How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated?
Pain and suffering is one of the trickiest things to compensate for following a car accident. The symptoms of this are not as easily detected as physical injuries and can even arise much later after the incident itself. If you have been the victim of a car accident and have suffered enduring emotional or psychological effects, you are entitled to compensation for these effects.
What is “Pain and Suffering” from a Car Accident?
According to personal injury law firm Chaffin Luhana, pain and suffering is one of the non-economic damages a victim of a car accident may suffer. The key to this and other effects unrelated to property damage is that is impacts your quality of life for long after the accident. Unfortunately, because the effects of pain and suffering are not as distinctly measured in the way that lost wages or medical bills are, the calculation of compensation is inherently subjective. That said, there is no guarantee that the settlement will meet the standard you deem appropriate for your experience.
Both physical pain from injuries directly related to the accident and any mental suffering related to said injuries are what comprise the concept of “pain and suffering.” Any residual emotional and psychological effects from the accident will fall under this category as well. This includes:
- Inconveniences that came about concerning the accident (loss of method of transportation, trips to the hospital, etc.)
- Any embarrassment you may have felt from the incident
- Physical discomfort or pain
- Loss of sleep (due to anxiety or any of the aforementioned effects)
To fully determine the depth of your pain and suffering, it is best to hire an accident attorney. They will be able to get all the necessary information through discussing the incident with you and investigating the incident and get the most accurate settlement for you.
What Factors Contribute to the Calculation of Pain and Suffering?
Besides the investigation your attorney will conduct, there are a few more factors that will play a part in the calculation of the compensation granted for your pain and suffering. These include:
- Your age
- Your physical condition prior to the accident
- Whether you incurred any injuries (also where on the body the injury occurred, the severity, and permanence of the injury)
Your compensation will be determined also by how trustworthy your testimony is in the court’s eyes. The best way to strengthen your case is by providing as much medical documentation as possible, along with records of repairs and anything reflecting the effects of the incident in your daily life. This includes personal records such as a diary where you may have written about how the incident has affected your mood and way of thinking. Testimonies from loved ones and health professionals will strengthen your case as well.
It is important to note that it is not always an option to be compensated for pain and suffering. Specifically in states with no-fault laws, if the other driver had only limited tort coverage, for instance, your incident does not meet the requirements for pain and suffering. You should always check with an attorney to make sure that you are eligible for compensation for your pain and suffering so they can ensure that you get the best settlement for your case.