How Do I Prove Pain and Suffering in a Car Crash Injury Case?
If you were injured in a car accident, you may be able to seek compensation for eligible damages. A typical car accident case settlement includes economic and non-economic damages, the latter also known as pain and suffering.
While terms like medical expenses and lost wages are clear enough, “pain and suffering” may seem nebulous. What does it include, and how can a car accident attorney help you prove it?
What Is Pain and Suffering?
In a nutshell, “pain and suffering” encompasses any non-tangible consequences of a car accident. For example, you can calculate your medical costs and count them as economic damages, but it is more challenging to put a price tag on your physical and emotional anguish. These count as pain and suffering.
Other components of pain and suffering may include:
- PTSD, insomnia, and recurring nightmares
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of meaningful activities
- Inability to follow your normal daily routine
- Loss of or damage to family relationships
Proving Pain and Suffering
Proving the extent of your pain and suffering is one of the trickiest parts of a personal injury claim. You may lean on various supporting documentation, such as:
- A written log of your injuries that details your symptoms and daily struggles
- Medical records of your chronic pain management, physical rehabilitation, or counseling program
- Records of payments to an in-home aide you had to hire for assistance with daily tasks
- Any documents that prove substantial changes in your lifestyle following the accident
The problem with proving pain and suffering is that the term may be open to interpretation. The liable party, like an insurance company that’s supposed to cover your damages, may try to downplay your distress in an attempt to lower your settlement. That’s why working with a skilled, knowledgeable car accident attorney who knows how to negotiate with insurers is crucial.
Important Tips for Protecting Your Rights
If you’re currently in the process of seeking compensation for your injuries after a car accident, the following tips could help reinforce your claim:
- Be careful when you talk to insurers. Insurance adjusters may try to use what you say to undermine your claim. It’s better to let your attorney handle all interactions with insurance companies.
- Stick to your treatment plan. Carefully follow your healthcare provider’s instructions. Otherwise, an insurer may claim that you made your injuries worse.
- Avoid social media. Insurers may use even seemingly innocent posts and photos to harm your claim.
Calculating Pain and Suffering
So, how would an auto accident lawyer calculate pain and suffering when negotiating your settlement? Depending on your recovery prospects, your car accident attorney will use either the per diem or the multiplier method.
The per diem approach usually works for less serious injuries with a limited recovery time. Basically, your settlement will assign a specific sum of money for every day you spend recovering.
The multiplier method is more common for long-term or permanent injuries. This approach uses a basic formula of [Economic Damages] X [Pain and Suffering Multiplier] = Total Settlement. The multiplier ranges from one to five depending on the severity of your injuries.
For example, if your total economic damages equal $50,000 and the multiplier is 3, your final settlement would be $50,000 X 3 = $150,000.
Contact Leaser Law Firm for a Consultation Today
As a car accident survivor, you may be struggling to rebuild your life while dealing with chronic pain and insurmountable medical bills. Let our skilled personal injury lawyers help you seek compensation for your car accident injuries.