How Much Is Pain and Suffering for a Car Accident?

Upset woman sits near two crashed cars, showing a recent accident in Bakersfield.

When people drive negligently, accidents can occur, causing other drivers and passengers to suffer severe injuries. In addition to recovering monetary compensation for their medical expenses, lost income, and other out-of-pocket losses, accident victims can pursue monetary damages for their pain and suffering, both past and future.

Pain and suffering do not have an automatic financial value, as these are intangible and subjective losses. The amount of compensation that an accident victim may receive for their pain and suffering will depend on the nature and extent of their injuries and whether or not they suffered a permanent injury. Pain and suffering compensation varies widely from case to case.

Always have a knowledgeable Bakersfield car accident attorney calculate how much pain and suffering compensation you can recover. Your lawyer can file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company for all your pain and suffering damages and other compensation.

Your attorney can also handle settlement negotiations with insurance company representatives to obtain a fair and reasonable settlement in light of your specific injuries and pain and suffering.

If the insurance company does not offer you favorable compensation to settle your case, your lawyer can pursue litigation in the court system on your behalf.

Your attorney will be your advocate during every stage of your case and guide you to make intelligent and informed decisions along the way.

Damages for Car Accident Injuries

Victims of car crashes who can establish the legal elements of their case can receive various types of monetary damages.

First, they may recover compensation for their related past and future medical expenses. If they had to miss time from work after their accident, they can bring a claim for loss of earnings. Similarly, if their car accident-related injuries prevent them from returning to their former job and they must take a lower-paying job, they might pursue a claim for loss of earning capacity.

In addition to these economic damages, car accident victims may be eligible to receive various non-economic damages for their intangible losses. For example, they can pursue monetary compensation for their pain and suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience, loss of use of a body part, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of spousal companionship and consortium. These damages are collectively called pain and suffering damages.

Your attorney can determine your eligibility for filing a successful claim for pain and suffering. Your lawyer can also give you a ballpark estimate of the total value of your personal injury claim or lawsuit.

Common Factors That May Affect a Pain and Suffering Award

Pain and suffering awards vary significantly from case to case, depending on various circumstances. The more serious your injuries, the higher your pain and suffering award.

In addition, if you suffered a permanent injury in your accident, you are more likely to recover high monetary damages for pain and suffering. A permanent injury will not improve over time, based on a medical provider’s conclusions.

Factors that may affect the types and amounts of monetary damages you can recover for pain and suffering include:

  • The nature and extent of your injuries
  • The severity of your injuries
  • Whether you will need ongoing medical care for your injuries
  • Whether your injuries prevent you from performing various bodily functions
  • Whether your injuries prevent you from feeling in certain areas of your body, such as from spinal cord damage or paralysis injuries
  • The effect your injuries have had on your overall life and well-being
  • Whether your quality of life declines significantly due to your accident-related injuries
  • The specific insurance company adjuster with whom you are dealing
  • The venue where your personal injury lawsuit is pending.

Your attorney will do everything possible to maximize the monetary compensation you recover for your physical pain, suffering, and inconvenience after a car accident.

Ways That Car Crashes Typically Happen

Car accidents usually occur when drivers behave negligently or recklessly. For example, a driver might fail to follow one or more traffic regulations to keep everyone safe.

Some of the most common traffic violations that lead to car accidents and injuries include:

  • Speeding
  • Tailgating other vehicles
  • Failing to adjust and use mirrors
  • Improper passing
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way
  • Failing to use turn signals when necessary
  • Running red lights and stop signs

When drivers commit violations, they may cause accidents, leading to severe injuries and disabilities.

Distracted Driving

In addition to violating traffic laws, some drivers cause accidents when they drive distractedly. With many available technological devices in vehicles today, it is all too easy for drivers to become distracted.

Some drivers text, adjust what they’re listening to, program or follow GPS directions, and more. Many other non-technological activities can dangerously distract a driver.

When a driver looks away from the road, loses focus, or otherwise becomes distracted, they may fail to see or appreciate another car or pedestrian approaching. As a result, they may inadvertently cause a severe accident, injuring other people. Distracted driving has become a major public safety issue across the U.S.

Aggressive Driving

Some traffic accidents happen when a driver exhibits road rage or drives recklessly. Drivers frequently become frustrated when other cars are not going fast enough. Consequently, a driver might resort to various aggressive driving maneuvers, such as speeding, tailgating, aggressively weaving in and out of traffic, or failing to use their turn signals at the proper times. When a driver exercises these reckless maneuvers, they may cause a single accident or a series of collisions that involve multiple vehicles.

Impaired Driving

Finally, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol causes thousands of accidents a year. These substances can seriously alter a driver’s ability to drive safely.

