Recovering Compensation From Pain and Suffering
A car collision can leave you with substantial losses. Many of these are easy to quantify such as your medical expenses, your lost wages, and the cost of repairing your vehicle. Some, like the value of your pain, suffering, limitations, and loss of enjoyment of life, are more difficult to assess.
Importantly, however, these “non-economic’ losses can be a substantial component in valuing a person’s losses from a car crash; so, it is critical to protect your right to recover these losses in full. An attorney trained and experienced in representing people injured in car crashes, with a proven record, will know how to determine the value of these losses and how to effectively establish your damages to the insurance company and the court. Read on to learn more about car crash claims and damages for pain and suffering from our experienced car accident injury attorneys.
Economic versus Non-economic Damages
“Damages“ refers to monetary compensation as a legal remedy in civil cases, including car crash claims. When someone else causes you harm, the very purpose of an insurance claim or lawsuit is to make you “whole” again. Because no one can turn back time and stop the collision or resulting injuries and losses from occurring, the law provides money damages as the remedy.
There are two types of compensatory damages in injury claims: Economic and non-economic. Economic damages refer to those that can be shown with something like an invoice, a bill, an EOB, or a W2. Basic accounting.
Non-economic damages compensate you for losses that are not so precisely counted. Humans experience unique losses that inanimate objects do not. Hence, we can recover for losses unique to our human qualities and human experience.
Some examples of recoverable non-economic include:
- Physical pain;
- Mental suffering;
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Even if you do not have permanent injuries, you can still experience substantial and very real non-economic losses. An experienced and proven lawyer can help you understand your right to a full recovery for all your losses.
Most injuries hurt—some will begin hurting immediately, while others might induce pain over time. Some injured in car crashes are initially in shock so they cannot appreciate the severity or even existence of their injuries. These people often realize their injuries hours or days later.
Many injuries continue to cause pain for weeks, months or years. Pain might be constant or might flare up such as when you engage in certain movements or activities. In either situation, pain can wear on you, reduce your ability to participate in certain activities and diminish the quality of your life.
Suffering generally refers to mental suffering related to injuries and even the experienced from a car crash. People may experience emotional effects stemming from ongoing pain, stress, limited abilities, impacts on work, family and hobbies,
Many injured people experience one or more of the following in the wake of their car accident:
These issues can make it difficult for you to live life to the fullest. Many people require therapy, medication, and other treatment to help manage their emotional and mental distress after a serious injury.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
Another component of pain and suffering is the loss of enjoyment of life people often experience following a serious injury. Many injuries can prevent you from working, which, when healthy, can give you purpose and a sense of accomplishment in life. When people cannot work, they can fall into depression, experience feelings of worthlessness, feel like their lives lack meaning.
Furthermore, injuries can keep you from participating in many other activities you love like playing with or caring for your children, playing sports, fitness, gardening, cooking, home improvement, travel.
These all add meaning to people’s lives and without them people commonly lose out on the richness of life.
Proving Your Pain and Suffering
You might know that you experienced significant pain and suffering, but how do you demonstrate that to an insurance company or jury? Insurance companies are notorious for minimizing the pain and suffering that injured people experience, so work with your car crash lawyer to effectively prove this aspect of your damages.
Measuring physical pain can be a difficult task. Medical professionals often use a pain scale during an initial examination and diagnostic testing to help them determine the nature and extent of your injuries. However, this pain scale means little to insurance adjusters weeks or months later.
Some evidence of pain and suffering might include:
- A pain journal you kept recording how you felt on a day-to-day basis;
- Testimony from family members, friends or people at work who can attest to changes in your physical and mental state;
- Pain-relievers and other medications you needed to manage your pain;
- Therapy and other mental treatment engaged.
While you might not know how to prove your pain and suffering, this is where an experienced and proven car crash attorney comes in. The right attorney will know how to demonstrate the full non-economic damages you deserve to insurers and adverse parties.
Seek Help From the Best Car Crash Lawyer Near You
When it comes time to file your insurance claim or lawsuit following a car crash, do not risk leaving money for pain and suffering on the table. Instead, seek out the right car crash attorney in your area who can best help with your claim. Be sure to be open and honest about the pain and suffering you have experienced, so your lawyer can get an accurate idea of how much you might receive for your car accident claim.