After a crash, an injured person typically gets emergency treatment. There may be X-rays and scans. The individual may see a specialist or be scheduled for surgery. Down the road, there’s often physical therapy to rehabilitate the injured area or regain strength and motion. And while these medical expenses add up, they can at least be quantified.
But what about emotional trauma? The pain the injured person experiences after surgery or during another long session of physical therapy. The mental anguish the individual feels replaying the crash. This type of trauma may prevent a person from living life fully, causing the victim to avoid driving, underperform at work or miss out on important family milestones.
It’s much harder to quantify emotional trauma than it is physical medical expenses. That’s why insurance companies often try to lowball settlement offers and neglect to consider the injured person’s pain and suffering after a crash.
How to calculate pain and suffering
While pain and suffering is intangible, there are ways to estimate it for the purposes of a personal injury settlement. Typically, you start by tallying the actual costs of the injury: the lost wages, the medical bills and the associated out-of-pocket expenses.
Pain and suffering damages vary from case to case based on the severity of the injuries and the long term effects of the injuries. In addition, various other factors can play significant roles in determining the amount of pain and suffering and must be evaluated on a case by case basis. While insurance companies do not often evaluate cases this way, a fair question to ask is how much money would it take for someone to agree to go through what the injured person had to deal with from the wreck.
Insurance companies will pay for emotional trauma, though they often try to avoid doing so by offering low settlements. Sadly, some people accept the offer in order to move on and begin paying medical bills, missing out on the chance to receive compensation for their current and future mental healthcare needs.
How to support your case
Because insurance companies tend to overlook pain and suffering, it’s critical that you make a credible case for what you’re experiencing. A personal injury attorney can help you prepare the evidence you’ll need, including:
- Your medical records, detailing all of the treatment you’ve undergone since the crash
- A statement from your mental health providers giving an overview of your experience and related treatment, as well as any diagnoses, like depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder
- Witness statements from friends, family or important people in your life who can testify to the challenges and changes you’ve undergone
- Your own account of the crash and your recovery period, detailing procedures, pain and feelings of guilt, anger and sadness
It’s important to be able to describe what you’re going through and support it with evidence. For example, if you already experienced anxiety but found yourself unable to drive to work after a car crash, you’d want your therapist to explain how your mental health deteriorated due to the accident.
Often, an insurance company will offer a low settlement for pain and suffering then settle after a personal injury lawsuit.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney at The King Firm
If you’ve been hurt in a crash, we can help you get the compensation you deserve. At The King Firm, our team has the experience and knowledge necessary to pursue the best possible results for your case. Contact us today at 229-515-8585 for a free case consultation.