Being involved in a severe life-threatening accident is traumatic, and if you're lucky to survive, many consequences may befall you. As victims focus on addressing physical injuries, like broken limbs or disfigurement, emotional distress is a silent problem that's often overlooked. You may need psychological counseling to cope with the fallout and be productive again.
If you were harmed at work or while traveling on the busy highways, a St. Petersburg pain and suffering lawyer could help you get compensation from the at-fault party.
Why Hire a St. Petersburg Pain and Suffering Lawyer?
The aftermath of a collision with a big rig or being injured at a construction site is devastating. Victims often are so involved with addressing the physical injuries that emotional trauma takes its toll. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a real menace that can derail your life in unimaginable ways.
You may have persistent unease and anxiety about traveling in a car anymore or being on a busy road. Some people become irritable at the slightest provocation and have trouble sleeping. Disassociation with reality is not atypical, so is ruminating on the awful incident.
A St. Petersburg pain and suffering lawyer will empathize with your visible and invisible pain and strive to help you get appropriate treatment and maximum compensation against the at-fault party to get your life back on track.
Understanding Physical Pain and Suffering
The physical trauma from a fall, automobile crash, or worksite accident can be debilitating. Victims can lose limbs, become disfigured, damage their sight or hearing, and sustain all manner of harm. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) derives that chronic pain can persist despite medical interventions.
Such a grim outcome is bound to change your life. Here are some examples of physical suffering your lawyer can seek restitution for:
- Back pain
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Fractured bones
- Nerve damage
- Dislocated joints
- Neck pain
In extreme cases, your internal organs like the liver, spleen, and kidneys can suffer from blunt force trauma when a collision happens at high speed or from an external object.
Establishing Fault for Your Injuries
Florida has a no-fault system where every policyholder must have personal injury protection (PIP) valued at $10,000. This insurance goes towards medical costs irrespective of who's to blame for the accident, and it's available to you immediately.
Nevertheless, horrible crashes can leave you with grave injuries requiring medical interventions that will cost much more than this amount. If the defendant also has insurance, they can cover the extra amount, and if they don't oblige, a lawsuit may be your only recourse.
Your lawyer will help by gathering critical facts about the incident, speaking to witnesses, getting the police report, and reviewing traffic camera footage. Lawyers work with highly acclaimed accident scene experts to reconstruct the event for better understanding. They'll stop at nothing until they get solid proof to support your compensation claim.
Damages in Pain and Suffering Litigation
Apart from contending with debilitating pain, many damages are inflicted by the ordeal, and some are easy to overlook. Your lawyer will help you seek the following damages in your pain and suffering litigation:
- Diminished earning potential
- Physical disfigurement or impairment
- Reduced lifespan due to health complications
- Childcare services while you're hospitalized
- Loss of consortium from your spouse, friends, etc.
- Special damages
- Declined quality of life
- Home maintenance
- Lost property in the accident
Calculating Damages for Pain and Suffering
Unlike actual economic damages (special damages) like medical costs, damages for pain and suffering are not easy to compute. The amount of settlement you get depends on various factors, like the recovery duration, the medical procedures involved, and if you end up permanently disabled.
There are two standard methods for computing pain and suffering damages as follows:
Per Diem Method
The per diem method considers your earnings per day and the number of working days when you experience pain and suffering. The total missed days from work for treatment purposes are not a true reflection of how long you suffered. Employees can return to work after their physical injuries heal even as they battle mental distress from the ordeal.
For example, if you earn $120 per day and your total sick days are 30, your financial recovery would be $3,600. This illustration may not capture the magnitude of your suffering, but your lawyer can negotiate an agreeable figure.
A more common strategy for computing pain and suffering is the multiplier method, which factors all economic damages from incurring injury to regaining total health. Your lawyer will help you add the direct and indirect costs, then multiply that figure by a factor between 1.5 to 5 points.
For example, if your total costs are $20,000 and the insurance adjuster applies a 3-point factor, you'll receive $60,000 as compensation.
Evidence to Prove Pain and Suffering
Proving that you're experiencing mental distress over physical injuries is not an easy feat. The insurance adjuster will be keen to save the company money, and their preferred strategy is downplaying your pain. They will gaslight you into thinking your emotional distress is a figment of your imagination rather than a harsh reality impacting your life.
Your attorney will present solid evidence to showcase your pain and suffering, including:
- Medical reports
- Journal of your symptoms
- Witness statements
- Police report
- Accident scene documentation
- Expert testimony
- Lay evidence, like statements from your spouse
- Hospital bills and related expenses
- Pay stubs
Contact Dolman Law Group for Legal Counsel
Did you sustain grave injuries at work or in a car accident? Dolman Law Group is familiar with these cases and has a proven track record of helping clients win significant settlements from at-fault parties. We know all the unsavory tactics insurance carriers use to deny victims their fair compensation and will do everything possible to defend your rights.
If financial resources are constrained, we'll ensure you get the best treatment possible as we navigate the legalities of getting your well-deserved restitution. Contact us today for a free case review and more information.
St Petersburg Office
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
Phone: (727) 472-3909