How Much Is Pain and Suffering for a Car Accident?

Young man rubbing neck in pain, standing by damaged car after traffic accident.

If you or a loved one sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident due to the wrongful actions of another, you may recover certain monetary relief.

Unfortunately, calculating these damages is not always easy, especially when determining the compensation you can obtain for your pain and suffering. Thankfully an experienced car accident attorney can take on this legal process and fight for the pain and suffering damages you deserve.

Keep reading to learn more about how a legal professional can determine your pain and suffering payouts and how they can fight for the justice and compensation you may deserve.

The Impact of PIP Insurance on Pain and Suffering

If you live in a so-called fault state, you can immediately sue for pain and suffering along with your economic damages. In no-fault states like New York and New Jersey, however, you need to first file a claim with your PIP insurer (if you carry that insurance).

PIP only covers economic damages—typically medical costs and income replacement while you recover—not pain and suffering.

You will need to exhaust your PIP benefits or exceed a serious injury threshold before you can step outside the no-fault system and seek noneconomic damages.???????? Not true

Types of Pain and Suffering Damages

Pain and suffering refers to mental and physical injuries resulting from an accident due to another person’s reckless, negligent, or intentional wrongdoings.

Unlike economic damages, these non-un-economic damages are hard to quantify and challenging to prove without the help of an experienced car accident lawyer.

Furthermore, pain and suffering damages can fall into two categories:

Category One: Physical Pain and Suffering

Physical pain and suffering usually refer to the impact of the bodily injuries that develop after a motor vehicle accident, such as aches and pains. Depending on the accident, these injuries can last for years or, in some cases, become permanent.

Some of the more common examples of physical symptoms after a car accident include:

  • Headaches
  • Nerve issues
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Back pain
  • Neck issues
  • Vertigo
  • Tinnitus
  • Broken bones
  • Paralysis
  • Internal organ damage

These symptoms not only result in medical bills but can damage your ability to engage in simple daily activities and enjoy your life. If someone’s negligence hurts you, they may need to compensate you for these subjective? damages as well as your objective economic damages.

Category Two: Emotional Pain and Suffering

Silhouetted person sitting head in hands on park bench, conveying deep sadness.

The second category of pain and suffering deals with emotional pain and suffering. These damages refer to the psychological and cognitive impacts of an accident. These repercussions can affect every part of a person’s life.

Some examples of emotional symptoms that can develop after a car crash include:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Mental anguish
  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of quality of life

Look at TBI page

If the motor vehicle collision results in a death, the victim’s family may also collect compensation related to their grief and loss of consortium, which describes the loss of the benefits of a family relationship due to another person’s wrongdoings.

How to Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages After a Motor Vehicle Accident?

Before trying to calculate pain and suffering damages, the insurance company and your lawyer will look at:

  • The severity of the injuries that resulted after the collision
  • The extent of these injuries
  • The impact of the injuries on the victim’s ability to live their life
  • The effect of the injuries on the victim’s relationships
  • The result of the injuries on the victim’s ability to work and their social status
  • The lost income sustained after not working following the accident
  • The extent of the treatments involved and whether there need to be ongoing treatments
  • Whether the harm is permanent or the likelihood of recovery after the accident
  • How long it will take the victim to heal following the incident

In addition to reviewing these factors, different calculations determine how much compensation victims of a car crash can receive for their pain and suffering. Two more popular formulas used to calculate these damages include the per diem or the daily rate method and the multiplier method. Depending on the State, these methods may be used to calculate pain and suffering damages.

The Per Diem Method

This method, also known as the daily rate method, calculates pain and suffering by assigning a daily rate for each day an accident victim suffers from the impacts of an automobile crash. A car accident attorney can calculate this daily rate by looking into the victim’s potential daily income had they not been harmed in the accident.

Put otherwise, this method calculates pain and suffering based on the amount a car crash victim loses every day due to their physical and emotional pain and suffering, multiplied by how many days they endured their pain and suffering until they heal.

The Multiplier Method

The second method is the multiplier method, which does not consider the car crash victim’s income. Instead, this method focuses on the victim’s total economic damages after the accident.

Your lawyer will add all of your economic damages up and multiply it by a number. For instance, minor injuries usually receive a lower multiplier, while a traumatic injury resulting in permanent disability will receive a higher multiplier.

To determine your pain and suffering damages, contact a skilled car accident attorney to walk you through this process and determine the monetary damages you need.

How Do Insurers Evaluate Your Pain and Suffering Damages?

Unfortunately, securing the money you deserve can be challenging when insurance companies get involved following a car accident. In most cases, insurance companies severely discount pain and suffering damages. Pain is subjective, which allows these companies to discredit the severity of your harm and losses.

