How to Pursue Compensation for Pain and Suffering in Personal Injury Cases
When you’re injured in a catastrophic accident, you can file a personal injury claim against the person who harmed you. Through your claim, you can get compensated for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages.
However, pain and suffering are difficult to measure. These are non-economic damages that vary from one person to another. Because of this, it can be challenging for victims like you to include it in your claim.
If you want to learn how settlements for pain and suffering work, we’re here to help. In this blog, we’ll discuss what qualifies as pain and suffering and how they’re calculated in court.
What is Pain & Suffering?
Pain and suffering refers to the physical and emotional anguish a victim feels due to their injuries. Typically, they’re divided into two categories:
Physical Pain & Suffering
Physical pain and suffering is the physical agony caused by your injuries, such as:
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Pain caused by fractured bones
- Muscle pain
- Nerve damage
Some of these conditions could last for months or years, which is why victims like you must include them in your personal injury claims.
Mental Pain & Suffering
Mental pain and suffering are the by-products of the bodily injuries you sustained from the accident. Essentially, it’s any negative emotion you suffer from as a result of your injuries.
Some examples include:
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of enjoyment of life
At its worst, mental pain and suffering could lead to devastating conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.
Common Examples of Pain & Suffering
Since pain and suffering tend to look different in each case, here are a few examples you could use to determine if you’re eligible for compensation:
Dance instructor Isabel was in a car accident that caused her to break multiple bones in her left leg. Days after the incident, her doctor told her she wouldn’t be able to dance for an entire year, meaning she’d have to quit her job.
Months after leaving her job, Isabel’s family started noticing significant changes in her mood. She started eating less and was reluctant to go outside of her room. As a result, Isabel’s family decided to bring her to a psychologist, where she was then diagnosed with depression.
Ultimately, all of Isabel’s problems were caused by the car accident. After the incident, she broke her left leg, lost her job, and developed depression. Because of this, she can claim damages for her pain and suffering.
How is Pain and Suffering Calculated?
It’s not easy to put a value on something intangible, such as pain and suffering. As a solution, insurance companies have devised two methods to calculate pain and suffering; the multiplier and per diem. Here’s how they work:
In this method, insurance adjusters multiply the economic damages you’ve suffered by 1.5 to 5. This range of numbers depends on the severity of your injuries.
For example, if you lost around $200,000 in economic damages due to partial paralysis, you could get five times that amount in pain and suffering damages. This is because paralysis can be extremely debilitating.
Per Diem Method
The per diem method uses a set rate for each day that your pain and suffering endures. Typically, insurance adjusters would use your wages as the base rate of their computation.
For example, if you make $180 a day in your job, and you’re estimated to experience debilitating pain for at least 100 days, you can receive around $18,000 in your claim.
These two methods are typically used if you decide to resolve your claim through a settlement. However, if you file a lawsuit against the other party, a jury will decide the damages you’ll receive.
Is there a limit to what you can recover from your pain and suffering settlement? Yes. California has a $250,000 pain and suffering cap for damages caused by medical malpractice.
Proving Pain & Suffering
To demonstrate pain and suffering, you need to submit the following documents as evidence:
- Medical bills
- Psychiatric records
- Relevant photographs and videos
- A journal
Truthfully, pain and suffering can be difficult to prove. It’s a highly subjective matter that can’t be quantified. Because of this, most victims work with lawyers specializing in pain and suffering.
How A Pain and Suffering Lawyer Can Help
A pain and suffering lawyer increases your chances of winning fair compensation in various ways. For instance, they can help you prove pain and suffering.
Lawyers understand how complicated pain and suffering damages could be. They know you need a strong case to get the compensation you deserve. So, aside from gathering the documents we’ve mentioned earlier, your lawyer will also collect testimony from medical experts to build your case.
They can also assist you in negotiating with the at-fault party. Negotiations can be extremely stressful for victims like you who are still recovering from injuries. Some insurance adjusters use delay tactics to minimize the payout they give victims.
Fortunately, you no longer have to worry about this when you hire a pain and suffering lawyer. Your lawyer will be the one to negotiate with the other party, and if they can’t reach an agreement, they will take your case to court.
Most personal injury claims are resolved through negotiations. But when the at-fault party disputes liability or refuses to offer a settlement amount, your lawyer will guide you and help you file a lawsuit. They’ll represent you and ensure you have a voice in court.
Ultimately, a pain and suffering lawyer can alleviate the burden of litigation. With their help, you can focus on what matters most; recovering.
File Your Claim Today
Don’t let your fear stop you from being compensated for your pain and suffering. If you need help filing a claim, look no further than Adamson Ahdoot.
Adamson Ahdoot is a civil litigation firm in California. With over 100 years of combined legal experience, you can trust that the best lawyers will take care of your case with the intimacy of a boutique firm and the expertise of a larger one.
Our compassionate attorneys will provide you with all the support and guidance you need during this difficult time. We’ll help you examine the best approach for your unique case.
Adamson Ahdoot’s goal is to increase your chances of winning fair compensation. With our help, you can focus on healing while we fight for your rights.
Call us at (800) 310-1606 and get compensated for pain and suffering damages today.
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