How Much Do You Get for Pain and Suffering in a Car Accident?
January 14, 2019 | Car Accidents
If you experience mental or physical distress after a car accident, you may be eligible to recover pain and suffering damages. Pain and suffering damages can be difficult to determine because there often isn’t a dollar amount attached to them. If you are having difficulty figuring out how much to claim for your pain and suffering from a car accident, your personal injury lawyer can help. Your lawyer has the experience needed to analyze your case, determine if you’re eligible to recover damages, and fight for the most in compensation for your case.
What are Pain and Suffering Damages?
Pain and suffering damages apply to car accident claims that involve mental or physical distress. For example, if you are in a car accident and get a broken bone. Broken bones can require intensive treatment and physical therapy depending on their severity, and some injured victims can experience depression or anxiety because of these injuries. In this case, the car accident victim could have a valid claim to recover pain and suffering damages, medical costs, lost wages, and more for their injuries depending on their state’s personal injury laws.
Damage laws vary state-by-state and can make it easy or difficult to claim damages for pain and suffering in a car accident. Some states don’t acknowledge pain and suffering claims, while others have a cap or other restrictions on these types of damages. Keep in mind, not everyone will receive compensation for their car accident claims, but speaking with your lawyer can undoubtedly increase the chance. Your personal injury lawyer will help you:
- Decide what damages to claim for your case
- How much to claim in damages
- What grounds you have to claim the damages
- And create a plan for recovering the maximum amount of compensation possible for your car accident injuries
What is the Average Amount of Pain and Suffering Damages That are Awarded?
The type of injuries that can occur in a car accident vary widely and so does the amount of pain and suffering damages that can be recovered. The settlement amount that you’ll receive for your car accident injuries is based on the type of injuries you sustained in the accident, how they occurred, who was at fault for the crash, and in the case of pain and suffering damages if physical injuries accompany them. It is essential to get a medical report after a car accident to document any injuries that may have occurred. Without an official medical report documenting your injuries, it is nearly impossible to prove pain and suffering or medical damages for your accident. In addition to a medical report, if you experience mental distress or other types of stress, it is important to have these injuries documented by a psychiatrist or another mental health professional.
The sooner that you take action in getting help with your injuries after a car accident, the better off your claim will be. It can seem overwhelming to remember all of this information, but your car accident lawyer will be able to help you keep track of everything. Your lawyer’s job is to provide guidance through the legal process, make sure that you understand each step that is being taken with your pain and suffering case, and that everything is in order before they help you write a demand letter and file a car accident claim. If you have any questions or concerns at all, your lawyer will be ready to answer them and put your mind at ease.
How are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated?
Pain and suffering damages are calculated using a complex formula that varies from insurance company to insurance company. Several methods are typically used for this including the multiplier method and the per diem method. If an insurance company uses the multiplier method, pain and suffering damages are calculated by multiplying the total amount of damages by a multiplier on a scale of 1-5. The specific multiplier that the insurance company uses will depend on the severity of the damages in the accident. If damages are less severe, a multiplier of 2 or 3 may be used, but if damages are more severe, a multiplier of 4 or 5 can be used. The amount that is produced by multiplying the total amount of monetary damages includes an amount for pain and suffering damages. With the “per diem” method, a car accident victim is assigned $100.00 every day from the first day of the car accident. They will continue to receive this daily until they reach the maximum amount of compensation that their claim is eligible to receive.
Keep in mind, some states have a damages cap law in place for pain and suffering damages. The damages cap differs for each state but is generally between $250,000 to $750,000. It can be difficult to understand what sort of method is being used to calculate your settlement, but seeking help from your lawyer can make this easier. Your experienced pain and suffering lawyer has handled dozens of personal injury cases and has more than likely dealt with a case similar to yours. Consulting with your lawyer will provide you with a possible outcome for your case and put your mind at ease.
Can I Claim Pain and Suffering Damages if I am Liable for a Car Accident?
Personal injury laws vary state-by-state, so if you are experiencing pain and suffering after a car accident that you are liable for you may be eligible to recover compensation. If you live in a no-fault state, you’re expected to have your car insurance. The fault for a car accident does not matter in car accidents in these states when it comes to damages. Each person involved in the accident is responsible for their own damages and filing a claim against their personal insurance company to recover compensation. In most no-fault states, the at-fault party isn’t eligible to be sued. In other no-fault states, if their damages threshold is surpassed, the other party can sue the at-fault party for their remaining damages.
In at-fault states, several different rules of fault are followed. In an at-fault state that follows “pure comparative fault” for example, both parties can recover damages from a car accident for pain and suffering. That is if both parties are partially at fault for the crash. The amount that each party will receive is based on their percentage of responsibility in the accident. For example, if the total amount of damages for an accident is $100,000, the driver that is 40% at fault for the accident will receive $60,000, and the driver that is 60% at fault for the accident will receive $40,000. In other at-fault states that follow different fault rules such as contributory negligence, only the not-at-fault party can recover damages for pain and suffering in a car accident.
Consult a Pain and Suffering Lawyer About Your Car Accident
If you are worried that you won’t receive adequate compensation for your pain and suffering, or someone you know is having trouble understanding their case, consulting a car accident lawyer can help. Your experienced lawyer can help you decide what damages to claim, how much to claim for them, what grounds your case has to recover these damages, and more. They will then handle negotiating back and forth with the other party’s insurance company until a satisfactory settlement is reached. If you aren’t happy with the amount that the insurance company is offering and they won’t budge, your lawyer will fight for your case in the trial until you’re satisfied with the results. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident and need help with your pain and suffering case, the Dixon Injury Firm is ready to help. Our lawyers are experienced in personal injury and dedicated to recovering the most for our client’s injury claims. To schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, contact us today to discuss your pain and suffering case.