HOW MUCH IS MY PAIN AND SUFFERING WORTH AFTER AN ACCIDENT?
Posted on Tuesday, May 5th, 2020 at 9:53 pm
The damages caused by an accident vary depending on the types of injuries, the severity of injuries, and other factors. Valuing an accident claim can be difficult, especially in cases involving traumatic injuries or permanent disabilities. Carefully documenting damages is essential for maximizing the compensation for an accident claim. However, how to document the pain and suffering caused by an accident injury?
What Are Pain And Suffering Damages?
Pain and suffering damages are non-economic damages. Economic damages, including loss of income and medical expenses, can be calculated based on the actual financial losses you experience because of the accident and your injuries. However, there is not an invoice or a bill for pain and suffering.
Compensation for non-economic damages is intended to compensate you for the physical, emotional, and mental suffering and pain you endure because of the negligence or wrongdoing of another party. While it is difficult to put a price tag on a person’s pain and suffering, that is the only way the judicial system can attempt to make a person “whole” after an accident or injury.
Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Your physical pain and suffering caused by your injuries;
- The emotional distress and mental anguish caused by the accident, your injuries, and your recovery, including depression, anxiety, fear, PTSD, and stress;
- Permanent impairments and disabilities;
- Decrease in your quality of love or enjoyment of life;
- Scarring and disfigurement; and,
- Loss of relationships with family and friends.
How Do I Value My Noneconomic Damages?
There is not an equation for valuing pain and suffering damages. Each case is evaluated individually based on the unique factors in the case. It can help to keep a journal detailing your struggles and challenges as you recover from your accident injuries. Include notes about your daily pain levels, activities that you cannot perform, events you miss, your emotional state, and other information that relates directly to the suffering caused by the accident and your injuries.
Your Sacramento personal injury lawyer uses this information, in combination with medical information from your health providers, to develop a case to maximize pain and suffering damages. An experienced attorney understands how insurance companies view claims for noneconomic damages and how these companies calculate damages.
Overall, insurance companies tend to minimize the value of non-economic damages. They attack this portion of the injury claim because there is no “hard” evidence to prove that someone suffered because of an injury. However, based on expert testimony and past injury cases, an attorney can develop a convincing case that you suffered extensively because of a certain injury.
Contact Our Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers for a Free Case Review
In many cases, individuals who have legal representation for injury claims receive higher settlement offers. Insurance companies know that attorneys with experience handling injury claims are aware of the value of the claim and what a jury may award the accident victim if the case goes to trial.
Therefore, the insurance company may be more willing to work with an accident victim to arrive at a fair settlement to avoid going to court.