The amount of compensation you receive from a car accident depends on many factors. No two cases are the same. When it comes to pain and suffering, the individual impact of an injury will always be different from someone else’s; this is not something an insurance carrier will consider. That’s why you need a car accident injury attorney to handle your pain and suffering claim, who can increase your payout.
But just how much is a claim for your California car accident? Here are some key factors in estimating the value of your claim and maximizing the pain and suffering damages you can receive.
What Is Pain and Suffering?
Trauma such as physical pain and emotional suffering can take a significant toll. It doesn’t have a price tag, but the legal system has the power to use financial compensation to provide accident victims with much-needed resources. The two primary types of personal injury damages awarded include:
- Economic damages – Reimburse a car accident victim for expenses related to the crash, including income losses, property damage, and medical bills for emergency treatment, hospitalization, transportation, and rehabilitation.
- Noneconomic damages – Also known as intangible damages, these don’t have a price tag, but by evaluating the accident’s impact on your life, a dollar value can be assigned as a legal remedy. Noneconomic damages include pain and suffering as it pertains to your post-accident recovery experience.
Key Factors Used to Evaluate a Pain and Suffering Claim
A variety of complex factors are considered in your injury claim. An auto accident can have many lasting effects. To determine how much your claim is worth, lawyers, insurance adjusters, and others may look at:
- Extent/seriousness of your injury – Serious injuries, such as broken bones or the loss of a limb or its use often have higher claim values than injuries that cause, for example, back pain. You’re likely to get a higher settlement amount if surgery or physical therapy are required. Other non-economic damages can include mental anguish, shock, psychological trauma, anxiety, insomnia, grief, or loss of enjoyment of life.
- Length of recovery – If pain, trauma, or other debilitating effects of an accident take longer to recover from, your claim may have more value. However, a shorter recovery time may diminish how much compensation you are eligible to receive.
- Impact of pain on daily life/activities – If the pain you experience doesn’t prevent you from going back to work or resuming daily activities, the damages/awards from insurers will likely be lower than if you were off the job for a longer period of time.
How to Prove Pain and Suffering Damages
Proving a car accident injury caused pain and suffering presents unique challenges. Lawyers, courts, and insurers need evidence such as:
- Medical records – Contain a doctor’s official diagnosis and provide a thorough description of a patient’s pain and other physical and psychological symptoms.
- Expert testimony – If a medical professional or health expert can speak on your behalf, your pain can be better calculated. Also, testimony from co-workers, family, and friends can help assess your condition before and after the injury.
- Photo/video evidence – Before and after photographs and videos that show your current physical state compared to before the accident, such as having the ability to play sports, can be useful.
- Journaling – A journal provides a record of your thoughts and feelings over the course of time, and can prove the impacts of trauma on your well-being more effectively than an after-the-fact account.
How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated?
A universal formula for calculating pain and suffering doesn’t exist. Insurance companies sometimes have their own methods of evaluating damages. Nonetheless, the following formulas are often used to arrive at a baseline:
- The Multiplier Method – A base value is calculated by adding up medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. The total is then multiplied by a number that represents the severity of your injuries.
- The Per Diem Method – Calculates and assigns a dollar figure for each day starting from the date of the car accident to when you have fully recovered.
Contact The Law Offices of Jacob Emrani
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash, our personal injury law firm can help get the compensation you deserve. Our Los Angeles car accident lawyer has handled numerous pain and suffering claims. Legal representation is being provided during the coronavirus pandemic, so we can safely review your accident claim. To speak with an attorney, call 888-952-2952 today.