A plaintiff’s pain and suffering damages will depend on their total damages when pursuing a settlement, which can include lost wages,medical expenses, and consideration for the true extent of their injuries. In a personal injury claim, pain and suffering damages deal with the physical, emotional, and mental injuries a plaintiff experienced after an injury caused by negligence.
When plaintiffs are trying to determine how much they should ask for pain and suffering from a car accident, they must consider their physical, emotional, and mental damages. These damages could include having to live with a physical disability and coping with grief and/or psychological trauma. Insurance companies may look into the plaintiff’s injuries and their treatment to calculate their pain and suffering figure.
For instance, if the plaintiff experiences a spinal cord injury during a car accident, they may be entitled to a greater pain and suffering award merely for the fact that these types of injuries incur higher expenses than other injuries.
The Damages and Costs of Car Accidents Add Up
There are many types of damages that plaintiffs can consider when calculating how much they should ask for pain and suffering from a car accident. When pursuing a personal injury settlement or lawsuit, plaintiffs may account for current and future medical costs when monetizing all of their damages caused by a car accident.
Additional damages that plaintiffs may account for are:
- Property damages
- Lost wages
- Limited earning capacity
- Future lost wages
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), about $400.4 billion was spent in 2018 by Americans when covering car accident injuries, deaths, and property damage.
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Gather Evidence as You File a Personal Injury Claim
There are several stages that take place when car accident plaintiffs look to file a claim. These stages may include:
- The plaintiff provides evidence and then negotiates with the defendant’s liability insurance company to try to reach a settlement
- The plaintiff files their claims against the defendant
- The defendant may file pre-trial motions
- A court date is determined
- Mediation takes place ordered by the judge with an impartial mediator
- Both sides gather and share evidence during the discovery stage
- Many more stages…
To earn compensation for damages, plaintiffs have to gather appropriate evidence to support their claim. For instance, the plaintiff provides medical documentation that proves they suffered a related injury and how much their current medical costs are.
Other evidence from a car accident may include:
- Police reports
- Surveillance video
- Property damages
- Auto repair costs
- Eyewitness testimony
The plaintiff may have to present evidence that proves both that they suffered damages and that the defendant was negligent in order to earn compensation for their pain and suffering.
You Need to Prove Negligence to Receive Compensation
When referring to negligence in car accident cases, the American Bar Association states, “A driver has a duty to use reasonable care to avoid injuring anyone he or she meets on the road. If a driver fails to use reasonable care and as a result of that failure injures you, then the driver is responsible (liable) to you for those injuries.”
Additionally, a plaintiff may have to prove that the defendant acted negligently. According to the Legal Information Institute (LII), there are four elements of negligence, all of which may be required to be proven during a personal injury lawsuit. The four elements of negligence are:
- The existence of a duty of care owed to the plaintiff
- A breach in duty of care caused by the defendant
- Evidence that the plaintiff suffered injuries and damages
- Proof that the defendant caused the plaintiff’s injuries
Review Your Personal Injury Damages with Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC
As you wonder how much you should ask for pain and suffering from a car accident, consider calling Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC. Our law firm can help you determine how much compensation you may be entitled to collect, and we can also pursue compensation on your behalf. To learn more, call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, today at (828) 286-3866.