After you have suffered an injury, you may not want to seek damages for pain and suffering out of pride, fear, or lack of confidence in your case. However, you are completely justified in seeking damages for pain and suffering — even for minor accidents.
You Are Justified in Seeking Compensation for Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is not considered a form of punitive damages, but instead serves a restorative purpose. Those who haven’t suffered from a traumatic experience such as a car accident often do not understand the internal emotional battles that result. In addition to any physical therapy, you deserve compensation for the changes that an accident might have on your life.
Even with physical therapy you may never fully recover. If you previously enjoyed intense physical activities, you may lose the joy you once experienced due to aches and pains. If you are unable to stay active, you may suffer deleterious health effects.
Some individuals who experience car accidents may not be able to get behind the wheel again. This may lead to a loss of income opportunities, depression (as a result of lost opportunities to socialize), and a life that is generally less fulfilling. Even if you are able to drive, you may not enjoy activities that you previously enjoyed, such as touring the countryside.
You May Experience Pain and Suffering for Years
The extent of the damages will be based on how severe your injuries are and how long you will suffer the effects of these injuries.
Your monetary compensation for pain and suffering may fall somewhere between 150 to 400 percent of your medical bills, but this calculation method — known as a multiplier — is only a rough estimate. Some victims of accidents experience pain for years or even decades after the accident and may receive compensation that doesn’t fall within this range.
You May Suffer Monetary Damages and Missed Opportunities
By suffering an accident, the pain you experience will often rob you of your ability to engage in activities you once enjoyed and pursue work opportunities. You may also struggle to pursue relationships. By not being able to participate in these aspects of life, you deserve compensation.
Mental Anguish is a Very Real Problem
Mental anguish is an aspect of pain and suffering. Examples of mental anguish include:
You may be allowed to collect for damages related to mental anguish, but some states place limits on how much you may collect. However, if mental anguish leads to a loss of income, you will likely be able to seek compensation for it.
Some states have placed caps on damages that patients are able to collect so physicians aren’t discouraged from practicing. However, other states have avoided placing caps because they recognize that some accidents can cause lifelong losses.
Insurance Providers are Reluctant to Settle for Pain and Suffering Damages
The only reason why you shouldn’t seek damages for pain and suffering is if they are so minor that you do not expect the damages to be worth the trouble. Working with a defendant’s car insurance provider and pursuing a settlement or lawsuit can be a hassle.
Car insurance providers typically do not want to offer compensation for pain and suffering and may try to limit compensation if they are forced to pay you.
You May Need Assistance
Negotiating with adjusters can be challenging. For this reason, work closely with an attorney who has experience with cases like yours so that you’ll receive the compensation you deserve.
If you are unsure of whether you may seek damages for pain and suffering after a car accident, call Ringsmuth Wuori PLLC for assistance. Our firm assists clients across the United States.