Can You Get Pain and Suffering in a Car Accident?

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A car accident will have a number of effects on your life. When you are dealing with physical injuries, it will cause you difficulties in several areas. Besides keeping you from working, your injuries may prevent you from living your life with any sense of normalcy.

The discomfort that you are going through, and what you may lose, could lead to financial compensation. These damages are known as pain and suffering. The Wilmington car accident attorneys at Horton & Mendez can work to maximize your pain and suffering damages, as well as the rest of your settlement check.

Damages in a Personal Injury Case

In any personal injury case, you will suffer two primary types of damages:

  • Economic damages represent the money that has come out of your pocket or that you have not earned because of your injuries.
  • Non-economic damages describe the negative and difficult experience that you are going through because of your car accident.

Pain and suffering is part of your non-economic damages. In fact, they will be the bulk of what you receive in this particular category.

Pain and suffering damages measure the impact that the accident has had on your life. You began to experience discomfort in various forms practically immediately after the accident, and you will continue to go through these effects in the future.

Examples of Pain and Suffering

Your suffering is part physical and part mental. Each car accident victim will have a different experience after a car accident. Pain and suffering after a car accident can include:

  • Physical pain
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Embarrassment and humiliation
  • Emotional distress

How Pain and Suffering Is Calculated in a Car Accident Case

In theory, pain and suffering should not be something that is calculated. These damages represent your own unique experience, and your individual ordeal should not be removed from the picture.

However, insurance companies like to boil everything down to a formula, usually because it favors them. The most common formula that insurance companies use is the multiplier method.

They will assign a factor to multiply against your medical damages. The more serious the injury, the higher the multiplier. For more moderate injuries, the insurance company may use a multiplier of one or two. Traumatic brain injuries could be assigned a multiplier of five.

Insurance companies may use the per diem method when your recovery has a finite period.

They will assign a daily monetary value for your pain and suffering, depending on the severity of your injuries.

It is your lawyer’s job to ensure that your story is told. You are the one who is at the center of the claim, and the insurance company should be considering your ordeal.

Why Pain and Suffering Presents Complications in a Personal Injury Case

Your medical diagnosis should be in front of the insurance company. They should see and know how badly you are hurt based on what they see. How you have responded to the actual injuries can be a matter of debate.

Pain and suffering is something that is inherently subjective (or at least it should be). It is difficult to get your own experience across in a manner that is believed. The insurance company tends to question anything that it does not see on paper in front of it in black and white. Your experience is unique to you. It is not the same as what someone else may endure. You may have had a very full life before the car accident that someone else did not have.

Further, pain and suffering damages cover both your past and future experiences. You would need to be able to explain how and why you would suffer in the future, based on what your diagnosis is today.

Your attorney needs to be closely aware of you and the details of your ordeal. They need to be prepared to push back when the insurance company assures you that what you are going through is not as bad as you really say.

How to Maximize Your Pain and Suffering Damages

You can maximize your pain and suffering damages by doing the following:

  • Hiring an experienced attorney who knows how much your case may be worth
  • Documenting your own experience, so you can make a more persuasive case to the insurance company or jury
  • Rejecting settlement offers that do not offer you fair compensation for your pain and suffering

The insurance company thrives when claimants have no idea of what they deserve. They may offer you $10,000 in pain and suffering damages, and you may be thrilled, not knowing that they should be offering you five times as much.

It is on you to fight back when the insurance company will not pay up. In the end, the legal right to full compensation belongs to you, and the insurance company is negotiating with you for your legal rights. You do not have to let them get away with lowballing your claim. They do not get the final say over what your case may be worth.

If the insurance company will not make you an adequate settlement offer, you can file a lawsuit against the responsible driver in court. Once the jury finds that the driver should be liable, they will determine your damages. Going to court is the leverage that you have because the insurance company does not want to pay legal fees, nor do they want to risk going in front of a jury.

Contact Us to Ask About a Pain and Suffering Settlement for a Car Accident

Your car accident compensation can be higher when you enlist an attorney to fight for you.

Those who hire lawyers for their car accident case usually end up with more money. The team at Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys are standing by and ready to go to work for you. Call us today at 910-405-7751 or send us a message online to schedule a free initial consultation. We are only paid for our services if you win your case.

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