How to get a Settlement for Pain and Suffering
If you have been involved in an accident that resulted in injuries, you will most likely pursue a personal injury claim in order to recoup compensation to cover your losses. In almost every accident where there is a claim filed for medical expenses and lost wages, the claim will also ask for pain and suffering. Pain and suffering are difficult to prove because of the lack of tangibility, such as economic damages where it is easy to prove with hospital bills, receipts, or existing wages. If the accident seemed to be minor or not as serious, it might be difficult to show the damages are warranted.
What Classifies as Pain and Suffering?
The term pain and suffering makes reference to the physical pain and/or the emotional stress and trauma that are associated with an accident and the injuries that it caused. As an example, if a trucker was burned in a truck crash, the driver would most likely recover compensation for the agony associated with suffering the burn itself, the treatment required, the discomfort suffered by the driver, and any limitations that were imposed on the driver’s lifestyle and activities after the burns were suffered. Most likely, the driver could recover compensation for the limitations and stress caused by being permanently disfigured or scarred by the burns.
Calculating Your Pain and Suffering
There is no standard across-the-board rule for calculating pain and suffering after an accident. When calculating the figure, insurance companies will look at the permanency and severity of your injuries from the accident. The more severe the injury, the greater the compensation you will be entitled to for pain and suffering. A bruised arm will not warrant the same compensation that a broken wrist would. It goes without saying that there is more pain and suffering associated with more serious injuries.
Insurance companies usually multiply your medical bills by a number that is between one and five, so they can come up with a figure for your pain and suffering. The more serious your injury, the higher the multiplier that is used. Your personal injury attorney will have to use his or her best judgment in coming up with a fair estimation for your pain and suffering, often based on their years of experience and involvement in other, sometimes similar, cases. You and your lawyer will need to justify and explain your calculation through a demand letter sent to the lawyer representing the other party or their insurance company.
Is Pursuing Pain and Suffering Worth the Trouble?
Since pain and suffering is so difficult to prove, you might wonder if it is worth the trouble of pursuing a claim. If your claim cannot be resolved through a settlement, you will need to file a lawsuit. If your injuries are lasting or had significant effects, it might be worth the trouble. This is especially true if you have accumulated a significant amount of medical bills, missed a lot of work, and you will be adversely affected for the rest of your life. As an example, a serious neck or back injury or head trauma would warrant pursuit of such a claim.
Regardless, after any significant accident, it is important that you consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can advise you of your legal rights and options to help you recover for the damages you have suffered due to the negligence of others, including for pain and suffering.
The legal team at Fears Nachawati is standing by, ready to advise, and here to help you hold the responsible parties accountable. Contact our experienced team today for a free, no obligation legal consultation to discuss the specifics of your case. Please call (866) 705-7584 or visit the offices of Fears Nachawati located throughout the great state of Texas, including in Houston, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.