Pain and SufferingCan I Get Pain And Suffering Damages After A Car Accident?
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Pain and suffering damages after a car accident can be recovered under certain circumstances by people injured in a motor vehicle accident.

Pain and suffering damages compensate victims for the pain and suffering they have suffered due to a motor vehicle crash caused by an at-fault driver's negligence.

In the article below, we will do a deep dive into pain and suffering damages after a car crash.


Table Of Contents


What's Pain And Suffering?

In your car accident claim, you can get money for any type of pain or suffering, whether mental or physical.

Damages for pain and suffering depend on what kind of injury you had and how bad the pain was.

Most states count pain and suffering as part of non-economic damages, also called "general damages" and include losses that are hard to put a dollar value on.

Pain and suffering damages are much more subjective than economic damages like medical bills and lost wages.

Some examples of physical injuries that could lead to a pain and suffering settlement after a car accident are:

  1. Internal organ damage
  2. Back and neck pain
  3. Vertigo and tinnitus
  4. Headaches
  5. Nerve damage
  6. Permanent injury
  7. Paralysis
  8. Soft-tissue damage
  9. Bone fractures

Examples of emotional symptoms that may qualify for a car accident settlement for emotional pain and suffering include:

  1. Loss of enjoyment of life
  2. Anxiety
  3. Mental anguish
  4. Depression
  5. Insomnia
  6. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)


Can I Get Pain And Suffering Damages After A Car Accident?

You can file a pain and suffering claim after a car accident.

An accident victim can get these damages from the at-fault driver or their auto insurance company.

They will pay a victim for physical pain, suffering, and anguish. These are non-economic losses.

Whats pain and suffering after an auto accident

What's Pain And Suffering After An Auto Accident?

In a car accident case, pain and suffering are part of the claimant's compensable losses (called "damages" in legal terms).

They usually include any physical pain and mental or emotional suffering caused by:

  • the actual car accident
  • the injuries that the accident caused
  • the medical care that was needed to heal those wounds
  • how the accident and injuries affect the claimant's life every day

For example, if a driver was severely burned in a car accident, the driver would probably be able to get money for the pain of the burn, the pain of the treatment, the discomfort the burn caused, and any changes to the claimant's lifestyle that were caused by the burn.

The driver would probably also get money for the stress and problems that come with being scarred or disfigured for life.


Proving Your Pain and Suffering After A Car Accident

It's one thing to understand how an injury from a car accident has caused pain and suffering, but it's another thing to show that to an insurance adjuster or a jury.

Personal injury lawyers with a lot of experience often work closely with their clients to gather evidence that shows how much and how bad the pain and suffering is.

A person hurt in an accident can testify how the accident and injuries have affected them.

But pain and suffering are noneconomic damages that can be hard to prove.

Courts and insurance adjusters often want to hear more than just your word. So, lawyers can also rely on things like:

  • Medical records
  • Testimony
  • Testimony from a mental health expert
  • Photographic and video evidence 
  • Testimony from family members 
  • Journals, diaries, and other descriptions of the accident

All of the above types of evidence, and others like them, are meant to make judges, jurors, and insurance adjusters feel sorry for the person.

By helping these people imagine how the client's injury would feel, the lawyer can argue that the amount of money being asked for as pain and suffering damages is fair, given the situation.

So, accident victims and their families can help make the most of a claim for pain and suffering damages by keeping as much evidence as possible and not making mistakes that can hurt an otherwise strong claim.

Taking a few simple steps in the days and weeks after a car accident can significantly increase a person's chances of getting the most money for their pain and suffering.

These include:

  • Seeking prompt and appropriate medical care 
  • Trying as hard as possible to recover
  • Keeping a written or video journal
  • Tracking an accident victim's pain medication needs.
  • Staying in touch with family and friends 
  • Avoiding posts on social media
  • Letting an experienced car accident injury lawyer handle conversations with insurance adjusters and other people who might be legally responsible for the accident.

Following these simple steps allows accident victims and other personal injury attorneys to build a strong record of the nature and extent of the pain and suffering that followed a car crash.

When it's time to prove damages for pain and suffering, this evidence gives the victim's legal team more than just the victim's word to prove those damages and get the most money for them.


Can I Be Awarded Compensation for Pain and Suffering If the Car Accident Was Minor?

The short answer's yes.

If the accident seemed minor, it might not be as easy to prove how much pain and suffering you went through.

But beyond how the accident is categorized, even if your injuries from a car accident are considered "minor," there will almost always be a "pain and suffering" part of any settlement offer you get.

So if you suffered a mild back sprain in the accident, incurred $750 in medical bills, didn't miss time at work, and made a complete (pain and limitation-free) recovery in just a couple of weeks, the insurance adjuster might try to settle your personal injury claim for $2,000, which could include:

  • $750 to cover your medical bills (your special damages)
  • $1,250 to cover your pain and suffering (your general damages)

calculating pain and suffering

Calculating Pain and Suffering Damages

How much your car accident injury clam is worth depends on various factors.

Pain and suffering are not directly related to monetary losses, so experienced attorneys, juries, and insurance adjusters can't use price tags to determine their worth.

Even though there is no exact way to figure out pain and suffering damages, they tend to go up as an injury gets worse and lasts longer.

Thus, the amount of money a car accident victim might receive in pain and suffering damages will take into account:

  • What kind of injuries they had
  • how bad they were
  • if they had any long-term effects or symptoms (and for how long)
  • how the injuries and symptoms affected the person
  • if the injuries caused or are likely to cause early death.

Pain and suffering damages can be hard to figure out by looking at past events because two people could have the same injury but feel different pain levels.

Instead, the calculation is based on a reasonable estimate of how bad a particular injury is for a certain accident victim.

To help them do this, lawyers often unbiasedly compare the client's daily life before and after the injuries.

For example, is a client who used to work full-time now unable to do more than one or two hours of work per day?

Is a client who used to play sports now so sick that they can't even walk, let alone run?

Does an injury mean that a client who used to enjoy spending time with her grandchildren no longer knows who they are?

This kind of before-and-after comparison helps show how badly an injury has changed the life of an accident victim.


Contact Car Wreck Doctor

If you get hurt in an accident, you may be able to get money for your pain and suffering.

Car Wreck Doctor's goal is to connect people who have been in accidents with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help them get money for their pain and suffering.

They will also put you in touch with experienced car accident doctors who can help you get better physically.

Car Wreck doctor will help you through the whole thing, so all you have to do is worry about your treatment plan and injuries and not about the driver who hurt you.

Contact Car Wreck Doctor immediately so they can help you find people who can help you get better after you've been hurt in a car accident.