The Realities Of Pain And Suffering After An Accident
Pain and suffering is a term that gets thrown around casually when people talk about the after effects of an injury. Unfortunately, there’s nothing casual about the realities of pain and suffering. These are very real terms that become a part of someone’s life when they are injured in an accident.
What Is Pain And Suffering?
Pain and suffering is a legal term. It includes not only the physical pain, but the mental and emotional injuries that afflict a person after an accident. Physical injuries can include musculoskeletal pain, broken bones, lacerations, and trauma to internal organs. These physical injuries can have an effect on a person’s mental and emotional wellbeing.
More direct emotional and mental injuries can affect a person’s life after an accident. Examples of pain and suffering through mental and emotional trauma can include:
• Lack of intimacy with a partner
Anything that changes a person’s overall happiness and reduces their quality of life is part of pain and suffering.
What Pain And Suffering Is Not
It is not for medical expenses. Pain and suffering does not include anything that can be defined as medical expenses. It refers to the loss of comfort and happiness that usually follows an accident.
It is not compensated excessively. Insurance companies do their best to keep this from happening by using investigators and specialists to refute claims that are over-the-top.
It is not typically a case for trial. Obtaining compensation for pain and suffering does mean that you have to go to trial. At least 95 percent of cases are settled without going to court.
It is not for partners. Not everyone can sue for pain and suffering. For example, a wife cannot bring about lawsuit for loss of companionship if her husband becomes withdrawn.
It is not for witnesses (usually). People who are not direct victims of an accident can’t always sue for pain and suffering. The laws do vary by state, but someone who witnesses a plane crash can’t usually sue for the trauma of seeing it.
How Can You Prove Pain And Suffering?
The best way to prove pain and suffering is to document everything fully. The more evidence you have to support your claim, the better. Personal journals and photographs can document the physical and emotional pain after the accident. Statements from friends and family can provide evidence by listing ways that the injury has affected the victim’s life. Proof of treatment from a therapist or mental health professional is important to have when claiming insomnia, depression, or increased anxiety.
How Does Florida Measure Pain And Suffering Damages?
There is no universal measurement for pain and suffering damages. Courts do their best to decide how much to award the plaintiff based on a number of factors. Some of the factors considered are:
• Severity of the injury
• Potential for continuing consequences
• Preexisting conditions
• Age of the plaintiff
• Economic losses suffered
Some attorneys use a multiplier method to determine the value of pain and suffering. This takes the economic damages and multiplies them by a number between one and five. For instance, if the plaintiff suffered $50,000 in lost wages, the attorney can argue that they are entitled to three times that amount for their pain and suffering, giving them a settlement of $150,000.
The statute of limitations to file a claim for pain and suffering in Florida is four years. Learn more about your options by speaking with an attorney for injury before that time is up.