There is no average pain and suffering settlement amount for a car accident because everyone’s pain and suffering experience is unique. The law does not assign a standard amount or a flat rate to this kind of non-economic damage.
What does “Pain and Suffering” Mean?
The Legal Information Institute of Cornell Law School (LII) defines “pain and suffering” as “the physical discomfort and emotional distress that are compensable as noneconomic damages.”
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Why do Some Settlements Include Money Damages for Pain and Suffering?
Merely getting your medical bills paid does not honor the physical pain or psychological consequences, like anxiety, worry, stress, and sadness that can come with getting injured. If paying the victim’s medical expenses was all that it took to make things right after injuring someone, people could go around hurting others without any additional accountability.
Factors Affecting the Amount of Compensation You Can get for Pain and Suffering
There is no reliable, objective way to measure how much pain a person feels or how much emotional distress they experience. As such, the law explores the severity of the individual’s injuries and what they had to go through when determining a fair amount for pain and suffering compensation.
If a victim suffered minor injuries, their pain and suffering damages may be far less than a person who had to have a leg amputated. Be aware, however, that some injuries can be excruciatingly painful without generating massive medical bills.
The facts of the individual case will determine how much compensation the plaintiff should receive for pain and suffering damages.
Other Types of Compensation in a Personal Injury Case
The law allows people to recover both economic and non-economic losses in personal injury claims, according to the American Bar Association (ABA). Economic losses in personal injury claims can include things like:
If you missed out on paychecks because you could not work while recuperating from your injuries and medical treatments, the judge could order the at-fault party to pay that loss. This category can include lost wages, salary, self-employment, and other forms of regular income.
Also, you might not be able to earn as much money in the future because of your injuries. In this situation, your settlement could include lost future wages. Whether your ongoing impairment causes you to have to reduce your hours or take a job that pays less money, this situation can present a financial hardship.
When someone else hurts you through carelessness or an intentional act, they should have to bear the cost of your medical treatments. Personal injury claims seek to lay this responsibility on the at-fault party.
Any reasonable medical service you need because of the injuries will usually qualify for compensation. Ambulatory care and emergency room care are compensable. Also, diagnostic procedures, imaging studies, lab tests, and surgery are common medical expenses in personal injury claims. Bills from doctors, hospitals, surgery, and physical therapy are often part of these claims.
In addition to pain and suffering, a person might have other non-economic losses. Here are a few examples:
- If the accident left you with permanent scars, you might be able to get compensation for disfigurement, particularly if the scars are in a highly visible location like the face, throat, chest, or hands. These damages are in addition to the medical bills for plastic surgery, skin grafts, and other treatments.
- Loss of the enjoyment of life. Sometimes, severe injuries can cause lasting impairment like paralysis, weakness, or loss of function of the injured body part. This damage can leave a person no longer able to engage in activities they used to enjoy, like playing with their children or being able to walk.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many people develop PTSD after experiencing an accident, particularly if someone suffered a horrific or fatal injury. PTSD can be debilitating to a person’s relationships and ability to maintain gainful employment.
These economic and non-economic losses are in addition to the money damages that one might pursue for pain and suffering.
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At Bader Scott Injury Lawyers, it is our honor to help people who get injured because of the careless or intentional actions of others. You can call us at 404.888.8888 for a free initial consultation. There is no obligation.
If we take your case, you will not have any up-front legal fees or litigation expenses. We will get paid out of the settlement proceeds or award at the end of the matter. Our clients can rest and focus on getting better because they know that we are taking care of everything else. Call us today to find out how we can help you.