The aftermath of a car accident or other horrific incident often transcends beyond the physical injuries to include mental distress. When this happens, you can seek compensation for more than your medical bills and lost income. The liable party may also owe you pain and suffering damages for the intangible ways the accident impacted your life.
As these damages do not have their own financial value, it can be difficult to determine how much to seek from the liable party. A Bradenton pain and suffering lawyer from Dolman Law Group can help you navigate this and other aspects of the personal injury process.
Understanding Pain and Suffering Damages
“Pain and suffering” is a legal phrase that consists of two aspects—physical pain and emotional discomfort. Acute pain usually lasts for 3 to 6 months, and this is what most people experience. However, chronic or persistent pain lasts beyond this timeframe, affecting quality of life in the long term.
In addition, the mental effects of an injury accident could last anywhere from months to a lifetime. The build-up of stress manifests in many ways, potentially affecting your body, emotions, and behavior as outlined below:
Effects On Your Body
The human body is equipped to handle minimal stress levels, so prolonged stress can cause a host of negative side effects. The American Psychological Association (APA) surmises that chronic stress affects the body's essential systems, including:
As such, stress can manifest in chronic migraines, stomach upsets, and heart palpitations.
Effects On Your Mood
Apart from the physical effects, pain and suffering can affect your general mood. Victims may experience a range of emotions that interfere with their daily lives, and these emotions can run amok, making it harder to reach their productivity levels. Stress can impact your mood by causing anxiety, depression, poor concentration, and insomnia.
Effects On Your Behavior
The emotional fallout from a traffic accident will undoubtedly affect your behavior. Failure to effectively manage stress can push you to adopt bad habits, such as alcohol and drug abuse, social withdrawal, and eating disorders. It may also make you more irritable, potentially affecting your relationships.
Seeking Pain and Suffering Damages in a Personal Injury Case
Your lawyer will examine every aspect of your case and determine what compensation you can get for pain and suffering. Depending on your case, you might be eligible for various damages, including:
- Chronic pain
- Related mental health conditions
- Physical disfigurement or impairment
- Potentially reduced lifespan
- Loss of consortium
- Lessened quality of life
This is in addition to any economic damages you may be eligible for, such as:
- Hospital bills
- Lost income
- Ongoing medical treatment
- Diminished future earnings
- Childcare and home maintenance you can no longer perform
- Damaged property, such as a totaled vehicle
Computing Pain and Suffering Damages
Emotional anguish and physical pain can consume your life, resulting in various health conditions. As your legal counsel, we empathize and wish to help get your life back on track as soon as possible. Pain and suffering damages are not always easy to compute, since they don't have an obvious financial value like medical expenses and lost wages.
The amount you can be awarded depends on several factors, including the extent of harm and the healing timeframe. Since there's no predetermined amount, we'll identify all your potentially recoverable damages and apply one of the industry methods for calculating pain and suffering. Two of the most common are:
The Per Diem Method
This approach factors in the daily rate for every day you experience pain and suffering. If you're still receiving treatment, our lawyers can work with your medical team to project how long it will take you to reach maximum medical improvement (MMI)
For example, if your daily rate is $100, and your recovery took 90 days, your financial recovery for pain and suffering could be $9,000.
The Multiplier Method
The multiplier formula is more prevalent, and it considers total economic damages incurred by a victim during the recovery process. Your lawyer will sum up all expenses associated with the accident and then multiply by a factor that ranges from 1.5 to 5 points.
For example, if your cumulative expenses are $30,000 and both parties agree on a 4-point factor, you'll receive $120,000 for pain and suffering.
Evidence Required in Pain and Suffering Cases
The burden of proof in these litigations is on the victim, which means we must present irrefutable evidence of the other party's negligence and liability for your damages.
The following types of evidence could bolster your claim:
- Medical reports and bills
- Journal or video diary of the symptoms
- Witness accounts of the accident
- Expert statements
- Accident scene documentation
- Police report
What It's Like to Have Dolman Law Group Represent You
Clients praise our personal touch and open communication. We're proud to receive reviews like these:
- “I've worked with other lawyers before and this firm is just different. The amount of care they put into their clients cases and lives in general is really on a personal level and made me feel comfortable through the process.” Meredith Taakanu
- “Bryan and his team did an outstanding job navigating through the complexities of a very difficult situation for me. Without them, I don't know what I would have ever done. I just know that I am beyond grateful and appreciative of all the dedication, effort, and hard work that was put forth in finally reaching a fair settlement for me.” Carla Hornsby
- “I worked with Bryan Hannan on my car accident claim. He was very professional, very communicative, and was not messing around when it came to keeping my best interests in mind!” Corrine Myers
Contact Our Firm for a Complimentary Consultation
At the Dolman Law Group, we're adept at securing compensation for pain and suffering after collisions, medical malpractice, sexual abuse, and other instances of negligence. When you choose us, you get responsive legal representation; we'll keep you abreast of case proceedings and answer all your questions to inspire confidence in your case.
We fight for the best possible outcome for each client we represent. Contact us today for a free case review and more information.
6703 14th Street West Suite 207
Bradenton, FL 34207
Phone: (941) 613-5747