How Can Pain & Suffering Impact My Personal Injury Case in Austin?
Suffering a personal injury can have devastating consequences on your life. Whether you were in a car accident, a truck accident, a slip and fall, or another type of incident, it’s likely that you have physical injuries you’re trying to heal from. But, additionally, you may be facing invisible injuries that can have significant impacts on your mental health and wellbeing. These types of injuries are typically referred to as pain and suffering, and you’re actually able to collect compensation for damages.
If you’re wondering how pain and suffering can impact your personal injury case, we’ve gathered a few things you should know as you work toward receiving compensation.
Understanding Pain and Suffering
After an accident, it’s in your best interest to seek medical treatment for any injuries you may have suffered. Unfortunately, though, there are some injuries that leave a lasting impact. Your injury could result in physical pain and discomfort for weeks, months, or years after your accident.
Not only that, but you could have suffered invisible injuries that are affecting your ability to get back to your normal life. “Pain and suffering” is the common term used for these non-economic damages that may not be obvious to the naked eye.
Pain and suffering may include:
- Physical pain
- Prolonged discomfort
- Mental health concerns
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of activities in which you were interested in the past
- Loss of companionship if the injury affects your relationship with your spouse, partner, or family
Pain and suffering damages can be awarded in various personal injury cases, including car accidents, dog bites, slip and fall accidents, motorcycle crashes, and many other injury cases.
How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated?
Insurance company settlements are usually determined by the economic impact the injury had on your life, such as medical expenses or lost wages. These claims are easier to substantiate because they involve bills for medical treatment, physical therapy, medication, car repairs, proof of wages from pay stubs and tax returns, and a record of time off or missed days from injury-related appointments or issues.
Pain and suffering is known as a “noneconomic impact,” which can be more challenging to appropriately assign a dollar amount to. For pain and suffering, insurance companies determine the value by looking at a number of factors, including:
- The extent of your injuries and whether they caused long-term pain.
- The severity of the accident and the potential for emotional distress.
- Your day-to-day life prior to the accident and how your injury may affect your normal work, hobbies, and activities moving forward.
- Evidence such as witness statements and medical records that support your claim of pain and suffering.
Since pain and suffering lacks the physical bills or documentation other losses have, insurance companies will often fail to include this compensation from your claim at first. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side who knows how to fight for this type of compensation and will be a loyal advocate for your rights.
What Happens if My Case Goes to Trial?
In the unlikely event that your personal injury case goes to trial, the jury determines the value of your pain and suffering damages.
Your lawyer will use the facts in the case and the evidence presented at trial to highlight how much you have suffered because of the accident and your injuries. A trial lawyer understands how to weave the evidence into a story detailing your physical pain, loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, emotional distress, and other grief that is compelling and convincing.
In many cases, your testimony at trial about your struggle to recover from injuries caused by negligence and wrongdoing is often the most compelling evidence to convince a jury to award a higher value for pain and suffering damages.
Get Help From An Experienced Attorney
Working with an experienced personal injury attorney can be one of the best ways to make sure you receive maximum compensation for pain and suffering damages. An insurance provider might try to take advantage of your lack of legal experience to convince you that your claim is worth far less than the actual value. Before you settle a claim, get in touch with our team at Lorenz & Lorenz, PLLC, and we’ll fight for you every step of the way.