Recovering Compensation for Pain and Suffering After a Car Accident
If someone else’s negligence caused your injuries in a car accident, you might be entitled to financial compensation. At McCutchen Napurano - The Law Firm, we understand the physical and emotional trauma you suffered. Car accidents can have long-lasting consequences for victims. The money you’re owed could compensate for the pain and suffering you were forced to endure.
Pursuing compensation for your pain and suffering requires evidence, but it’s not as straightforward as you might think. Something like medical expenses is easy to prove. All you have to do is provide the insurance company with hospital invoices, doctor bills, and receipts from out-of-pocket costs. “Pain and suffering” is an intangible loss, and that makes it more complicated to prove.
At McCutchen Napurano - The Law Firm, our team of Fort Smith car accident attorneys has over 50 years of combined experience representing accident victims in Fort Smith and surrounding areas. We know how to investigate car crashes and obtain the available evidence to prove who was at fault. When you hire us, we will work hard to protect your rights and try to achieve your desired outcome.
For more information about how we can help you seek the money you’re owed for pain and suffering following a car accident, call McCutchen Napurano - The Law Firm at (479) 783-0036 for your free consultation.
What Is Pain and Suffering?
Pain and suffering is a term used to describe the emotional and physical effects of an injury suffered in an accident. If the mental anguish or physical pain significantly interferes with your life, you might be entitled to financial compensation in an insurance claim or lawsuit.
In scenarios where the victim dies, the surviving family could pursue a claim to recover compensation for their pain and suffering caused by the death.
There are two types of pain and suffering in car accident cases – physical and emotional.
Physical Pain and Suffering
Physical pain and suffering is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the physical pain and suffering resulting from an injury. The effects can last weeks, months, or years. Sometimes, the injury is permanent, causing long-term consequences for the victim.
Some common medical conditions that could qualify for pain and suffering compensation following a car accident include:
- Internal organ damage or failure
- Broken bones
- Chronic headaches
- Spinal cord damage
- Sprained or pulled muscles, torn ligaments, and other soft tissue injuries
- Back and neck pain
- Traumatic brain injury
- Dislocated joints
- Nerve damage
These injuries can cause chronic pain and disrupt a person’s daily routine. Some accident victims experiencing physical pain and suffering can’t return to work and might need assistance to perform basic tasks.
Emotional Pain and Suffering
Emotional pain and suffering refers to the mental, psychological, and emotional distress endured after an accident. Chronic emotional pain and suffering can cause not only severe mental problems but also manifest as physical pain.
Common examples of emotional pain and suffering include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Stress and anxiety
- Diminished quality or enjoyment of life
Unfortunately, emotional pain and suffering can last long after physical injuries heal. Some car accident victims end up with severe psychological trauma and phobias. The experience can prevent a person from driving or getting in a vehicle again because of the fear of another collision.
How to Calculate Pain and Suffering
A simple formula could determine a monetary value for pain and suffering. The multiplier method calculates the total of an accident victim’s economic losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and other incurred costs, and multiplies that number by a multiplier. The multiplier is typically between 1.5 and 5.
Determining the appropriate multiplier often depends on various factors. For example, if your physical injury resulted in permanent disability, your multiplier will likely be a 4 or 5. Conversely, if you sustained a broken bone that healed entirely, your multiplier might be closer to a 2 or 3.
An experienced lawyer can review the circumstances to determine which multiplier makes the most sense for you and pursue the compensation you deserve.
Proving a Pain and Suffering Claim
You must be able to prove that your pain and suffering resulted from the car accident to seek compensation in an insurance claim. Insurance companies are notorious for finding reasons to deny someone’s claim or offer a lowball settlement to save money. Without enough evidence to show you deserve a settlement to compensate for the pain and suffering you endured, you will likely walk away without the money you’re owed.
It’s crucial to consider how your physical pain and suffering impacted your daily life and overall well-being. Think about the consequences you face because of the injury you sustained in the accident. If it causes significant impairments, such as the inability to take care of yourself, return to your job, or participate in activities you used to enjoy, you might have a valid claim.
You should also think about your emotional pain and suffering. It might have resulted in anxiety or depression. You could pursue compensation for the extreme impact it has had on your quality of life or general happiness.
The evidence you use to prove pain and suffering can be challenging to find. The proof you submit to the insurance company must be clear and factual. Simply saying you’re in physical pain or suffering emotionally isn’t enough. You should have documentation to back up your claim.
Medical records are vital. You should inform your doctor of the injury you suffered in the accident and how it affects the way you live your life. Your doctor can include this information in your patient file, so there’s physical documentation of your pain and suffering.
You can also obtain statements from friends and family. They’re the ones around you the most, and they can attest to the impact your pain and suffering has had on your everyday schedule. Signed affidavits from them can show the insurance company that other people have seen the consequences of your injury. If anyone had to help you with specific tasks, such as child care, cooking, dressing, or driving, be sure to include those details.
If you sustained injuries in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, do not hesitate to contact McCutchen Napurano - The Law Firm. Our dedicated and experienced attorneys can help you seek the maximum compensation available to compensate you for your pain and suffering. Call us at (479) 783-0036 right now for a free consultation.