When we’re injured in an auto accident for which we’re not to blame, it can deal a savage blow to our well being. Of course, we must first of all contend with the injuries settled as a result of the collision. But the suffering endured is not measured solely in broken bones. The medical expenses and lost revenue from work while we recover can be severely damaging for our financial health as well as our physical health. And that’s to say nothing of the ill effects which are harder to quantify.
Pain and suffering are sadly inevitable long after the event itself. As well as the pain and suffering endured while your body adjusts and heals, there’s also the psychological trauma incurred in an auto incident which can have far-reaching consequences. The idea of getting behind the wheel again may induce great fear and anxiety for a long time to come.
Fortunately, the law (and insurance companies) account for the pain and suffering endured in an auto accident. Thus, plaintiffs are able to sue for damages accordingly when they are injured as a result of another road user’s negligence.
What is a Pain and Suffering settlement?
Pain and Suffering is a legal term that’s designed to ensure that plaintiffs receive a settlement that is proportionate to their experiences. A Pain and Suffering Settlement refers to a wide gamut of injuries and doesn’t just refer to physical pain endured as a result of injuries. It can also be used to describe other emotional and psychological forms of pain and suffering which will negatively impact the plaintiff’s ability to live their lives normally.
The forms of suffering that cannot be eased by the paying of medical expenses or lost earnings.
In this post, we’ll look at some examples of Pain and Suffering settlements as well as other information about making a claim for Pain and Suffering.
Very often plaintiffs will experience physical pain which endures long after the physical evidence of injuries has become invisible. They may have to rely on prescription painkillers to get through each day, and may find it extremely difficult and / or painful to carry out day-to-day activities which they would previously have taken for granted.
Loss of capability
As well as physical pain, the accident may leave the plaintiff physically incapable of living their lives as they did prior to the accident. They may have lost their ability to do their job, and as such may lose out on the rest of their career. They may be forced to forever abandon a sport or hobby that they loved. Even something as quotidian as holding a child or grandchild in their arms may be forever lost to them.
Some injuries vanish over time without leaving noticeable scars. Others, however, leave a mark that will be borne for the rest of the plaintiff’s life. They may lose a limb, an appendage or a finger. Not only will this impede their ability to go about their day-to-day lives, it will leave them disfigured which may have a profound knock-on effect on their sense of identity and even their ability to leave the home.
Mental / emotional anguish
An auto accident can result in all kinds of mental and emotional anguish. Those who have been injured in auto accidents may suffer from depression, anxiety, flashbacks, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, insomnia or agoraphobia- especially when it comes to the idea of leaving the home in a vehicle.
If the plaintiff has lost a loved one in the same accident, there will also be profound suffering as the result of lost companionship.
Loss of quality of life
There are lots of ways in which an auto accident can lead to a loss of quality of life. It can result in the loss of a job or career, the inability to enjoy hobbies and interests (even if the plaintiff is still physically capable of doing them). It can put pressure on household finances and relationships. It can leave plaintiffs feeling isolated and miserable.
Documenting Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering are often things that we experience internally. They may be difficult to perceive or quantify on the outside. However, there are still lots of ways in which you can provide evidence of Pain and Suffering to back up your claim.
The key is staying in contact with your healthcare provider, and seek referral to a mental health practitioner as soon as possible. They will not only be able to provide you with support and coping skills, they will be able to provide valuable testimony and evidence that will support your claim. They will be able to identify the kinds of emotional and psychological suffering incurred as a result of your trauma and the extent to which you have been affected.
Likewise, if your doctor has prescribed prescription painkillers or antidepressant medication, this will also go a long way towards documenting and quantifying the extent of your Pain and Suffering.
However, it’s not just the insights of medical experts that is valued. Your own testimony can help others to understand your suffering from your own perspective. What’s more, this can be corroborated by the testimonies of friends and family members who are well placed to identify all the ways in which the incident has impacted upon your day-to-day life.
What can a plaintiff expect to get for a Pain and Suffering settlement?
This can depend on the extent of the injuries sustained and, of course, the proportionate pain and suffering incurred. In most cases, a typical Pain and Suffering payout will be fairly low (around $15,000 or less) because most injuries sustained in auto accidents are, thankfully, relatively minor and the pain and suffering inflicted is finite. One thing’s for sure, however, the initial figure offered by the insurance company will certainly not be proportionate to the suffering endured by the plaintiff.
Which is why the right legal reputation is so important.
How we can help
At Fisher, Fowler & Williams, we are completely dedicated to ensuring that our clients achieve a settlement which accurately reflects the extent of their Pain and Suffering when they have been injured in an auto accident which was not their fault. If you’re looking for an auto injury lawyer with integrity and tenacity Get in Touch with us today.