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What Qualifies as Pain and Suffering

What Qualifies as Pain and Suffering?

Defining Pain and Suffering in Legal Terms

If you decide to file a lawsuit to pursue pain and suffering damages you must prove that the negligent actions of the defendant directly caused the accident, which resulted in your pain and suffering. Proving pain and suffering damages can be challenging. However, if you have an experienced car accident lawyer in your corner, they can build a strong case that proves your demand for compensation.

Types of Pain and Suffering

There are two categories a car accident lawyer will use to claim pain and suffering compensation:

Physical Pain

This category covers the physical distress the injured party experienced after a motor vehicle collision, such as chronic pain.

Physical injuries that can result in ongoing physical pain include:

  • Spinal cord damage
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Back injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Loss of limb
  • Crush injuries
  • Nerve damage
  • Mental Pain

This category involves the non-physical, emotional pain that can result from an accident. This can include depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

How to Recover Pain and Suffering Damages

You do not have to provide evidence of the value of your pain and suffering, but you are required to establish that you suffered damages and that the defendant’s negligent actions caused your damages.

Providing evidence can strengthen your case and will show how the injuries have impacted your life.

Evidence can include:

  • Photos of your injuries
  • Medical records
  • Imaging results, such as MRI scans and X-rays
  • Prescription medication you take
  • Testimony from medical experts, including your treating physicians
  • Testimony from family, friends, and coworkers regarding how the injuries have impacted your life and your ability to perform tasks
  • A journal that documents your daily limitations, chronic pain, level of pain, and how your injuries have affected different aspects of your life, such as pain when trying to lift a child or new limitations that prevent you from carrying out tasks at work

How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated?

A car accident lawyer will use a variety of methods to accurately value your pain and suffering damages. Common methods used to calculate these damages include:

Multiplier Method

This method is commonly used when evaluating a client’s pain and suffering. The multiplier method involves totaling the injured party’s economic damages and multiplying them by a variable. Variables range from 1.5 to 5. Higher variables are assigned to more severe injuries, taking into consideration:

  • The client’s prognosis
  • The severity of their injuries
  • The duration of the client’s recovery
  • How the injuries have impacted the client’s daily life

Per Diem Method

The per diem method assigns a specific dollar amount to pain and suffering damages and multiplies the dollar amount based on the number of days it took for the client to recover. For example, if the assigned per diem amount is $100 and the client’s recovery time is 30 days, the pain and suffering damages would total $3,000.

Are There Damage Caps for Pain and Suffering?

In many states, you’ll find that there are damage caps, or limits, to how much compensation can be awarded for pain and suffering in personal injury lawsuits.

Both Florida and New York do not impose a damage cap for the amount of compensation that can be awarded for pain and suffering. Based on the facts of the case, the jury will award pain and suffering damages at their own discretion.

Contact Us Today!

At Friedland & Associates, our car accident lawyers have extensive experience handling complex auto accident claims and know how to negotiate with insurance companies to help you recover the compensation you deserve. If you were injured in an auto accident and your insurance company is refusing to pay you the settlement you deserve, contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We can discuss your case and explain your legal rights and options, moving forward.

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