How Much Will I Get For Pain and Suffering From A Car Accident?

How Much Will I Get For Pain and Suffering From A Car Accident

You were in a car accident through no fault of your own and have severe injuries. You understand that if you prove the other driver was negligent, you can receive compensation for your medical bills and lost earnings. However, there is often more to personal injury claims and the compensation you may receive, such as pain and suffering.

How does the law define pain and suffering, and how much can you receive after a severe accident? Below is some brief information about how pain and suffering works in a car accident claim. Always discuss how much you can get for your own pain and suffering with a car accident attorney.

Physical Pain And Suffering After A Car Accident

Can accident injuries can be painful. Sometimes, the pain can last weeks, months, or permanently. When the pain persists for a long time, it is defined as chronic pain, and you should receive fair compensation for it if someone else caused the auto accident. Common auto accident injuries that can result in pain and suffering compensation are:

Some of the additional related manifestations of car accident pain and suffering that can factor into a settlement are:

  • Physical pain and suffering due to your medical treatments to treat your injuries. For instance, if you have several complex leg fractures, you may need multiple surgeries to set the bones, which can be extremely painful.
  • Negative impacts of the pain and suffering, such as anxiety, sleeplessness, and depression.

Emotional Pain And Suffering After A Car Accident

There are other types of pain and suffering you can be entitled to after a car accident. A severe accident and injury can cause serious mental and psychological issues that can last for months or years. Long-term mental and emotional anguish after a car accident can make it challenging to live a normal life. Some common forms of emotional anguish after a car accident are:

  • Fear of being around motor vehicles or drive
  • Insomnia
  • Psychological trauma
  • Anger
  • Worry
  • Grief
  • Frustration
  • PTSD
  • Reduction in enjoyment of life
  • Mental decline and changes after a brain injury

Emotional pain and suffering from a car accident can be severe and greatly affect your life. If the mental suffering is related to a physical injury, you can receive compensation for your losses.

If you are dealing with mental and emotional trauma from your injuries, make sure to mention that fact when keeping a pain journal. The pain journal can be written or video. Discuss how you, for example, have trouble sleeping or experience severe anxiety after the accident. Many injury victims have significant mental suffering after major car accident injuries, and you should be compensated for it.

The most severe injuries, such as paralysis or serious burns, tend to receive the most pain and suffering compensation. Your attorney will aggressively negotiate for maximum pain and suffering damages – both mental and physical – if you have a grave, life-changing injury.

How Is Pain And Suffering Calculated?

Every car accident case and injury is different. Therefore, how pain and suffering gets calculated and what you ultimately receive depends on the case’s circumstances. However, insurance companies typically determine pain and suffering compensation in two ways:

Multiplier Method

The multiplier method means taking your actual damages – medical expenses, lost income, etc. – and multiplying them by a number between one and five. A relatively minor injury, such as a sprained neck and back, might have one multiplier assigned. But a severe injury with months or years of recovery, such as a brain injury, can have a four or five multiplier.

For example, if you have $50,000 in lost earnings and medical bills from a broken arm claim, the insurance company might assign a two to your degree of pain and suffering. In this example, you would receive compensation of $100,000 in pain and suffering. Keep in mind that your car accident attorney will take their legal fees from the $150,000 you receive in the claim.

Per Diem

The per diem method of determining pain and suffering assigns a dollar figure to every day from the car accident to the day you reach maximum medical recovery (MMI). Maximum medical recovery is when your doctor doesn’t expect your injuries to improve.

These are the two most common ways that pain and suffering are measured. However, the insurance company representing the defendant can use other methods not covered here.

How Do You Prove Pain And Suffering?

Documenting EvidencesIf you claim pain and suffering after a car accident related to your injuries, you have to prove it. There must be substantial evidence to show the pain and suffering is real. This evidence can include:

  • Statements from your doctor about your degree of pain and suffering
  • Medical evidence, such as X-rays, CT scans, medical reports, lab results, etc.
  • Photographs and video
  • A journal that documents your degree of pain
  • Statements from your treating mental health professional

The more evidence you show, the more likely the jury or insurance company will believe that the accident has caused you significant pain and suffering. You can collect this evidence yourself. However, an experienced car accident attorney knows the evidence needed to prove pain and suffering and can collect it more easily. Having your attorney handle this important matter also means you can focus on healing and getting back on your feet.

How Much Can I Get For Pain And Suffering?

