While pain & suffering may sound like a simple concept, recovering compensation in an injury claim is complex.
“Pain and suffering” is the legal term for a victim’s non-economic damages (i.e., physical and emotional trauma or pain) resulting from a personal injury. It can be very tough to assign a dollar amount to one’s pain and suffering—especially if it’s ongoing—and even tougher to actually recover what you believe you’re owed.
The goal of any personal injury claim is to put the victim back to the same position they were in before the accident; in other words, to make the victim whole again.
Many types of losses (damages) can be relatively easy to quantify in terms of monetary value. These are often referred to as economic damages, and can include things such as damage to your vehicle, medical expenses, and lost wages, which are generally substantiated through repair estimates, medical bills, pay stubs, and the like.
At the same time, victims deserve to be compensated for ALL of their related damages, including things which may not necessarily have a specific dollar value. These types of damages are considered non-economic damages, and include things such as pain and suffering, disfigurement/scarring, permanent disabilities, depression, and more.
This being said, it’s extremely rare to successfully collect compensation for pain and suffering without any accompanying economic damages. This is why it’s extremely important to seek medical care immediately after any personal injury. Without documented proof of your actual physical injuries, the insurance company is almost guaranteed to deny your injury claim altogether.
Fighting the Insurance Company
Of course even with documented proof of your injuries and medical treatment, you should still expect a long, drawn-out fight with the insurance company. Not only will they low-ball you with regard to your medical bills, but they will use every trick in the book to contest your non-economic damages valuation. Without evidence, expert testimony, and a willingness to back your claims up with a lawsuit, the insurance company will never fairly negotiate with you.
By hiring a personal injury attorney to handle your claim on a no-win no-fee basis, you can rest easy knowing that you have a team of people working to get you every dime you deserve. Not only does hiring an attorney cost you nothing out of pocket, but they’ll do all the heavy lifting. At Montgomery Law, our team will investigate your claim, collect evidence, maximize value, build a strong case, and handle all communication with the insurance company moving forward.
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Proving Your Pain and Suffering
Unlike concrete financial losses, it can be difficult to “prove” the value of your pain and suffering. One’s pain and suffering is subjective in nature, and so the only way the insurance company will agree to pay these damages is if they believe that you and your attorney can convince a jury to award more compensation, should the case go to trial.
There are several factors which can effect the value of your pain and suffering, such as age, gender, occupation, the severity of the injury, the impact of the injury on the person’s life, and more.
There are some things you can do to help substantiate your pain and suffering claim. These include going to the therapist, keeping a journal, or documenting the affects of the accident and any subsequent changes to your body, health, or lifestyle. Additionally, your attorney can bring in expert witnesses to testify to the level of pain and mental anguish you’ve suffered, and can also refer to cases with similar fact patterns to determine what a jury is likely to award in a case like yours.
Expected Future Pain and Suffering
It’s always advisable to wait until you have completed medical treatment before you make an official demand, but sometimes this simply isn’t possible. If you’ve been permanently disabled, suffer from chronic pain, or will continue to suffer from embarrassment or emotional distress, you will need to account for these speculative damages in your claim as well.
While insurance companies are already ruthless when it comes to contesting claims of pain and suffering, they will fight even harder against claims of expected future pain and suffering. Luckily, our Dallas personal injury lawyers work with several highly-qualified expert witnesses (e.g., life care planners, vocational therapists, occupational therapists) who can attest to your expected future outlook and help substantiate your claim.
The attorneys at Montgomery Law understand the pain, suffering, and frustration you’re dealing with following a serious injury. Luckily, our law firm exists solely to help people just like you. We’re happy to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your case for no charge, and can explain exactly what to expect moving forward.
If we feel as though we can help, we’ll offer to begin working on your claim immediately. Best of all, you never risk a penny of your own money to have us handle your entire claim from beginning to end. Call us today for a free consultation at 214-720-6090 (local) or 1-833-720-6090 (toll-free), or email us 24 hours a day.