When someone is in a car accident, the first question they might ask themselves (after “Is everyone okay?”) is “How much will this cost me?” And while the primary costs, like medical bills, damages, and lost wages, can all be calculated with relative ease and accuracy, there’s one category that causes confusion and requires some nuance: pain and suffering.
Read on to learn more about this type of damage, including how it’s calculated in the event of a car accident. If you were recently hurt in a car accident caused by negligent drivers, Great West Injury Law can walk you through the entire process and help get you the compensation you deserve, including for the pain and suffering you’ve endured.
What Is Pain and Suffering?
Pain and suffering damage is a type of non-economic damage that may be sought in a personal injury lawsuit, like after a car accident. They’re awarded to compensate an individual for the physical and emotional pain they’ve experienced as a result of their injuries. This can include physical pain from the injuries themselves, to emotional distress such as anxiety, depression, and loss of enjoyment of life.
How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Evaluated?
In general, the more severe the injury, the greater the amount of pain and suffering the individual is likely to experience. This is because severe injuries often require extensive medical treatment and greater disruption of life, and can result in long-term physical limitations and lasting mental and emotional effects.
Another factor related to injury severity is the duration of the injury. If an individual experiences a long-term or chronic injury, they are likely to experience a greater amount of pain and suffering than if their injury is short-term. This is because chronic injuries often require ongoing medical treatment and can significantly impact an individual’s ability to enjoy life and engage in their hobbies and daily activities.
The victim’s age is also taken into consideration when calculating compensation for pain and suffering. In general, younger individuals are more likely to experience a greater amount of pain and suffering than older individuals, because younger individuals have a longer life expectancy and may be more likely to suffer from the long-term physical and emotional effects of the injury.
This ties into another element in evaluation: pre-accident quality of life. If the victim was highly active and enjoyed a good quality of life before the accident, the impact of the injury is likely to be greater, because the individual may be unable to engage in the activities that they previously enjoyed, which can lead to a significant loss of enjoyment of life.
There are several methods used for quantifying these considerations into a specific damages amount. A few of the common methods are:
- The multiplier method, where the individual’s economic losses are multiplied by a number between 1.5 and 5, depending on the severity of the injury
- The per diem method, where a daily rate is determined based on the individual’s physical and emotional suffering
- The past cases method, where an attorney reviews previous similar cases to determine the appropriate amount for the individual’s injuries
The evaluation of pain and suffering after an accident is a complex process that takes into consideration a variety of factors. Ultimately, it’s important to understand that the goal of these damages is to help the injured person restore their quality of life to the fullest extent possible and to compensate them for their physical and emotional distress.
Tips for Pain and Suffering Evaluation
To improve the efficacy and eventual payout of your pain and suffering evaluation, one of the most important things you can do is document your injuries and the impact they have had on your life. This can be done through medical records and other forms of documentation, such as journal entries or photographs.
It is also important to keep track of your medical expenses and lost wages. This can help to demonstrate the financial impact of the accident on your life.
Additionally, it can be helpful to gather evidence from witnesses who can attest to the day-to-day impact of the accident on your life. This can include friends, family members, and co-workers who can provide statements about the ways in which the accident has affected you in your family life, your work, your hobbies, and more.
Let Great West Injury Law Help You
Seeking the help of qualified personal injury lawyers can help make this complicated and delicate process a bit easier. Our Utah car accident lawyers at Great West Injury Law can assist you in evaluating your claim and determining the appropriate amount of damages to seek.
We can also provide guidance and support throughout the legal process. If you’ve been victimized by someone’s negligence and your life is worse as a result, reach out to us for a free consultation on your case.