Determining pain and suffering damages after a personal injury lawsuit can be tricky. The average person does not know what constitutes as pain and suffering and could be missing out on appropriate compensation for their injury. Many steps must be taken in order for the victim to receive a settlement that feels accurate to their pain and suffering as well as to the pain and suffering that they may experience for the rest of their lives.
What is Pain And Suffering?
Pain and suffering refers to a type of mental or physical suffering that was caused by an injury. This can take many forms, some of which aren’t widely thought of when thinking of pain and suffering as a blanket term. Pain and suffering is more often thought of as an injury that is so severe that it damages the victim’s body in ways that might involve surgery and physical therapy, but it can also take other forms. It can also refer to any discomfort, mental distress, and embarrassment that a person may feel after an incident. Explanations and examples of these damages are:
- Damage To The Body- This is any physical damage to the body. It could include broken bones, torn ligaments, and many others.
- Discomfort- This includes prolonged effects caused by the incident, such as persistent aches and pains and activity restrictions.
- Mental Distress- This includes adverse effects on mental health, such as the development of mental illnesses like depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Embarrassment- This may refer to any marks left by the incident, such as a noticeable scar.
What allows these forms of pain and suffering to be considered damages is that they are unwelcome and unwanted changes to a person’s mind, body, and life.
How You Can Prove Pain And Suffering
When trying to establish pain and suffering damages for your lawsuit, you want to ensure that you have access to important information pertaining to your injuries. A list may or may not include:
- Medical bills
- Medical records
- Psychiatric records
- Lost wages
- Testimonies from your loved ones
- Pictures of your injuries
Collecting and calculating these damages to yourself and your life will ultimately determine your settlement amount. While it is very important to have access to these documents, it will also be important to consider how these injuries will affect your life moving forward. For example, the medical records you turn in to your attorney may list that you have received hip replacement surgery. In the future, it is possible that you may need a hip revision surgery if anything goes wrong with the implant. Recording past expenses is useful; however, thinking about what future costs may come up resulting from your injuries must be done as well.
What To Stay Away From
When thinking about settlement amounts, it can be tempting to plug information into an online settlement calculator for quick results, but that’s not the best and most accurate way to go about your individual case.
There are numerous settlement calculators on the internet. They use information from your medical bills, lost wages, and affected future earning capacities to give a blanket amount that your settlement may be worth. This seems very convenient for those wondering if they may have a case; however, settlement calculators are notoriously wrong in their calculations.
Settlement calculators do not ask for any damages or liability that the victim has or could have had in their injury. These calculators also fail to understand and see the damages of the victim’s injuries, so they cannot perceive how affected that person has been. For example, say you broke your leg in an accident. If you went to an online settlement calculator and listed that along with the medical bills, the settlement might not trend accurately. Maybe you suffered a broken leg, needed surgery, and a metal rod was placed in the leg in order to fix it properly. It is also possible that the metal rod may need replacing in the future. A settlement calculator cannot calculate the effects that the medical bills take on a person. Because of this, it is important to seek out a reputable personal injury lawyer to work on your case.
Finding a Personal Injury Lawyer
Having a reputable personal injury lawyer go over your case can be very eye-opening. They will ask for your evidence of pain and suffering, so make sure to organize your documents and allow the attorney access to them. They may also talk with you about the incident and find other quality-of-life changes you have undergone because of the accident. Be sure to tell them as much detail as possible. Events that you may think have nothing to do with the incident may have actually played a role in the accident happening.
Other than any physical changes, let your attorney know how your mental state and emotions have changed due to the accident. All of this information will be important for them to have before they can calculate a settlement offer.
There are many ways to calculate a settlement offer. Insurance companies may use the Multiplier method, or a compounding interest method, in order to mathematically calculate what they believe the damages are. Having an attorney do their own calculations will be in your best interest if you would like a settlement that feels accurate to everything you went through because of this life-altering event.
More often than not, it takes a while for any settlement money to be delivered to the victim of the accident. That can leave the victim in excessive debt from insurance companies, banks, and other establishments that may have been affected by the monetary strain of the accident.
The Legal Funding Group has successfully helped thousands of innocent victims who have found it difficult to pay their legal fees and other expenses. They help pay for legal expenses, household, and personal expenses, all while a plaintiff awaits the outcome of a pending case or the negotiation of a lawsuit and settlement. Contact The Legal Funding Group with any questions you may have about pre-settlement funding.