The weeks and months following a car accident can be overwhelming: you’re handling car repairs, organizing insurance claims, and recovering from injuries. You may also be experiencing emotional stress and anxiety as a result of the trauma. As the financial and emotional costs of your car accident pile up, you need to take steps to receive compensation for your damages.
One of the several types of damages that insurance companies will consider is pain and suffering. While this might seem like a straightforward concept, it can be challenging to put an appropriate dollar value on suffering. This is why it’s important to do your research and work with a knowledgeable car accident attorney to support your case. Read on for more information.
What does “pain and suffering” mean legally?
Pain and suffering as a legal concept covers several types of damages. Often the most prominent is physical injury and pain. Many personal injury plaintiffs are entitled to damages to cover their physical ailments. It’s also important to remember that pain and suffering encompases emotional and mental health as well. This can refer to insomnia, depression, anxiety, and fear as a result of the accident trauma. However, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles, these damages are separate from medical expenses and lost wages.
How is pain and suffering calculated?
Generally speaking, insurance companies take several factors into consideration when determining the severity of your pain and suffering. First, they look at your medical treatments. If an individual did not go to the doctor at all, they will likely receive little to no compensation for physical pain and suffering. However, an individual who received pain medication and physical treatment will likely receive more. The insurance company also considers how long you took to recover from your injuries. If you had to take time off from work, this also serves as evidence to back up your claim.
Many insurance companies use the above information to calculate your exact compensations. Insurance providers take the plaintiff’s exact damages, lost wages, and medical bills, and multiply it by a figure between one and five. They determine this figure based on the severity of the injuries. So, the higher your damages and the more severe your injury, the more compensation you typically receive.
What information will the insurance company need?
To ensure that the insurance company evaluates your case as accurately as possible, you want to make sure that they receive proper evidence. This includes a copy of your medical records, detailing the diagnosis and treatment of your injuries. They should also have copies of your medical bills and prescriptions. To reinforce your case even further, you can provide detailed photos of your injuries. If you took time off from work, the insurance company should receive a report from your employer confirming this lost time and wages. Your personal injury lawyer can help you organize the right materials and check that the insurance company has copies on hand. You should also keep careful digital records of this evidence to reference when necessary.
While working with insurance companies can be frustrating in the aftermath of an accident, remember that your attorney is available to help. Whether you have a car accident lawyer in Irvine, CA or Portland, ME, be sure to work closely with your attorney through the whole compensation process. Even when insurance companies have a method for calculating pain and suffering, it may not always be enough. Your lawyer can challenge their compensation offer, so you can receive the money you deserve and move on from your accident.