In a personal injury case, the point of financial compensation is to make up for any losses you’ve incurred. Whether you’ve been in a car accident or a truck accident, you will most likely have damages to calculate after an accident. Some damages, like medical bills and car repair costs, can be easily calculated and given a numerical value. However, other damages are less straightforward to calculate. For example, the pain you suffered from your car accident injuries cannot be easily calculated to a dollar amount.
While such damages don’t have a specific monetary value, they are more complicated than measurable ones in many ways. These losses are referred to as “pain and suffering” in car accident claims. You have a right to seek compensation for pain and suffering in your car accident claim. While the money cannot undo any damages, it can significantly help victims offset the impact of injuries on their lives.
How Do You Determine How Much Pain and Suffering Are Worth?
Since every injury is unique, the value of pain and suffering will vary widely from case to case. No matter what type of injury you sustained, placing a dollar value on pain and suffering is complicated. Here are a few points to consider when determining the value of pain and suffering:
- Does the injury interfere with your daily life? If so, how much?
- Does your injury prevent you from enjoying activities you used to engage in prior to the accident?
- Have you been unable to return to work due to your injury?
- Is your capacity to work and earn money affected by your injury?
- Are your pain and suffering temporary, or will you experience long-term affliction?
- Has your injury caused any permanent disability?
- Does your injury affect your general physical well-being and stamina?
- Have you experienced mental distress or emotional trauma as a result of your injury?
These are essential considerations when assigning a dollar amount to pain and suffering losses. In general, the more of these factors that apply to your injury, the more potential compensation you could recover for pain and suffering. In addition, it benefits you to have proper legal representation to negotiate a higher value on your behalf.
Pain and Suffering Are Considered Non-economic Damages
Pain and suffering are considered non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are those without a fixed value. In addition, non-economic damages can fluctuate and vary from case to case. An experienced car accident lawyer is helpful if you want to determine your non-economic damages accurately.
While medical bills and property are relatively straightforward to factor into your settlement, pain and suffering are a bit trickier to calculate. One reason is that injuries themselves are complex. For example, your injury could require medical treatment that costs a certain amount. However, you could also need further treatment or rehabilitation. In addition, your injuries may cause you permanent discomfort or disability. Finally, victims with injuries often face emotional and physical distress as well. All of this constitutes pain and suffering, and it can be a complex process to determine a value for such losses.
Who Determines the Value of Pain and Suffering?
Your attorney and the insurance company will determine monetary values to assign to your pain and suffering. However, they may use very different methods to calculate a specific amount. Your attorney will probably evaluate the extent to which your injuries have affected your life and overall well-being.
On the other hand, insurance companies are more likely to use a general number or an average for injuries similar to yours. Rather than actually assessing how the injury has affected you and your life, they use fixed values. As a result, their valuation of your pain and suffering will almost always be lower than what your attorney has calculated. In addition, it’s usually less than what you are entitled to seek for your losses.
Insurance Companies Often Undervalue Your Pain and Suffering
Sadly, if you are the victim of injuries from a car accident, insurance companies are not on your side. Despite the fact that your injuries were not your fault, they seldom have an incentive to pay you the total amount you deserve for pain and suffering.
Insurance companies will almost always try to convince you to settle for less than you deserve. Hence, most attorneys advise against settling with an insurance company’s initial offer. Instead, you should consult a knowledgeable attorney who can negotiate a settlement that accurately accounts for your pain and suffering.
How Does a Final Settlement Amount Get Agreed Upon?
Most cases involve a negotiation process between your attorney and the insurance company until they reach an acceptable number. Your lawyer will need to build a case for you with strong supporting evidence for the severity of your injuries. Insurance companies will usually offer a higher settlement if they think your case will likely win in court.
While most cases only require the negotiation process and don’t need to go to court, sometimes a trial is the best option. For example, if you and your attorney cannot agree upon a desirable settlement amount, your attorney may advise you to proceed to trial. Then, a judge or jury will ultimately decide on the final amount to award you. But, again, your attorney will help you understand the odds in your case and assess whether or not it’s a good idea to proceed to trial with your case.
Contact a Denver Car Accident Lawyer Today
Determining the value of pain and suffering in a car accident case goes far beyond just adding up numbers. There are many factors to consider, and sometimes it can be challenging to put a monetary value on those factors. Your best course is to hire a car accident lawyer with the knowledge and experience to guide you through the process and ensure you get the amount you deserve.
It may feel like your life has been completely turned upside down after an unexpected tragedy that leaves you with injuries, medical bills, stress, and more. However, it would help if you did not deal with such a traumatic experience alone.
Our Denver car accident lawyers have handled numerous cases and helped victims recover compensation after car accidents. We take a personalized approach to every client, which allows us to provide direct and tailored support. In addition, we will fight tirelessly to ensure you get a fair settlement. Call us today for a free consultation.