If you have suffered injuries in a motor vehicle crash due to someone else’s negligence, you might recover pain and suffering compensation.
First, you can recover damages for past pain and suffering from the date of the accident up until the present date. In addition, you might be eligible to recover compensation for future pain and suffering. This is especially true if a healthcare provider determines that you suffered a permanent injury in your car accident.
The amount of past and future pain and suffering damages that an accident victim can recover will vary from case to case. Specifically, these damages will typically depend upon the severity of your injuries, the cost of your medical treatment, and the impact of the injuries on your work and daily life.
Entitlement to pain and suffering damages can be challenging to prove, and insurance companies will offer you as little as possible to satisfy the damages in your case. This is because insurance companies, which are big businesses, want to keep as much of their money in-house as possible.
Therefore, as soon as possible after your car crash, you should speak with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer. Your lawyer will review the circumstances of your accident with you and determine your eligibility for both past and future pain and suffering compensation.
Common Causes of Motor Vehicle Crashes
Motor vehicle accidents often occur because of driver error and negligence. When these crashes happen, and an accident victim suffers injuries, they might be eligible to recover pain and suffering compensation as part of their overall damage award.
Some car accidents are worse than others, and the injuries that accident victims sustain will vary from accident to accident. Common accidents include rear-end accidents, where the front of one vehicle collides with the back of another vehicle, and sideswipe collisions, where the sides of two vehicles moving in the same direction strike one another.
Another common accident is a broadside collision, where the front of one vehicle strikes the side of another vehicle moving in a different direction. These accidents are also called T-bone collisions.
Finally, head-on motor vehicle collisions occur when two motor vehicles’ fronts collide when they are moving in opposite directions. These accidents are the most likely to lead to permanent injuries and sometimes fatalities, especially if the vehicles are moving at high speeds on a dual-lane highway or road.
These car accidents also happen for a variety of reasons. In many instances, they occur because drivers violate the rules of the road and break traffic laws. For example, some drivers operating their vehicles far over the speed limit fail to yield the right-of-way at the appropriate time, such as at a red light or stop sign.
At other times, these car crashes happen because motor vehicle drivers operate their vehicles illegally while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. As a result of alcohol intoxication, their vision might blur or they can’t stop in time to avoid a crash with another vehicle or a pedestrian.
Finally, some car accidents happen because of distracted driving, where one of the drivers fails to pay sufficient attention to the road. For example, a distracted driver might be texting and driving or programming a GPS device while they are supposed to be paying attention to the roadway in front of them.
These accidents can lead to severe injuries and physical pain and suffering. A car accident lawyer can determine if you can file a claim for pain and suffering. Get a car accident lawyer to pursue full compensation for your losses.
When to File a Car Accident Claim
A car accident victim may be in a position to file a personal injury claim as soon as they have completed their medical treatment. The crash victim will usually file their claim with the insurance company for the at-fault driver.
As part of the claims-filing process, the accident victim’s lawyer can submit copies of the accident victim’s medical records to prove their injuries and any lost wage documentation that they may have. The accident victim’s lawyer can also include photographs of the injuries sustained and any property damage.
Finally, the accident victim’s lawyer might consist of a victim impact statement that explains the overall effect that the accident had on the victim’s life and well-being.
Insurance company adjusters will use this information to evaluate a personal injury claim and determine what damages to award the accident victim. If the insurance company feels that pain and suffering compensation is warranted, they will include it in the settlement offer. However, insurance companies regularly undervalue car accident claims and refuse to offer accident victims the damages they deserve. The accident victim’s lawyer can then file a lawsuit in the court system and pursue compensation through litigation.
Injuries in Car Accidents
Factors that influence pain and suffering compensation are the nature and extent of a victim’s injuries and the cost and length of their medical treatment. Generally speaking, the more serious an accident victim’s injuries, the more likely they will experience pain, suffering, and other symptoms.
Injuries that car accident victims may suffer can be quite severe, depending upon the circumstances of the collision. The force of an impact may cause an accident victim’s body to move around and about the inside of their vehicle abruptly, leading to severe injuries. Moreover, the airbag in a vehicle may deploy at the time of impact, burning the accident victim or causing some other serious burn injury.
