Life on Hold: A Deeper Look into Pain and Suffering in Car Accidents

(US law and generally) In a car accident case, the injuries you get can have long-term effects on your whole being. This is called “pain and suffering” in legal terms. They’re non-economic damages the victim gets on the day of the accident.

You can get the compensation you deserve by fully understanding pain and suffering. Here’s a detailed look at their scope and what you can do before filing them in court.

What Is Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering are the aftermath of a car accident that a person experiences. It includes physical pain and mental anguish. Let’s break down its components:

  • Physical Pain: These are the most visible effects after an accident. Your injuries can cause chronic pain, discomfort, and physical limitations due to your injuries.
  • Emotional Distress: Any sound, sight, or smell that reminds you of the accident can make you feel anxious, fearful, and depressed. Some cases may result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or unprocessed trauma by your mind and body. You can even suffer from mood swings and insomnia following the accident.
  • Loss of Enjoyment: You may enjoy daily activities and hobbies a little less after the accident.
  • Disfigurement and Scarring: Wounds from your injuries can change your appearance once they scar. If you’ve sustained injuries from the accident’s impact that affect your body’s shape, you’ll likely be disfigured as you grow old.

A pain and suffering claim can compensate for all of these components. The injured person’s spouse can also file compensation for loss of consortium or the feeling of losing affection, companionship, and support due to their partner’s sustained injuries.

Calculating Pain and Suffering Damages

Unlike property damage or medical expenses, pain and suffering cannot be calculated numerically. However, the two commonly used calculation methods are the multiplier and per diem methods.

In the multiplier method, the total amount of pain and suffering damages, like medical bills and lost wages, are multiplied between 1.5 and 5. These numbers reflect the severity of a person’s pain and suffering. In the per diem method, each day from the accident day has a particular dollar amount. The amount is multiplied by the number of days to get the total pain and suffering compensation you’ll receive.

Factors That Affect Pain and Suffering Awards

These factors can influence the pain and suffering you receive in a personal injury claim:

Severity of Injuries

Severe injuries can impact the award you’ll get. It’s likely higher when the bodily injury may cause chronic pain, long-term or permanent disability, and continuous medical treatment.

Recovery Duration

You’ll get a higher compensation when it takes longer for you to recover after the accident and if you suffer life disruption, extended pain, and discomfort.

Pre-Existing Conditions

Your pre-existing medical condition can make the insurance company argue that it caused the accident to happen instead of other causes. You can get a higher award when the accident makes your condition worse.

Emotional and Psychological Effects

Documented psychological effects after sustaining the injuries, like depression and PTSD, can warrant a high award. These effects can affect a person’s quality of life after the accident.

Impact on Daily Life

The reward amount will depend on how your injuries affect your daily activities and enjoying life in general. For example, you can receive substantial compensation when the injuries stop you from working or doing simple daily tasks around the house.

Credibility and Consistency

Consistent and detailed accounts of pain and suffering, backed by witness testimony and medical records, can secure a high compensation.

Proving Pain and Suffering

You need a collection of gripping evidence to prove pain and suffering and get compensated in a personal injury lawsuit. Prepare these papers before appearing in court:

  • Medical Records: These are documents that detail your injuries and the treatment you had.
  • Psychological Evaluations: These are written reports of mental health professionals regarding the accident’s emotional and psychological impact on you.
  • Personal Testimony: It’s your own version of the events and how the injuries affected you.
  • Witness Testimony: These are statements of your family, colleagues, and friends attesting to your suffering and behavior changes.
  • Expert Testimony: This can objectively assess a victim’s condition with input from medical experts.

You may face challenges when insurance companies undervalue the emotional and psychological effects of the injuries. Prepare all the proof you need to create a strong claim.

Seek Legal Assistance for Pain and Suffering Claims

Pain and suffering are essential parts of a car accident or personal injury claim that deal with the non-economic damages a victim endures. You can get the rightful compensation when you understand how these work in the legal system. The right legal support can help you recover and rebuild your life.

If you’ve been in a recent vehicular accident and are suffering from injuries, partner with a Phoenix car accident lawyer to help you get paid for your pain and suffering. These people are knowledgeable in the personal injury field and can assess the extent of your situation. They can help you gather the necessary papers to support your claim. They also deal with insurance companies to get you a fair settlement and take your case to court when needed. Competent lawyers can guide you through every legal battle and protect your rights and best interests.

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