Greenville Personal Injury & Car Accident Lawyer

What Is the Difference Between Direct and Indirect Damages?

According to Public Broadcasting Service, motor vehicle collisions cost the country more than $800 billion per year. In 2010, for example, car accidents caused $277 billion in economic damages and $594 billion in non-economic damages.

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It is common for the non-economic damages and indirect costs of a crash to surpass the direct costs, as this statistic highlights. Calculating and securing indirect damages can be challenging, though, and accident victims have enough to worry about while they are recovering from serious injuries.

If you were injured in a car accident that was not your fault, a Greenville personal injury lawyer will help you calculate all potential damages and negotiate for a fair settlement. Contact Churdar Law Firm to discuss your case and determine the best way to proceed.

Doug Churdar has been practicing law in the state of South Carolina for 25 years. Call 864-233-0203 to schedule a case evaluation with a car accident attorney.

What Is the Difference Between Direct and Indirect Damages?

Direct damages are those that accident victims incur immediately as the result of the collision. They might include ambulance transport, hospital bills, property loss, and rehabilitation costs.

Indirect damages are those that do not occur as the direct result of the accident but, rather, because of other damages that the victim incurred. For example, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and loss of household productivity are just a few examples of indirect damages. These arise as the result of serious injuries sustained in the accident, not as the result of the accident itself.

In a personal injury claim, both direct and indirect costs can fall under compensatory damages. Also known as actual damages, compensatory damages are those that the court awards to cover real costs associated with the damages incurred, like medical bills and lost wages.

The court may also award general damages, which are those that do not necessarily have a precise dollar amount; however, they still compensate the victim in some way. Ultimately, general damages are designed to cover the emotional impact of the accident. These kinds of damages might include:

  • Pain and suffering;
  • The inability to perform certain functions;
  • Loss of consortium; and
  • Emotional distress.

What Are Punitive Damages?

Pursuant to South Carolina Code Section 15-32-520, the court may also award punitive damages in some cases. These damages do not actually compensate the victim for costs incurred. Rather, they are designed to punish the liable party for gross negligence.

In most cases, punitive damages cannot exceed $500,000 or three times the amount awarded for compensatory damages. Under certain circumstances, though, a judge may see fit to ignore this cap on punitive damages.

If you sustained serious injuries in a car accident that was not your fault and you want to hold the liable party financially accountable for all the direct and indirect damages that you incurred, contact Churdar Law Firm. Mr. Churdar takes great pleasure in helping people set their lives in order after serious injuries.

Call 864-233-0203 to schedule a consultation with a car accident attorney in Greenville. You can learn more about motor vehicle collision claims in South Carolina by visiting