After a vehicle collision, it can be difficult to quantify subjective effects like “pain and suffering.” There are two main categories of pain and suffering associated with personal injury claims. The physical and emotional distress. Under the law, both are considered “general damages.” A person’s anguish is hidden from view. A doctor may be able to diagnose you based on outward signs, such as pain or restricted movement in a joint. However, these are often only warning signs of pain.
What Qualifies as Pain and Suffering?
The legal concept of “pain and suffering” encompasses the emotional and physical harm an accident victim experiences. After an accident, you may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering if you have significant physical discomfort or emotional distress. A wrongful death lawsuit may involve loss of consortium if the victim died due to injuries sustained in a personal injury accident caused by another party’s negligence.
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Physical Pain and Suffering
Accident-related injuries can be extremely painful and may continue to bother you for days or weeks after an accident caused by another person’s carelessness. These wounds can cause long-lasting suffering. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, chronic pain can endure for several weeks, months, or even years. Here are several medical disorders that might be grounds for pain and suffering compensation:
- Pain in the back
- Brain damage from trauma.
- neck discomfort
- Bone breakage or fracture
- Injury to internal organs
- Broken nerves
- Muscle tears or strains
- Joint dislocations
Emotional Pain and Suffering
After an accident, victims may experience emotional and psychological agony that can linger for days or even years. After an accident, emotional misery may be just as painful as physical pain, if not more so. Here are a few causes of mental anguish:
- Psychological shock
- Cognitive impairment
- Deterioration of quality of life
- Post-traumatic disorder
The resulting emotional distress can be devastating when someone suffers a physical or mental injury.
Loss of Consortium
Accidents involving personal injuries can sometimes result in the victim’s demise. In such circumstances, the family can file a wrongful death suit on behalf of the deceased to seek compensation for the deceased’s medical expenses, lost income, and loss of consortium, as well as to hold the irresponsible party accountable for their acts.
After a close relative passes away, surviving family members often feel a “loss of consortium” or intense grief. Special compensation may be given to the surviving members of a family who have lost a loved one in an accident that could have been avoided. Here are some instances of loss of consortium:
- Parental support
- Spousal care
- Affection and love
- Household assistance
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Calculating Suffering and Pain
The amount of money awarded for pain and suffering in a personal injury case will vary depending on the case’s specifics. Pain and suffering damages in an individual injury case can be determined in two ways.
The multiplier approach involves multiplying the actual damages (medical costs, missed income, etc.), which total a certain amount, by a figure based on the extent of your injury to calculate the victim’s pain and suffering. In most cases, the multiplier will be between 1 and 5.
Per Diem Method
The per diem technique involves allocating a certain amount of money to each day that passes between the date of the injury and the date of the victim’s maximum medical recovery. Medical professionals consider a patient to have reached maximum recovery when they no longer have hope that the patient will make any further progress toward recovery.
In addition to these two approaches, an insurance company may utilize others when determining compensation for pain and suffering.
The Proof of Suffering
Evidence and paperwork are required to prove a claim of pain and suffering, whether physical or mental. Common examples of such proof may be:
- Medical records
- Medical proof
- Written records of the victim’s suffering
- Notes from a psychologist or mental health counselor
More proof of the victim’s pain and suffering helps the insurance company, judge, or jury understand the full extent of the accident’s impact on the victim’s life. While you can gather much of this evidence on your own, having a lawyer handle it is best so you can focus on getting well.
What’s the Average Car Accident Pain And Suffering Settlement?
Depending on the case’s specifics, compensation for pain and suffering following an automobile accident might be anywhere from a few thousand to over $300,000. Pain and suffering awards in vehicle accidents range from a few thousand dollars to a few million dollars. The more serious the vehicle accident, the bigger the potential award for pain and suffering.
Pain and suffering compensation for a car accident victim with severe spinal damage is likely higher than compensation for a victim with a minor arm fracture. It’s safe to presume that the person who had a permanent injury has endured more pain and anguish than the one who was cut for a little while. The typical payout for pain and suffering in vehicle accidents is not solely based on the degree of injuries sustained.
The compensation you get may also depend on the nature of your automobile accident. Suppose the victim of a traumatic event, such as a head-on collision, experiences memories or worry whenever they get into a car. In that case, this might lead to ongoing emotional suffering and require a larger settlement.
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