Following a car accident and the beginning of the recovery process after sustaining injuries, victims and their loved ones are likely to consider how much compensation they can seek. In addition to financial losses and other damages, car accident injury victims may also be able to recover compensation for pain and suffering.
When calculating the total amount of compensation that victims deserve in accident cases, each case will vary depending on numerous factors specific to that case.
Calculating Compensation for Pain and Suffering
Unlike other types of benefits such as workers' compensation, pain and suffering damages depend on the specific nature of the accident and resulting injuries. To help calculate pain and suffering damages and the amount of compensation you're eligible to receive, factors involved could include:
• Findings following an investigation of the accident and injuries
• Any physical evidence that shows the extent of the injury and proves liability
• The ability to effectively negotiate the settlement
• Working with a dependable attorney to help build the claim
How Pain and Suffering Differ from Other Damages
One difference between pain and suffering and other types of damages involved in car accident cases is the ability to quantify them. While certain economic damages such as medical bills and medication have a specific value attached to them, pain and suffering are more intangible.
Pain and suffering are only experienced by the accident victims, which means that they're far less easy for the courts to calculate. As a result, it's best to have doctor testimony and other evidence that can help support your claims regarding the pain and suffering you've experienced.
To help calculate pain and suffering, some specific factors that may affect payout from insurance adjusters include:
The Extent of the Injury
It's difficult for claims adjusters to calculate the amount of pain you're experiencing if you aren't visibly suffering from your injuries. It's often easier when there are visible injuries and signs such as neck or back braces, or have undergone surgery. However, some injuries aren't as easy to see, despite causing chronic suffering. As a result, injuries that aren't as apparent are more difficult to calculate.
Effects of the Injury on Quality of Life
Another factor that may impact a settlement is the specific way in which injuries affect a person's ability to resume their daily life. If an individual is still able to go to work and perform the normal daily activities that they would prior to the injury, this can show that pain and suffering aren't serious enough to affect the victim's quality of life.
Effects on a Relationship
In some cases, pain and suffering can impact relationships with spouses and children. Regarding spousal relationships, consortium damages may apply to a case if injuries negatively impacted or resulted in the end of the relationship. Severe injuries may also hinder a parent's ability to interact with their children.
The Length of Recovery
Different injuries will require different recovery times. The longer it takes to recover, the more insurance adjusters will take pain and suffering into account when calculating the settlement.
Testimony from Witnesses
Insurance companies want to make sure that people aren't trying to manipulate them into giving them a higher settlement than they deserve. As a result, insurers often work with investigators to get statements from people the claimant knows, including friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Investigators also spend time observing the claimant to gauge their pain and suffering, which often entails sitting outside of the home and recording the claimant from the street.
One of the best ways to increase your settlement is to accurately document your pain and suffering after an accident. Keeping a pain journal or diary can help illustrate the physical and mental distress you've experienced after an accident injury and how it's impacted your life.
Recording information on a daily basis about your pain and suffering will paint a complete picture of your injuries for adjusters and the courts. Include details such as the level of pain experienced every day, the intensity and location of the pain, medical treatments and procedures, emotional distress experienced because of the accident, and any issues completing daily tasks resulting from the injury.
This journal can support other evidence to help you reach the best possible settlement for pain and suffering damages
Consult with us to Discuss Pain and Suffering Damages
To learn more about how you can get the compensation you deserve for pain and suffering following an accident, start your claim process now.
The content on this site is for informational purposes only and nothing contained herein should be construed as legal advice.