If you win a personal injury case, you are eligible for compensation of economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. On the other hand, non-economic damage involves pain and suffering that results from the accident.
However, can you claim the non-injury pain and suffering compensation in every car accident? What are the general guidelines when filing for these damages? Work with an Atlanta car accident attorney for legal advice and representation. Here is what the law says about pain and suffering:
What is the Legal Definition For Pain and Suffering?
The first and the most important thing is understanding the meaning of pain and suffering in personal injury cases. This is the emotional or physical stress that results from the injuries caused by the car accident or any other personal injury accident.
For example, a driver or passenger would have to endure some agony if they suffered severe burns from a car accident. Other injuries also involve some degree of discomfort to the victim. This is what is known as pain and suffering. Other non-economic damages may include disfigurement or scarring from the accident.
No-Fault Insurance System
A couple of states in the U.S. limit individuals from collecting settlements for pain and suffering if their medical bills do not pass a specific threshold. The standard fault system requires that the negligent party pays for all damages, including the pain and suffering.
Therefore, if you are in a state that follows a no-fault system, you cannot receive compensation for pain and suffering if you only suffered minor injuries in the accident. Luckily, most of the states in the U.S. observe the standard rule meaning they will allow you to seek compensation provided you can prove the other party’s liability.
What Evidence is Required to Prove Pain and Suffering?
As discussed, pain and suffering are usually related to injuries that result from a personal injury accident. Therefore, you require supporting documents from the accident scene and, more importantly, the hospital to prove. These include:
- Medical records and hospital bills
- Prescription records from the doctor
- Photographs of the injury
- Notes documenting the nature of the accident and injuries
How do Insurance Companies Estimate the Value of Pain and Suffering?
Unlike other damages in personal injury cases, pain and suffering will not have a direct value. The insurance company will use a preferred method to estimate the value for your physical and mental anguish. The primary expectation is that the value for pain and suffering will be higher if your injuries require significantly high amounts to treat and if your injuries will take a lengthier time to recover. Quite often, companies multiply medical expenses with a constant to get a value for non-economic damages.
Why Use a Car Accident Attorney?
A car accident attorney will offer you the best legal representation and advice because they have handled numerous other cases and succeeded. They will also ensure you do not fall into the traps set by insurance adjusters to reduce the amount payable as car accident compensation. Schedule an appointment online or call the offices at 404-857-4124 for a free consultation.