After an accident, it’s fairly easy to settle on a number for getting your vehicle fixed or replaced. There are widely accepted resources for establishing car values and most people can find reputable body shops to give them a quote. If you were injured, there’s also documentation of your medical expenses because all the healthcare providers involved will send you (sometimes mountains of) bills. However, what about what you suffered during the accident and after? How do you get fair compensation for pain and suffering?
You can’t measure what you went through physically, mentally and emotionally. You can rank your pain on a scale of one to ten, but it’s not like you can show the insurance adjuster a printout of your suffering from one day to the next or press a button and get an accurate tally.
It’s always helpful to have realistic expectations. If you walked away with bumps and bruises, you probably won’t get much compensation in terms of pain and suffering. However, if you have medical proof of your injuries, or ongoing pain from neck, back or other soft tissue injuries, we can help you put together a strong argument for pain and suffering compensation.
Understand What Qualifies as Pain and Suffering
It sounds vague, but “pain and suffering” is actually a legal term applied to what you felt physically and emotionally after an accident. Simply put, if you hurt, schedule a consultation and let’s talk about it. Physical pain and suffering might include injuries like these:
- Head injuries or traumatic brain injuries
- Neck pain
- Back or spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Pulled, sprained or strained muscles
- Disfiguring facial injuries or scars
Physical injuries might require extensive healing time, or they might be chronic. And unfortunately, the physical pain isn’t the only thing that impacts quality of life. Emotional pain and suffering goes hand in hand with a traumatic injury and might include:
- Post traumatic stress
- Difficulty sleeping
- Panic attacks
- Anxiety or nervousness
- Grief over how your life has changed
- Cognitive changes after a brain injury
Traumatic injury and its aftermath is hard on relationships. Sometimes people find themselves unable to perform the tasks necessary for their job or do the things that used to bring them joy. When that emotional pain is caused by someone else’s negligence, they deserve compensation.
Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
When you work with Monsour Law Firm, we know how to identify external factors that support your pain and suffering compensation claim. For example, if the other driver was intoxicated, if rescue workers had to use the jaws of life to cut you out of your car, if the impact was so great it drove your vehicle through a guard rail or if there were other fatalities, we’re going to point that out as evidence of your accident’s severity.
External factors like that contribute to the amount of fear and distress people feel when they go through an accident. Fear and distress is emotional suffering that deserves compensation.
Document Your Recovery
Keep a diary or video journal to record your progress toward healing. Don’t gloss over what you’re going through. It’s not necessary to put a positive spin on things, your documentation is the place to accurately describe your pain and how you feel about it.
If you’re embarrassed about what happened in the hospital or afraid of the pain you’ll experience at the next therapy session, document it. If you’re frustrated with your lack of progress or your inability to enjoy life with your partner, talk about that too. Document medication side effects, difficulty caring for children, sleep disturbances, bad dreams about the accident and anything else you experience.
Don’t Try to Negotiate on Your Own
When you’re trying to heal, it’s hard to focus on playing hardball with insurance adjusters. We can do that for you so you can just get well. Get in touch to talk with a personal injury attorney today.