Pain and suffering. It’s what happens to anyone who goes to a Nickelback concert. But that’s not quite the pain and suffering we’re talking about in this article.
We’re talking about pain and suffering in the legal sense. And, specifically, what it means to someone who’s been involved in car accident. In this article, we’re going to look at what pain and suffering is, how it’s determined and how much you may be able to get for any pain and suffering you’ve experienced.
The Two Categories of Damages
Damages in a car accident can be broken down into two main general damages and special damages. Let’s take a quick look at each:
- Pain and suffering
- Physical injury
- The mental harm caused by the accident
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of family support
- Loss of a career
- Trouble finding another job
- Short-term and long-term medical costs
- Travel costs
- Loss of income
- Loss of skill
- Costs of repairs
Pain and suffering
Pain and suffering can also be broken down into two categories. First, it can refer to the physical pain and suffering experienced after an accident. It can also refer to the emotional pain and suffering experienced after an accident.
Let’s use some specifics to help explain all that a little more. If you’re in an accident and your bones get severely fractured, you can claim pain and suffering money for the:
- Difficulty of living with the broken bones
- Treatment of the broken bones
- Suffering caused by the injury
- Constraints on movement and lifestyle
An accident can also cause loss of limbs and disfigurement. In this case, the value of the person’s claim will be increased.
How is pain and suffering evaluated?
There are no straightforward rules for calculating “pain and suffering.” Which is why it is sometimes exaggerated. Insurance companies use specific methods to calculate the value of pain and suffering. They check for how serious the injury is and how long the effects of the injury are expected to last.
If the injury is more severe, the victim will get a higher amount in damages. Which you’d expect, right? Because there’s more pain and suffering experienced from having broken ribs than a bruised leg.
Insurance companies use the Multiplier Method to calculate your pain and suffering. Depending upon the seriousness of your injuries, they assign the injuries a number between 1.5 and 5. The more serious the injury, the more the other driver was at fault, the longer your recovery… the higher the number.
This number is then multiplied by the actual costs of your medical bills. Using this, the insurance company ends up with an estimate of the costs incurred. You should be fully prepared to justify your claim to the insurance company and the parties involved. And, quite possibly, use a lawyer to go to bat for you and be your advocate.
No Hard and Fast Rules
That said, there is no hard and fast rules when it comes to calculating pain and suffering. The amount awarded for pain and suffering varies from person to person.
In some cases, you may end up in court and your case presented to a judge and jury. If this happens, the jury is responsible for calculating the value of your damages. The’ll will review the specifics of the case and the claimant’s economic background. So, it’s possible that a rich person gets a smaller amount of money than someone who is poor and struggling economically.
So, How Much Money Will You Receive for Pain and Suffering?
Let’s revisit that original question, shall we?
Without knowing the details of your accident, there’s no way for us to know how much you’ll get for pain and suffering for your accident.
In a minor fender bender, you may get nothing.
For a major accident with serious injuries, it may be 6 or 7 figures.
Your best option is to talk with a local, experienced car accident attorney and have him or her evaluate your case. Also, they can argue your case and make sure you end up getting as big a settlement as possible.