Attorney Lauren Dayani breaks down what exactly are “pain and suffering” damages in your personal injury claim.
The concept of a personal injury claim is that you are “made whole” after resolution of the case. This means, at least in theory, that you have the right to be put in a position that is the same as if the accident had not happened. (Whether the result of the claim actually does this is a subject for a different post! We certainly have opinions about whether the legal system is capable of actually doing this.)
One part of a liability claim is for your economic damages, which is pretty simple. Economic damages, also called special damages, includes whatever is related to the incident that you can calculate and see on a piece of paper: your medical bills, wage loss, out of pocket expenses. An easy concept.
The second category of your claim is for your pain and suffering, also called general damages or “non-ecomomic” damages. is to compensate for the human experience of sustaining an injury which was not your fault. Think: stress, inconvenience, lost time with your kids, mental anguish, disability, disfigurement, loss of reputation, etc, etc, etc. All of the aspects of being a human being which are hard to ascribe a dollar figure to.
So how you do calculate this nebulous aspect of non-economic damages? Isn’t is so subjective? Well, yes. But there are factors that are considered in the assessment of what is a fair value for the pain and suffering of your particular case.
Some examples of such factors include:
- How did the incident happen?
- What do the photos look like?
- Did you need to go to the hospital?
- When did you seek medical treatment?
- What type of treatment did you require?
- Did you follow all recommendations of care?
- Whether you are better now, or if you are still in need of treatment?
- Were you consistent in getting the medical care you needed?
- If one type of care didn’t work, did you do everything you can to try something else?
Read/watch on for part II where we discuss how insurance companies respond to pain and suffering damages.
Lauren Dayani is lead personal injury attorney at Dayani Law Firm. She offers free consultations and speaks clearly and honestly about your options after a car accident. Send her a message below or call directly for a consult at (206) 777-5627