Incidents like car crashes, falls, and workplace accidents can cause severe injuries that completely alter the victim’s life. Many injury victims face a long recovery or develop a mental health condition due to trauma from their injury. Depending on the severity of their injury, they may even be unable to participate in the activities or hobbies they previously enjoyed, or complete daily life tasks.

You can receive compensation for injuries that leave you with pain and suffering through legal action. The Utah accident lawyers at Great West Injury Law can determine what pain and suffering damages you’re entitled to and will work to get you the full compensation you deserve.

Our No Fee Guarantee® ensures you get the legal representation you need with no financial risk to you.

Types of Pain and Suffering in Personal Injury Lawsuits

Damages from accidents fall into two categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are calculable based on your actual financial losses. These include your medical bills, lost wages, and other accident-related expenses that are easy to prove.

Non-economic damages, also known as your “pain and suffering” damages, are more difficult to calculate and prove. This is because they don’t have an objective dollar value. In Utah, pain and suffering account for both the physical and emotional pain you experience from an accident.

Physical Pain and Suffering

This type of pain and suffering results from a physical injury. For example, if you sustain a neck injury that results in ongoing neck or shoulder pain or recurring headaches, you may be eligible for pain and suffering damages.

This type of damage also covers any permanent impairment or disability resulting from your accident.

Mental Pain and Suffering

Accidents often cause emotional and mental pain and suffering as well. You may develop PTSD, depression, or anxiety following your accident or injury. For example, scarring or disfigurement from an accident can cause emotional distress. Any form of emotional distress or mental pain you experience due to your accident may entitle you to damages.

Who Can Recover Pain and Suffering Damages?

In Utah, anyone who has been injured physically or mentally due to the fault of another may be able to recover damages for pain and suffering. The legal term for fault is negligence, which happens when someone’s actions or inactions result in the harm of another person.

Pain and suffering damages are recoverable in a number of accident types, including injuries caused by vehicle crashes.

Calculating Pain and Suffering Damages

Pain and suffering damages differ from economic damages because you cannot easily calculate their costs by adding up medical bills and missed paychecks. A number of factors determine compensation for pain and suffering, including:

  • The type and severity of the injury
  • How long it takes the victim to recover
  • If the injury severely interferes or alters the victim’s daily life
  • Their total expenses resulting from the accident
  • Future monetary damages due to their injury
  • The victim’s age when the accident happened
  • Who is at fault for the accident
  • The continuing impact of the accident on the victim

Limits on Pain and Suffering Damages

The Utah statute of limitations gives victims four years to file a personal injury lawsuit after an accident.

Injury victims in car accidents must exceed their Personal Injury Protection (PIP) minimums before they can file a lawsuit against the other driver after a crash that wasn’t their fault. State law requires you to use your PIP first, unless a crash has resulted in:

  • Permanent disfigurement, impairment, or disability
  • Over $3,000 in medical expenses
  • Bone fractures
  • Dismemberment

The Importance of Legal Help

Unlike economic damages, there are no set standards for determining pain and suffering compensation. Personal judgment quantifies pain and suffering damages, so the amounts awarded may not always be reflected fairly. This is why it’s important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side arguing for your needs.

Under Utah’s comparative negligence law, your level of fault may reduce how much compensation you can earn. Working with an accident lawyer at our law firm can help improve the outcome of your claim. We have the expertise and resources to build your case and maximize your settlement.

An experienced accident attorney at our law firm can help you gather documents and other evidence needed to prove your case. This includes medical records and bills, any medical diagnoses you receive, police reports, eyewitnesses, and expert testimony.

We can also help you calculate fair compensation for your pain and suffering. Substantial evidence and a smart legal strategy improve your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve.

Start Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you’ve recently been injured in an accident and need legal help, the knowledgeable attorneys at Great West Injury Law can offer legal advice on proceeding with a personal injury claim.

Our compassionate accident lawyers understand the pain you’re in and work hard to pursue the damages you deserve. We use our experience and skills to develop a strong legal case and stand up to insurance companies on your behalf. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation review of your accident case.

Originally published April 18, 2022.