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Pain and suffering is a common phrase used in personal injury law interchangeably with the more general legal category of damages known as non-economic damages. Often when you hear someone talking about pain and suffering in connection with a personal injury accident, they are referring to the physical as well as emotional pain or injuries that a person suffered due to the accident they were involved in. If you had any notable pain or emotional trauma during the accident or recovery process, you may be able to get compensation for that suffering. Other aspects that fall into the pain and suffering category are frustration, inconvenience, and loss of quality of life. More on that below from our decorated personal injury lawyers.
Physical injuries that are a result of the accident you were in due to another person’s negligence can be very painful and sometimes those injuries can last for a very long time. Some accident victims are lucky enough to only have minor injuries that go away with some treatment after a few days, weeks or months, whereas some people may end up with chronic pain or injuries that last for years or even the rest of their life.
These injuries can cause a lack of mobility, loss of quality of life, constant pain, difficulty performing normal everyday tasks or even the inability to do some of your favorite hobbies. This physical pain you are experiencing is compensable under Colorado law, since your injuries were a result of someone else’s actions. However, it is difficult to fully account for pain and suffering damages, as they are by nature something that cannot be associated with a plain dollar figure, as can medical bills or lost wages. Because of this, insurance companies often significantly low-ball unrepresented claimants on pain and suffering or other non-economic damages. That is why you need an experienced injury law firm on your side to help you navigate the process of the claim and ensure you are getting the maximum amount of compensation for your physical pain. Some of the most common injuries we see in personal injury claims that typically receive compensation for are as follows:
Many of these injuries can cause physical pain for days, weeks, months, years or even permanently depending on the injury and the severity of it. These injuries should not be taken lightly and should always be addressed with your doctor as well as your personal injury attorney to ensure that you are receiving compensation for pain and suffering.
Emotional pain or stress is another part of pain and suffering that is a little more of a gray area in terms of the law. Not all parties will agree on emotional suffering or the compensation needed and proving your mental anguish can also be much harder to do than with physical impairments. That being said, there are a lot of different types of emotional pain and suffering that you may go through after your accident that should be included in your settlement package. Some of the most common types of emotional pain that accident victims encounter are as follows:
All of these listed symptoms are very common in personal injury lawsuits because accidents, no matter how big or small, cause physical pain as well as emotional pain. Just because your emotional pain isn’t easy to see like a broken bone, doesn’t mean that the accident hasn’t majorly affected how you live everyday. Mental anguish is very hard to deal with and can take a very long time to overcome, so make sure your doctor is treating the entire spectrum of your pain and suffering so you can get back to living a normal life as fast as possible.
Insurance companies on the at-fault side of a bodily injury claim are always going to try to get away with paying out the lowest amount that they can get away with, so they have come up with a few formulas for deciding how much your pain and suffering is worth. Our law firm does not agree with these methods and has our own unique way of establishing the actual value that better suits your losses, but below are some examples on how the insurance companies will calculate the worth of your pain and suffering in a dollar amount.
The first method for calculating pain and suffering is called the multiplier method. This is where your economic damages(medical expenses, property damage, etc.) are added up to get a total and then that number is multiplied by a factor of .5 to 2 depending on how serious the injuries, pain and suffering were. So if you had $100,000 in economic damages and your pain and suffering was considered medium on the scale, then you may receive an offer from an insurance company of half of your economic damages. It is important to note that this multiplier varies with each case. Oftentimes insurance companies will work on a multiplier of less than .5, in an attempt to minimize what they have to pay to unrepresented or unsophisticated claimants.
Per diem is the second method used to calculate your non-economic damages(pain and suffering) and uses a specific dollar amount for each day that you were injured until you have reached maximum medical improvement(MMI). Maximum medical improvement is when your doctor doesn’t think there is any more room for you to recover or improve any more from your current condition. This does not mean you are 100% fully healed because some injuries may never heal, but it means that for your injuries, there is no more improvement to your condition that can be achieved. So for each day from the accident until MMI is achieved, you would receive a specific dollar amount combined and paid out as a lump sum unless you choose to get a structured settlement instead.
Proving pain and suffering is not an easy task, but when you have actual evidence to back up your claims, it becomes much easier. You can show proof of your suffering by presenting the following with your lawsuit: doctor’s notes, medical records, photos, videos, journals with day by day notes on your condition and pain, therapist notes and testimonials from family members or the person that helped care for you during your healing process.
The more evidence you bring to your claim, the easier it will be to get the opposing party to agree that your claims are valid as well as a judge or jury. In turn, this can make it much easier to get compensation for your pain and suffering because you have made it apparent how much you have endured during your recovery process with legitimate evidence.
We know that dealing with an injury and trying to navigate the process of a personal injury claim can be a lot to handle by yourself. This is where our experienced personal injury attorneys can help you. Our law firm has been helping accident victims get compensation for their injuries for decades and we have an extensive list of 5 star reviews that show how much our clients appreciate us after working with our team.
From start to finish, you will be kept in the loop on where your case is at, what you can expect from your claim and updated with any new information as it comes in. We pride ourselves on our ability to win injury lawsuits with an outstanding track record while providing top tier service to our clients and we are sure you’ll be happy you chose to work with us. So give us a call for a free consultation or stop by our office in Colorado Springs for a one on one chat with our injury attorneys.
We serve clients injured anywhere throughout the state of Colorado, but we focus on residents of these areas: Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Fountain, Briargate, Monument, Black Forest, Pueblo, Canon City, Larkspur, Security-Widefield, Peyton, Castle Rock, Teller County, El Paso County, Elbert County, Park County, Douglas County and beyond.