How Is Pain and Suffering Valued After an Austin Car Accident?
No matter how safe of a driver you are, there is always a risk when driving. You can’t always defend against someone else’s reckless habits. Car accident injuries can completely turn your life upside down and affect your ability to work. But, if you’ve been in a car accident, you know that the emotional and mental stress from your injuries takes its toll, too.
You deserve to be compensated for all of the harm you’ve suffered after an accident someone else caused. Did you know a large part of your car accident injury settlement includes the emotional and invisible losses you have faced? These losses are called “pain and suffering.”
Let’s take a look at how pain and suffering is valued after a car accident, and how an Austin car accident attorney can help you determine how much your case is worth. At Lorenz & Lorenz, we’re on top of it!
What Is Pain and Suffering?
The first thing to understand is pain and suffering is valued as the separate line item on your list of injuries for which you are seeking compensation. It’s a sort of blanket legal term for the general damages that include physical pain and emotional “invisible injuries.” Pain and suffering can include many different types of losses, such as:
- Physical pain: This refers to the actual physical pain you feel as the result of your injuries. Where a broken leg might prevent you from walking, the pain you feel from that broken leg is a different factor in your case altogether.
- Mental anguish: This accounts for the stress you face from your mounting bills, your fight to get well again, your frustration over the accident, and other mental health issues stemming from the injury. This can also encompass depression, PTSD, anxiety, mood swings, and more.
- Disability and disfigurement: You may suffer harm just from facing a disability or disfigurement caused by an accident. If this affects your sense of well-being, quality of life, and personal outlook, then you can seek compensation for it.
- Loss of consortium: Loss of consortium relates to your inability to provide companionship, love, comfort, and even sexual relations to your partner.
Loss of enjoyment of life: This refers to an inability to enjoy your day-to-day life because you are suffering from injuries that weren’t your fault.
Special vs. General Damages
It’s important to know the difference between “general damages” and “special damages” so you understand how one affects the other in valuing your case. General damages are the pain and suffering outlined above, which do not have a specific financial amount lost. Special damages are losses we can easily put a dollar value on, such as:
- Medical costs: These can include the costs of your doctor’s office appointments, physical therapy, surgery and other medical procedures, medication, and transport to and from your medical appointments.
- Lost earnings: This includes the wages you have already lost from being unable to work since the accident and the potential wages you would have earned in the future if you were still able to work.
How Is Pain and Suffering Valued After a Car Accident?
The honest answer, when it comes to valuing your pain and suffering, is that everyone does it differently. There isn’t a standardized method because it can be difficult to place a financial value on something so personal.
Usually, pain and suffering is valued using a multiplier of your special damages. For example, your attorney could determine your pain and suffering should be valued three times the total value of your medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. We will also take into account the amount of evidence we have to back up your case. Your attorney will usually not reveal to the other side what their multiplier is, nor how they came about it.
Likewise, the attorney for the insurance company on the other side will apply their own multiplier or algorithm to base their estimate on. It will most likely be lower than what your attorney came up with, because the insurance company is trying to get away with paying as little as possible.
Keep in mind, your car accident attorney will probably value your pain and suffering higher than the insurance adjuster. This is likely to lead to negotiation. But, don’t worry! At Lorenz & Lorenz, our lawyers always handle negotiations to advocate for our clients’ maximum deserved compensation on your behalf. We will come to our figure based on the severity of your injuries and the effect on your life that the accident had.
Why Negotiators Won’t Reveal Their Figures
Part of negotiating is playing your cards close to the vest. That’s why neither your attorney nor the insurance adjuster is generally willing to reveal how they came about the value for pain and suffering they use. Revealing your method gives the other side ammunition to use in their negotiations.
Because of this, it’s important to have someone in your corner who is a strong negotiator and litigator. You need someone who can stand up for your rights and fight to get you the compensation you deserve. The Austin car wreck lawyers at Lorenz & Lorenz have a history of building strong cases to back up their estimate of your pain and suffering. We’re on top of it!
Get Your Free Case Review with Lorenz & Lorenz
Get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to walk you through valuing your pain and suffering in an entirely free case review. Plus, you won’t owe us a dime at all if we don’t get you the compensation you deserve.
We treat every client like a member of our own family, and we will fight fiercely to protect your rights. Get your free case review today by giving us a call or filling out our online form. We’re on top of it!