If you are familiar at all with the legal world, even if your experience is limited to television dramas or the movies, you have likely heard the term “pain and suffering.” Despite having a general idea of what it means, most people do not fully understand pain and suffering, nor do they know what they deserve as a result of their pain and suffering if they have been injured in an accident.
Simply put, pain and suffering is the physical pain and emotional distress you suffer after an accident. In addition to the injuries you are diagnosed for, you might experience immediate and/or ongoing physical pain. You will also likely deal with some stress that was not there before the accident.
In some cases, pain and suffering can be physically or emotionally debilitating. Regardless of the severity of pain and suffering, if you are an accident victim, you deserve to be compensated.
What is the Difference between Pain and Suffering and Medical Expenses?
Pain and suffering damages are separate from medical expenses. Chances are, if you are injured in an accident, even if the injuries are mild to moderate, you’ll accumulate some medical bills. These medical expenses are considered damages and should be part of the settlement you accept or compensation you are given should your case go to trial. However, medical expenses are different from pain and suffering.
Medical expenses are represented by a specific amount of money – whatever doctors and other medical professionals bill you for care. Pain and suffering, on the other hand, does not have a specific amount attached it. You and your Camden, SC attorney determine what a fair amount would be to compensate you and the insurance company either accept that estimate or an amount is determined by the court.
Pain and Suffering Varies from Person to Person
Pain and suffering compensation is unique from case to case. There are instances in which two accident victims injured in different accidents, but under similar circumstances. Despite the similarities in their cases, their pain and suffering compensation could be dramatically different.
Pain and suffering can be mild for one accident victim, while another might deal with serious long-term trauma, such as migraines, back aches, or PTSD. Everyone’s brain responds differently to trauma, and as an accident victim, you are entitled to be treated as an individual with individual needs and reactions.
Most of the time, pain and suffering is part of accident compensation for those injured in Camden, SC. However, it is rare that an accident victim receives compensation for pain and suffering unless he or she also has some other type of damages.
To win a claim, you’ll likely need to have verifiable evidence of a physical injury, which comes in the form of medical bills. This is why it is so important to seek medical attention following an accident, even if you believe your injuries are not that serious.
Though you might feel fine immediately after an accident, there is no telling what the future holds, and to receive compensation for future issues, you’ll need to begin building your case from day one. Not seeking medical attention after an accident supports the insurance company’s argument that you were not really injured after an accident, even if you are claiming an injury later on.
How is Pain and Suffering Determined?
Since there are limited ways to tally up the value of pain and suffering, your attorney will need to build your case based on a variety of evidence. Most attorneys begin by speaking to an expert witness who evaluates your medical information and compares it to similar situations. This gives them a good starting point for the value of your case. In addition to comparative analysis of your injuries, your attorney will also consider:
- The extent of your injuries and the time and effort needed to completely recover if complete recovery is possible
- The analysis of a mental health expert regarding responses such as PTSD, anxiety, and depression
- The medications you take to treat your injuries, both physical and emotional
- Your age, gender, and position in life
- Whether or not your lifespan will be affected by your injuries
- Whether or not your mobility or ability to perform work and other day-to-day tasks has been affected
Many of these issues are ones that cannot be contested by the insurance companies. However, they will do their best to call into question the expert opinions of doctors and other professionals, and they will claim that your pain and suffering isn’t nearly as bad as it really is. An experienced lawyer can provide you with leverage and help you deal with the insurance company’s attempts to take advantage of you.
Your Well-being Matters to Us
There is no denying that involvement in a Camden, SC accident that results in injuries will be one of the most difficult phases of your life. This is especially true in instances where your injuries alter the course of your life permanently. In addition to being victimized in the accident, it’s common for people to feel re-victimized in the days, weeks, and months following the accident. Insurance companies are out to protect their bottom line, and they will do so at the expense of your physical and mental well-being.
Consult with a South Carolina Personal Injury Attorney
Working with a personal injury attorney is the best way to ensure you are treated fairly and that you receive the compensation you deserve. Just because an injury is not visible does not mean it is not there. In reality, many consequences related to accidents are difficult to see. There are people walking around every day experiencing emotional and physical pain related to events that occurred years or decades in the past. In these cases, the victims deserve to be compensated for the way in which their lives were changed.
If you were involved in an accident or you have questions about the compensation available for your pain and suffering, we can help. We are a team of experienced attorneys who know how to negotiate with insurance companies and who are committed to getting you the compensation you deserve. For more information or to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case, contact us the Connell Law Firm at 803.310.5700.