Every car accident case is different, so it is impossible to say what you can receive for pain and suffering. However, every injury claim after a car crash will focus on the nature and extent of the injuries and the medical treatments performed. The insurance company representing the defendant will generally make the following assumptions:

  • Injuries requiring more medical treatments usually cause more pain and suffering than minor injuries. For example, if you have a shattered femur and tibia from a car accident, this injury will be more painful during and after the accident than a back sprain. So, your pain and suffering compensation will likely be higher.
  • Injuries requiring more time to recover usually cause more pain and suffering. The recovery from multiple fractures will take longer than a broken wrist, so you will probably receive additional compensation.

The amount of pain and suffering compensation received always comes down to injuries and medical evidence. That’s why you should always seek medical treatment after a car accident. If you do not get medical treatment and you later claim severe pain and suffering, the insurance company will not take you as seriously. From its position, you are just saying that you suffered an injury and are in pain and suffering. The insurance company will only pay a significant amount if there is ample medical evidence of your injuries, treatments, and resulting pain and suffering.

Filing A Pain And Suffering Lawsuit After A Car Accident

Most car accident cases with pain and suffering are resolved through the insurance claims process. Typically, if another driver hits and injures you in a car crash, their insurance company will pay for your injuries and lost income. However, filing a personal injury lawsuit may be necessary if the car insurance company does not offer a fair amount for your injuries, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.

Your attorney will advise you if the settlement being offered is fair. If it isn’t, they may advise that you file a lawsuit, which the attorney will do for you in the appropriate court. Simply filing the lawsuit can be enough to encourage the at-fault party’s insurance company to offer a large settlement. If not, your attorney will prepare the case for trial and ask for fair pain and suffering compensation from the jury.

Helping Your Attorney With A Pain And Suffering Claim

Seeking Legal Help from Car Accident AttorneyIt’s usually best to turn a major auto accident claim with pain and suffering to a skilled attorney. They know what your claim is worth and what it takes to negotiate the best settlement. However, that isn’t to say that you can do nothing to help your case. Keep the following points in mind to maximize your pain and suffering compensation:

Don’t Talk About Your Case On Social Media

After a traumatic car accident that wasn’t your fault, it’s tempting to share your experience with your friends on social media. Don’t be tempted. The insurance company will likely monitor your social media feeds. Insurance investigators will look for any sign that you are exaggerating your injuries. If you engage in activities that will be difficult and cause significant pain and suffering, it could negatively affect your compensation.

For instance, if you claim you can barely walk because of your back pain after the crash, posting online about going for a walk around the block can cause trouble. It is best to avoid posting on social media until your claim is resolved.

Keep A Pain Journal

The more evidence there is of significant pain and suffering in your case, the better for your ultimate compensation. You should keep a written or video journal of the pain you experience after the car accident. For example, if you have a slipped disc in your thoracic spine after a rear-end car accident, you should note in your journal how it affects your life.

You can discuss how your lower back pain makes it hard to get out of bed, dress, walk, prepare meals, and get in and out of the car. Perhaps the back pain prevents you from exercising and playing with your children. A pain journal can be key to getting the most compensation for pain and suffering when accompanied by convincing medical documentation and physician statements.

Don’t Try To Negotiate Your Own Pain And Suffering Compensation

Most of the time, the insurance company will attempt to offer you a token amount if you try to settle your own claim and pain and suffering compensation. This small amount is usually only a fraction of what the case is worth. It takes an experienced car accident attorney to prove the severity of injuries and the pain and compensation you deserve. Here is why you should always have a skilled auto accident attorney negotiate for pain and suffering damages for you:

  • Your attorney understands what your claim is worth: Personal injury lawyers who focus on serious car accidents have extensive knowledge of what these claims are worth. They know all the factors that increase the value of your claim and will never let the insurance company get away with an unfairly low settlement.
  • Your attorney knows every insurance company’s tactic to reduce the value of a claim. Even when the defendant was clearly at fault, the insurance company may stall and try to argue that you were partially at fault. This can reduce the amount of pain and suffering compensation you receive. If the insurance company tries this with a skilled car crash attorney, they won’t put up with it and will aggressively negotiate for fair compensation.
  • Your lawyer knows that compensation for pain and suffering is subjective. It takes an in-depth knowledge of the law and experience in negotiating claims to obtain a fair amount for physical and mental discomfort from a car accident. These are delicate negotiations that are as much art as science, and your attorney is highly skilled in these areas.

Contact A Car Accident Attorney Today

Car Accident Attorney, Mickey Fine

Mickey Fine, Car Accident Lawyer

If you have serious injuries after a car accident, you might have a pile of medical bills and be out of work. But that is often only the start of the losses stemming from a car accident. Many accident victims have tremendous pain and suffering that they should be compensated for. While there is no guarantee of the amount of pain and suffering compensation you can get, serious injuries backed by solid evidence tend to receive more compensation. Speak to an experienced personal injury attorney today to learn if your case can qualify for compensation, including pain and suffering.

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