Pain and Suffering in a car accident case are considered to be non-economic damages, rather than economic damages. These qualities differ according to type of injury and the individual person and their inner levels of pain tolerance. Obviously, when physical injuries are more severe, they are more documentable and would reasonably be considered to be more painful and long-lasting than are minor injuries. An experience California Car Accidents Lawyer understands the details and rules that apply to this aspect of Personal Injury cases, and they can help you get fair compensation for this complex area of injury.
California Car Accidents Lawyer
Helping people get fair compensation and the justice they deserve when they or a loved one are injured or even killed in a car accident is the area of law practice that a California Car Accidents Lawyer focuses on. With their vast experience and knowledge of this area of concern, they are best able to help people get fair treatment and monetary compensation for pain and suffering.
California courts use a “tort liability system” to determine pain and suffering. This allows the jury to decide what amounts of compensation will be paid for pain and suffering and other car accident injuries. The jury looks at all the damages a plaintiff requests for their injuries, and they decide if the requested amount is reasonable. Your attorney is instrumental in helping you create your list of damages and fair amounts of compensation for each item. Their presentation to the jury will also impact final decisions.
Injuries that should be considered for your case include the following non-economic damages:
- Physical pain you experienced
- Mental suffering, anguish or aftereffects related to the accident injuries
- Emotional suffering – did you require psychological services or other treatment; how did the accident affect you emotionally? Did you suffer anxiety, sleeplessness or depression?
- Interpersonal losses – consortium and companionship due to injuries
Car Accidents – Pain and Suffering
The main issue with pain and suffering is that it is so intangible. How an injury affects each person will be different, as everyone has a different threshold for pain. Suffering is also an emotional quality, and this can be very difficult to communicate to others, including a jury or insurance adjuster.
Documentation to support claims of pain and suffering include police and medical reports and bills. Other records the insurance company may consider when creating their compensation offer include your prescription records, photos of injuries, receipts you have for any over-the-counter drugs and a report from your employer about time you lost from work.
Proving a degree of pain and suffering is subjective and unique for each person injured. A jury generally will use a multiplier factor from 1.5 to 5 times your actual expenses for medical care and treatment to calculate fair compensation for pain and suffering. The number used in this calculation is higher as evidence of more severe injury is presented. An alternative method is the per diem calculation, which assigns a value per day multiplied by the number of days you until you are well.
Personal Injury – Compensation
Determining compensation for pain and suffering due to a car accident is another area that is frequently disputed by insurance companies. In addition to providing proof of your injuries and related pain and suffering, you also need to decide what a fair amount of compensation is for your pain and suffering.
Your attorney can help you calculate this, based on their broad experience with others who also suffered pain and suffering in car accidents. Once you have this figure in mind, you can begin negotiations with the insurance company or the other party who caused the accident. Items to include in your demand for compensation include:
- Medical evidence – medical expenses, medical reports, bills for therapy, x-rays, ambulance costs, emergency room charges, and other costs for injury treatment
- Prescriptions – submit receipts with dates and costs; also include receipts for pain medications you purchase without prescriptions
- Photo evidence – wounds, treatment evidence (casts, slings, etc.)
- A written record of all treatments, pain experienced and activities you missed due to injuries
- Proof of lost income due to the injury; also time off from school if you are a student
Insurance Companies & Pain and Suffering
Most insurance companies will readily acknowledge that with accident injuries, the victim will experience some degree of pain and suffering. The problem here is that these claims are not easily seen or proven, and there can be a lot of disagreement over the extent of this type of non-economic damage. In addition, pain and suffering can constitute a very large part of an overall amount of compensation due to the victim. A jury may also place punitive awards in excess of the amount of pain and suffering compensation they determine is fair.
Proving pain and suffering is not an easy task. If you are in an accident, it is important to get medical care promptly. See your doctor right away, because you may discover hidden injuries later on, in addition to any that happened from the accident. By obtaining medical care, you also will have documentation to support your claims of needing medical attention for injuries and possible pain related to those injuries. The medical report will also detail the severity of your injuries, which can also affect the compensation award amount. If you are not seen by a doctor, you may have a very hard time getting the insurance company to accept your claim for pain and suffering.
Obtaining fair compensation for car accident injuries is something you deserve and that will help prevent further economic suffering. Get the legal advice and representation you need to recover fair compensation for car accident pain and suffering from an experienced California Car Accident Attorney. They will help you get on the track to recovery quickly and with fairness as they represent your best interests.