For example, the driver may lose their ability to concentrate on the road or experience physical limitations, such as dizziness or blurred vision, preventing them from judging distances and seeing other vehicles. Similarly, intoxication may delay reflexes and reaction times, preventing drivers from stopping the car before hitting another vehicle or pedestrian.

If you sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident that resulted from driver error, always contact a skilled car accident attorney as quickly as possible. Your lawyer can determine your eligibility for filing a personal injury claim and work to secure favorable settlement compensation on your behalf, including monetary compensation for all your accident-related pain, suffering, and inconvenience.

Types of Crashes

When drivers behave negligently while at the wheel, they may cause various car crashes that differ in scope and severity. A rear-end crash is a common accident resulting from driver negligence. In this type of accident, a driver negligently causes the front of their vehicle to hit the back of another car, usually because the negligent driver is speeding or tailgating the other vehicle.

At other times, car accidents may happen when a driver negligently causes the front of their vehicle to hit the front of an oncoming vehicle in a head-on collision. In these accidents, the involved vehicles frequently fold in on themselves, often leading to permanent injuries and fatalities.

A sideswipe accident happens when the side of one vehicle strikes the side of another car traveling in the same direction but in an adjacent travel lane. Sometimes, the force of these accidents pushes the vehicle on the receiving end off the road entirely, causing the occupants to suffer serious injuries.

Finally, some car accidents involve broadside collisions, or T-bone collisions, where the front of one vehicle hits the side of another. These accidents are common at traffic intersections, especially when a driver negligently runs a red light, stop sign, or yield sign.

If you suffered injuries in one of these accidents that led to physical pain and suffering, you can recover both economic and non-economic damages in your case. Your attorney can gather the necessary documents, assemble a demand package, and forward the demand package to the insurance company for settlement purposes. Your lawyer will strive to obtain favorable settlement compensation in your case.

Injuries in Car Accidents

Car accidents can lead to debilitating physical injuries that require ongoing medical care and treatment. They may also cause the accident victim to experience intense pain, suffering, and inconvenience.

The injuries that a car crash victim will suffer often depend on the number of collisions involved, the speeds of the respective vehicles, the directions of the cars, the type of car accident that happened, and the accident victim’s bodily movements at the time of the crash.

For example, if a driver or passenger’s body moves forward and backward in an accident, they may suffer a soft tissue whiplash injury. Alternatively, if a part of the accident victim’s body strikes a vehicle component, the victim may suffer a broken bone, traumatic head injury, or other serious injury.

Additionally, car crash victims may suffer include internal organ injuries, internal bleeding, bruises from airbag deployment, open cuts and lacerations, spinal cord damage, and paralysis.

As soon as possible after your accident, focus on getting the medical treatment you need and completing your medical treatment regimen. You can do this by following your doctor’s orders concerning follow-up care. For example, you might need to schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor, undergo a medical procedure, or attend physical therapy sessions.

During this time, your car accident attorney can start gathering police records, medical records, and other necessary documentation for your case.

Successfully Proving a Car Accident Claim

In any personal injury claim or lawsuit that involves a car accident, the injured car accident victim has the legal burden of proof. Therefore, they must fully satisfy each legal element of their case to recover monetary compensation for their injuries.

All drivers owe a legal duty of care to others on the road. Specifically, drivers have an obligation to drive in a prudent, careful, and safe manner at all times. They must also drive their vehicles in accordance with all prevailing traffic laws and regulations.

For a car crash victim to prove their case, they must first establish that the other driver violated their legal duty of care in some way. For example, the driver might have been under the influence of alcohol or distracted while driving. To prove this legal element, an accident victim can reference a police report that squarely places blame for the accident on the other driver.

Next, the accident victim must establish that their accident directly resulted from the other driver’s negligence and that they suffered one or more physical injuries as a direct result. To prove medical causation in their case, the accident victim might need to reference a medical record that a healthcare provider previously prepared.

Call a Car Accident Lawyer in Your Area Today

Mickey Fine - Car Accident Attorney near Bakersfield, CA area

Mickey Fine, Car Accident Attorney

To recover monetary compensation after a car accident, including compensation for physical pain and suffering, accident victims must establish their legal burden of proof.

A knowledgeable car accident lawyer in your area can ensure that your case satisfies these legal elements and aggressively negotiate with insurance company adjusters on your behalf in pursuit of a fair and reasonable monetary award.

If the insurance company does not offer fair compensation for your pain, suffering, and other losses, your attorney can litigate your case in the court system and take it to a civil jury trial, mediation, or binding arbitration proceeding. Your attorney will stand by your side every step of the way, helping you make important decisions in your case and working to secure the fair compensation you need.

Car Accident
by Mickey Fine Law
Last updated on - Originally published on