The Explainer: Damages in South Carolina Personal Injury Actions – Medical Bills

In South Carolina personal injury actions, the general rule is that the plaintiff may recover for the necessary and reasonable expenses caused by the injury, such as amounts necessarily incurred for medicine, medical services, hospital expense and care, and nursing.
A person who suffers personal injuries because of the negligence of another is entitled to recover the reasonable value of medical care and expenses incurred for the treatment of the injuries to the time of trial, as well as the cost of those reasonably certain to be incurred in the future.
Accordingly, a plaintiff may recover amounts incurred for past and future medical care, including hospital, physician, and nursing care costs; medicine; and other out-of-pocket and anticipated expenses, such as vocational, physical and other rehabilitation efforts.
Recovery for medical expenses is controlled by what the services rendered were reasonably worth and not by what was actually paid or contracted to be paid.

Under South Carolina law, a plaintiff can only recover such sums as the jury determines from the evidence to be both reasonable and necessary. While the amount actually charged and incurred may be considered by a jury, a jury is not bound by that amount. It must find only such sum as is reasonable and necessary.

To recover for future medical expenses, the plaintiff must prove such expenses are reasonably certain to result in the future from the injury giving rise to the lawsuit.

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