount of damages, if any, awarded to the claimant.
If you or your family member have been the victim of someone else’s negligence, you should speak with legal counsel immediately to determine your/their legal rights.
*DISCLAIMER: This blog post is not legal advice, as each situation is dependent upon the facts and circumstances at hand, and any action should be taken only after consulting with an attorney.