Most people have heard of pain and suffering payments related to car accident injuries. But just how much can you expect to receive? And, how does an insurance company award a dollar amount for pain and suffering? Every case is different, but there are some guidelines.
First, it’s best to get help from an attorney who has experience with car accident cases. The claim for pain and suffering will follow these steps:
- Prove that the other driver is responsible for the accident.
- Provide records of all expenses – doctor visits, prescriptions, auto repair.
- Evaluate the cost of lost wages due to time off work to handle medical or car issues.
- Determine what kind of pain and suffering happened as a result of the car accident.
Pain and suffering isn’t just a hurt back or head injury, although those are certainly important. You may have emotional trauma as a result of the accident, such as worry, inability to sleep, inconvenience, and uncertainty about your future.
How insurance companies evaluate pain and suffering
An insurance company looks at facts in the case that indicate pain and suffering. It is extremely important that you keep every document related to the accident and your recovery. Whenever you go to the doctor for anything related to the accident, make certain to tell the doctor to establish the connection between the medical visit and the car accident. For example:
- Medication – The type of medication that a doctor prescribes for you indicates a level of pain or trauma. Medication for pain or anti-depressants, and the length of time you take them demonstrate a level of suffering.
- Time – The length of time it takes to recover shows an insurance company how long you have been dealing with the aftermath of an accident. The doctor report may also prescribe that you stay away from certain activities for a specified period of time.
- Doctor visits – Continue to set appointments and go see the doctor until you recover completely. The number of doctor visits over time are an indicator of amount of suffering after an accident.
- Personal records – Write down your feelings after the accident. You may feel depressed or have trouble sleeping. A personal journal provides additional information.
Pain and suffering calculations
Calculations for pain and suffering take into account the person’s actual costs for medical bills, lost wages, the severity of the injury and time for recovery. An experienced attorney helps you understand what is a reasonable and fair expectation, and negotiates to get you the highest amount for the situation.
The value of an attorney
Insurance companies may want to negotiate with you and pay you an amount for pain and suffering. However, relying on an attorney with experience may help you get a higher value. A car accident attorney also takes care of working with the insurance company so that you don’t have to use your time (and get frustrated).
Please contact our office if you have questions about pain and suffering related to car accidents.