That is why following a motor vehicle accident, if you receive a settlement offer from the insurer before you accept anything, discuss it with a knowledgeable car accident attorney.

These legal professionals can not only determine if the amount offered is substantially lower than the amount they believe you should receive, but if it is, they can head back to the insurer and fight for maximum compensation.

What Documentation Can Help Your Pain and Suffering Evaluation

To truly capture the extent of your pain and suffering following a car accident, you must present more than a photo of the injuries involved. Rather, you need documentation showing how much you went through because of your injuries.

Fortunately, when you work with a knowledgeable car accident attorney, they can gather specific documentation to support your legal claim, including:

Toy car on insurance form with calculator and pen, symbolizing claim calculation.

  • A medical report documenting your injuries, which can help prove the severity of your pain and suffering
  • Medical bills and expenses showing the extent of your losses because of these injuries
  • Other medical reports from doctors who examined you, including therapy reports
  • Videos showing the severity of your symptoms and the healing process involved
  • Statements from other doctors, psychologists, and accident reconstruction specialists who can help substantiate your pain and suffering claim
  • Testimony from individuals who can detail how this accident impacted your ability to live your life
  • Documents showing how your pain and suffering interfered with your ability to perform routine, everyday functions
  • Receipts related to the medications you need
  • Documentation from your job about the time you missed from work

What Injuries Result in More Pain and Suffering Compensation After a Car Crash

While any injuries after a car accident can forever affect your life, certain injuries can significantly increase your pain and suffering compensation:

  • Injuries that require more treatment can result in more pain and suffering for a victim, which can mean higher compensation.
  • Trauma that results in a longer recovery time can often be linked with more pain and suffering and consequently can mean higher compensation.

Some injuries that usually have higher pain and suffering payout include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Extensive burns
  • Amputated limbs
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Injuries that resulted in disfigurement, especially to the face and eyes
  • Other injuries that result in the decline of a person’s quality of life

Because each collision differs, review your crash with a skilled motor vehicle accident lawyer to determine whether your injuries would result in a lower or higher pain and suffering payout.

Pursuing a Lawsuit After a Motor Vehicle Accident

Most car accident injury cases will get resolved with a settlement between the injured party’s attorney and the insurance company. However, if the insurance company refuses to acknowledge the severity of your pain, losses, and overall damages, your attorney may decide that pursuing further legal action would be the better option for your claim.

However, if you are thinking about taking your motor vehicle accident to the courtroom, the statute of limitations in your state sets a deadline to pursue a lawsuit. If you do not file your lawsuit within the time specified by the statute, the court can stop you from getting the money you deserve.

If the insurance process delayed its response or sent you a lowball offer to try and settle your case, contact an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can determine if you should file a lawsuit and get this process started before time runs out.

Affording a Car Accident Attorney to Go After Your Pain and Suffering Damages

Person signing insurance or legal documents, guided by another, with model car nearby.

Some accident victims do not retain the help of a legal professional after an accident because they worry that they will not be able to afford these lawyers. However, most car accident attorneys go unpaid unless their client wins their case.

These lawyers tend to work on a contingency fee basis, so the attorneys only receive money if their clients receive a judgment or a settlement. If they do not win, clients do not pay these attorneys. Furthermore, the amount these attorneys receive will come from an agreed-upon percentage.

For these reasons, if you are on the fence about hiring an attorney, contact a legal professional and learn more about this fee arrangement and what it can mean for you.

Learn More About Your Legal Options After a Car Accident by Contacting an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

After a car accident, you have enough to worry about. You should not stress about how to calculate pain and suffering damages on top of everything else you are going through.

Thankfully, when you retain a legal professional to take on your car accident claim, you will not have to handle this legal battle alone. Rather, these attorneys can stand by your side through this challenging time and help you fight for every last dollar you need.

For instance, your lawyers can:

  • Review your accident’s circumstances, determine if you have a valid legal claim, and determine your options after this devastating incident.
  • Investigate the collision and look for evidence that can help show what happened, who was at fault, and the total extent of your pain and suffering.
  • Bring in specialists to help validate your legal claim.
  • Obtain witness testimony that can help substantiate your case.
  • Handle all communications with the other parties involved in the accident.
  • Take on the negotiations with the insurance company and fight for a fair payout.
  • Head to a judge or a jury if the insurer is unwilling to get you the money you need and pursue maximum compensation.

For further information regarding pain and suffering damages after a motor vehicle accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney today to arrange a meeting to review your accident for free and learn how these attorneys can help you go after the financial damages you deserve.

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