Finally, the force of a crash may cause a part of the accident victim’s body to strike something in the vehicle, like the window, door frame, headrest, or steering wheel, leading to a severe injury.
Another factor that influences pain and suffering compensation is the nature and extent of medical treatment. In most cases, the more serious an accident victim’s injuries, the more likely they will have to undergo extensive medical treatment.
First of all, right after the collision, the accident victim may need to seek treatment at a hospital emergency room or urgent care facility for their injuries. In addition, they may need to undergo surgery or some other medical procedure, such as if they fractured a bone in a car accident.
Likewise, the accident victim may need to attend physical therapy and rehabilitation sessions to get back to their pre-accident physical condition.
All of this painful medical treatment can take up significant time. Your car accident lawyer can recover compensation for the pain and suffering of your medical treatments.
What do Pain and Suffering Damages Compensate Accident Victims For?
When accident victims experience pain and suffering from their injuries, they may recover damages.
First of all, they can receive compensation for the accident-related pain and suffering they experienced from the date of their accident up until the present time. This includes pain and suffering from their injuries and the mental distress, emotional anguish, and inconvenience of having to attend regular medical appointments for an extended time.
In addition, if their injuries resulted in lifestyle changes, they can receive compensation for those changes as well.
For example, if the accident victim suffered a permanent injury, they may be unable to perform specific daily living tasks or might rely upon others—including medical caregivers—for assistance. They can also file a claim for loss of quality of life or for loss of the ability to use a body part, such as if they suffered a spinal cord or paralysis injury in their car accident.
In addition to past pain and suffering compensation, an accident victim can recover future pain and suffering damages. These damages compensate accident victims for all of the pain, suffering, inconvenience, loss of use, and loss of life enjoyment that they will likely experience going into the future.
For example, to a reasonable degree of medical probability, a healthcare provider may state that the accident victim suffered a permanent injury that is not likely to get any better. As a result, the accident victim may suffer from lifelong pain and other symptoms, and they may need to receive ongoing medical treatment or pain management, such as epidural injections regularly. The accident victim may also need to self-medicate well into the future to relieve their accident-related symptoms.
In some instances, at a jury trial, an accident victim’s lawyer might be in a position to make a per diem argument for future pain and suffering damages. In other words, the lawyer may assign a dollar amount for the pain and suffering they expect an accident victim to experience each day of their life going forward. Based on the accident victim’s life expectancy for a person their age, the lawyer can arrive at an estimated damage projection for future pain and suffering.
Suppose you have suffered severe injuries in a car accident. In that case, a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can help you develop a strong argument for obtaining the pain and suffering compensation that you need. Your lawyer can then negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and, if necessary, advocate for you at trial to pursue a favourable pain and suffering damage award that fully compensates you for your injuries.
Who Determines the Amount of Pain and Suffering Damages to Award an Accident Victim Plaintiff?
Many personal injury cases settle out of court long before the case ever goes to trial. After a personal injury lawyer submits a demand package on the accident victim’s behalf, they will typically negotiate with the insurance company adjuster several times to try and settle the case.
In that instance, the insurance company adjuster will evaluate all of the documents in the case, including lost wage statements, medical records, and photographs, and determine what, if any, pain and suffering damages to award the accident victim plaintiff.
In some cases, however, insurance company adjusters are unreasonable. When that is the case, the accident victim’s lawyer can file a lawsuit in the court system and litigate the case in court.
If the case does not settle, the parties may have to go to a trial where the jury will decide the outcome of all disputed issues
, including what damages to award the accident victim.
Your car accident lawyer can advocate for you at trial and work to get you the maximum amount of pain and suffering compensation available to you.
Talk to a Knowledgeable Car Accident Lawyer Today
Generally speaking, the sooner you have a knowledgeable personal injury car accident lawyer on board in your case, the more likely you will recover fair monetary compensation.
Once you finish your medical treatment, your lawyer can file a claim on your behalf and start negotiating with the insurance company. If litigation becomes necessary, your lawyer can then file a lawsuit in court and work to get you the compensation you need and deserve—including damages for pain and suffering.