Pain and suffering denotes the physical, emotional and psychological trauma caused by an auto accident. It is a large component of many legal claims and is not always well-understood. It differs from the actual money loss a person collects for other damages such as medical expenses and lost wages. Instead, pain and suffering damages compensate the victim for the mental, emotional and physical anguish they experienced.
Proving non-economic damages such as pain and suffering is different, and in some ways, more challenging since it is not always readily apparent. Let’s take a look at pain and suffering, what it is, how it is calculated and how an auto accident lawyer can help.
David Azizi – Auto Accident Attorney for Pain and Suffering Damages
After practicing law for 25 years, David is well-versed in the ways insurers and defendants often try to avoid paying for the harm the victim of a car accident suffers. He fights to right that wrong and deliver justice to his client. Nowhere does it say that a victim should pay for another’s negligence. It is bad enough that they often pay physically, but paying for financial loss is out of the question. This dedication has earned David kudos from clients and peers alike. One of the foremost legal ranking services, Super Lawyers, has called David one of the top personal injury lawyers in the city. Call him today at (800) 991-5292 if you’ve been injured in an accident. You can also use his online contact form if it is more convenient for you.
Categories of Pain and Suffering in Auto Accidents
Pain and suffering is divided into two general areas. They are physical and mental/psychological/emotional categories. The damages due to pain and suffering are generally referred to as non-economic or non-compensatory damages. One of the main differences between economic losses and non-economic ones is the way they are calculated. They differ from one person to another due to the unique way each person reacts to the injuries they incur. Because of this variety, pain and suffering is different in every case, and the jury is often the final word on what they are worth.
Subjectivity of a Non-Economic Injury
Many factors impact the way that an injury affects an individual. Studies have proven that pain is subjective, so the impact that pain has on any one individual will differ from that of another person. For instance, an injury can affect a person’s social life, and it can limit their work activities or confine them to the hospital or home for an extended period. Besides, some injuries, even if the initial damage heals quickly, may result in persistent pain and reduced range of motion. The psychological and emotional response to an injury might be more intrusive for someone whose livelihood is affected.
Physical pain can be permanent or temporary after an accident. Some injuries such as traumatic brain injury and others can have not only current repercussions but long-term ones. For instance, a traumatic injury to the brain may cause the person to be unable to perform the work he or she did prior to the crash or leave them in a disabled condition that precludes any type of work. Another example would be a situation where a leg or arm required amputation due to the auto accident injury. This can lead to physical pain as well as emotional and psychological problems. Clearly, every person has a different reaction to such an injury, and the auto accident lawyer must categorize the damages consistent with each case.
Other non-economic damages include:
- Fear of another accident can limit the person’s ability to get around and keep them from leaving their home.
- Loss of sexual function, which creates a significant decline in a relationship, can occur after an accident. This loss of closeness in a relationship is referred to as a loss of consortium and generally involves the victim’s spouse. Sometimes, the injured party can join their spouse in the lawsuit for loss of consortium.
- Generalized anxiety that affects every part of life can be present, inhibiting the person’s ability to function normally.
- Humiliation over a disfigurement affects the person’s ability to establish social relationships as well as infringes on their work status. This happens with scars and amputations most commonly.
- Overriding anger is a source of broken relationships and marriages as well as creating significant problems at work. The greater the injury and isolation, the greater the anger. The anger can also lead to the person committing crimes such as assault.
- Full loss of the enjoyment of life is an example of pain and suffering.
- The development of a negative attitude that causes many social and workplace problems is another problem. This disillusionment can lead to suicide in some cases.
Mental Issues Caused by an Accident
Other problems that a person experiences after an accident are:
- Mood swings
- Loss of interest in maintaining hygiene and eating properly
- Drinking or use of drugs, both prescribed and illegal to lessen the mental and physical pain
- Persistent problems that can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder
How the Emotional and Psychological Impact Level Is Determined
It is possible to look at several factors to get a feel for the level of emotional and psychological harm the accident caused. They are:
- The time it took or will take to recover from the injuries
- The intensity of the injuries
- The nature of the injuries
- The presence of permanent disability
- The possibility that the damage will be permanent
Proving Pain and Suffering in Auto Accident Cases
There are several methods to prove the level of pain and suffering. Since concrete evidence such as ledger books to prove lost wages or medical bills are lacking, the auto accident lawyer employs different methods. One common way is to use medical experts who will describe the intensity and nature of the injury and its effect on the person. This may include testimony from psychiatrists also. The lawyer can also present a list of visits to therapists and others that indicate the degree of impact the injury has had on the person mentally.
Restrictions on Receiving Compensation for Pain and Suffering
In cases of medical malpractice, the amount of compensation for pain and suffering is restricted to $250,000. Other limitations are if the victim was uninsured or driving drunk when the . In both cases, pain and suffering damages are not allowed.
Free Review of Your Pain And Suffering Case With Attorney David Azizi
David understands the pain an accident causes. He feels great compassion for an injured victim and does everything he can to obtain the compensation they deserve. David is also respectful of the fear and loneliness an accident victim experiences and makes himself available to answer their questions throughout the case. He even provides them with his cell phone number because he knows that problems can’t always wait for a workday to be asked and answered.
David wins 98 percent of his cases due to his absolute immersion in every case. No client has ever felt like a number at the law offices of David Azizi. Call (800) 991-5292 to schedule a free, no-obligation case review or contact David online. Let David take the burden of fighting for compensation and dealing with insurers off your shoulders and allow yourself time to heal.