In the year 2018 alone, Floridians have experienced approximately 400,000 car accidents.
It might seem like a simple number on paper, but nothing can turn a person’s life upside-down more than a car accident can.
Unfortunately, the sheer damage and repercussions of one can be quite long-term as well. That’s why it’s officially acknowledged in courts as pain and suffering.
But, how much can you expect to get for pain and suffering from a car accident? The fact is it all depends. The amounts can fluctuate from case to case. However, there’s a multitude of factors that you can learn.
Keep on reading for our full-on breakdown of calculating pain and suffering damages from a car accident. In addition, we’ll explain the relevant terminologies.
Getting Into a Car Accident: What Is Pain and Suffering?
Before we delve into the details of calculating a sticker price for intangible concepts like pain and suffering, it’s essential to start with explaining what they actually mean.
In general, the term “pain and suffering” is used to describe the multitude of trauma that’s caused by car accident injuries.
The trauma is considered both physical and mental in nature. For instance, when it comes to physical injuries, the pain can truly impact the victim’s quality of life. The pain can be debilitating to the extent of limiting the victim’s mobility and ability to perform simple life activities.
In addition, physical pain can impact the victim’s ability to hold on to their livelihood, which —in turn— can keep the victim out of work and leading to a lifetime of financial burdens and struggles.
Moreover, there’s emotional and mental damage the victim has to deal with after the car accident. Even after the physical pain subsides, the injuries sustained during the accident can cause resistant emotional pain, some of which can last a lifetime.
As it were, these physical and emotional pains won’t necessarily come with a sticker price attached, especially the emotional and mental ones. Since the legal system can’t compute the damages’ full magnitude, they use a financial compensation as a way to give car accident victims some relief and resources to help them recover, and move on with their lives.
How to Calculate Pain and Suffering
After having a solid foundational understanding of what pain and suffering allude to, it’s time to take a deep dive into the different factors that can affect the value of a car accident injury claim and put a price tag on pain and suffering.
Generally speaking, pain and suffering are considered a noneconomic injury. Therefore, lawyers, jurors, and even insurance adjusters are all involved in the process of determining how much the pain and suffering is worth per case.
In order to reach a solid number on how much money a car accident victim should receive, they’ll all take into account the following factors:
- The extent and nature of the injuries: For example, a head injury won’t be treated the same as a leg injury
- Whether the injury will cause short-term or long-term effects and symptoms
- The effects of the injury on the individual
- Whether the injuries have resulted in an untimely death, or will likely result in one
The tricky part about pain and suffering damages is the difficulty of calculating a sticker price by relying on past outcomes and data. After all, even in cases of identical injuries, people can react quite differently and experience different degrees of pain.
That’s why the damages estimate relies on a reasonable assessment of the negative impacts of the specific injuries on a specific accident victim on a case-by-case basis.
Furthermore, here’s where your lawyers come in to help showcase the effects of the injuries on the victim’s daily life. Therefore, leading to the best pain and suffering settlement.
How to Prove Pain and Suffering Damages
Now that you know the different elements that affect the calculation of pain and suffering damages, it’s also important to understand that you’ll have to prove that this amount of harm has been done to the victim when it comes to insurance adjusters or a jury.
It’s essential to have an experienced car accident injury lawyer to help you with collecting evidence that showcases the degree of pain and suffering you’ve been experiencing as a direct result of the car accident.
Your lawyer will aid with collecting objective evidence like:
- Medical records
- Testimony from a medical expert
- Testimony from a mental health expert
- Photographic and video evidence of the before and after effects of your car accident injury
- Testimony from family members and friends
- Journals and other descriptions of pain and suffering that reflect your immediate thoughts about the trauma inflicted by the car accident injury
This might seem like a bit too much. However, all of the above are forms of evidence that help with evoking an empathic response from the judges, jurors, and even the insurance adjusters. They help paint the right picture of the repercussions of the car injury and how it deeply affected the victim’s daily lives.
In addition, by thoroughly comparing the ‘before and after,’ your lawyer will be able to argue for the right amount of money sought in pain and suffering damages as reasonable for your case.
Ready to Get Your Car Accident Injury Compensation?
We know it can be overwhelming to deal with the aftermath of a car accident and still keep in mind the evidence collection that needs to happen in the background.
The thing is, there’s no reason for you to try to deal with it alone.
Figuring out how much you should be getting for pain and suffering damages after getting into a car accident is an involved process. Now that you’ve read our little guide, you’re aware of the sheer amount of data gathering necessary for you to get the car injury settlement you deserve.
That’s where we at Reed & Reed, Attorneys at Law, come in. First, check out the essential Dos and Don’ts after getting into a car accident in Florida. Second, make sure to contact us so you can get your free consultation.