The Explainer: Damages in South Carolina Personal Injury Actions – General

In South Carolina, when a person is injured by the negligent act of another, the injured person is entitled to be fully compensated for all injuries directly or approximately resulting from any negligent act or omission by the defendant.

In determining the amount of compensation for injuries suffered by the plaintiff as a result of the the defendant’s negligence, it is proper for a jury to consider an award past, present, and future damages for:

(1) loss of income;
(2) loss or impairment of earning capacity;
(3) out-of-pocket expenses;
(4) medical expenses, including physicians, hospitals, medicines, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and transportation connected with medical treatment;
(5) any future damages resulting from permanent injuries;
(6) disfigurement;
(7) loss of family services;
(8) deprivation of a normal life expectancy;
(9) alteration of lifestyle;
(10) psychological trauma;
(11) mental anguish;
(12) mental distress;
(13) apprehension;
(14) anxiety;
(15) emotional injury;
(16) psychological injuries;
(17) depression;
(18) sexual dysfunction;
(19) pain and suffering; and
(20) loss of enjoyment of life.

Plaintiff bears the burden of proving these elements by the preponderance of the evidence.

About Christian Stegmaier
Senior Shareholder

Christian Stegmaier is a shareholder and chair of the Retail & Hospitality Practice Group at Collins & Lacy in Columbia. He is also active in the firm’s professional liability and appellate practices. Stegmaier welcomes your questions at (803) 255-0454 or