After a Car Accident: Suing for Pain and Suffering
Victims of car accidents may suffer different kinds of losses that they can recover from the at-fault driver. Some of these losses are tangible and easily calculated such as lost wages and medical bills. However, there is another type of loss that is not economic and subjective in nature known as pain and suffering.
In this article, we will go through what constitutes pain and suffering and what you can do to prove it in court. We will also provide you with a faster and easier way to file suits using DoNotPay.
What Constitutes Pain And Suffering?
In legal terms, “pain and suffering” is the physical pain and/or emotional anguish incurred by incidents such as a car accident. For example, an Uber driver who suffered third-degree burns from a car accident may sue to recover damages for treatment and the stress and physical limitation the injury has caused. More examples of pain and suffering include:
- Physical injury such as fractured bones
- Discomforts and aches
- Temporary or permanent limitations on day-to-day activities
- Mental health issues such as depression or panic disorder
- Embarrassment from burn wounds or permanent scarring
Special vs General Damages
General and special damages are two terms you will most likely hear when suing for pain and suffering. Although both deserve financial compensation, there are differences between the two. General damages are not particularly monetary since there is no specific dollar amount that applies. Meanwhile, special damages are those that can be easily calculated as these have an attached monetary value. Here are examples of both:
|General damages||Special damages|
|Physical pain and suffering||Cost of medical bills|
|Physical injury or impairment||Amount of lost wages|
|Mental pain and anguish||Loss of irreplaceable items|
|Lower quality of life||Costs of home care|
|Loss of companionship||Cost of domestic services|
|Loss of job||Costs to repair or replace items|
|Claim for emotional distress|
How to Calculate Pain and Suffering After a Car Accident?
There are many factors that you need to take into account when settling for a pain and suffering claim. Although, the typical payout for most claims of similar nature is below $15,000 where they involve only minor injuries — cases that are more suitable in small claims court. The most significant factor that impacts the value of pain and suffering damages is the severity of the injury. Other factors are:
- Types of medical treatment received
- Length of the recovery period
- Probable long-term effects of the injuries
Most personal injury lawyers use these two methods to calculate the value of personal injury claims. These include:
- The Multiplier Method – This is achieved by multiplying the plaintiff’s actual damages by a certain number. The multiplier will depend on the severity of the injury, any aggravating circumstances, and the recovery period.
- The Daily Rate Method – Also called per diem calculation, this method assigns a dollar amount to each day that you continue to suffer pain and suffering from a car accident. The amount usually includes costs of prescription medicines and daily wages lost for not being back to work.
Evidence to Prove Pain and Suffering
When you decide to include pain and suffering damages in your personal injury claim, make sure to include documents that can serve as evidence. The most accessible evidence includes medical records, hospital bills, and photos of your injuries. Here are some types of documents that you can use:
- A written opinion of a medical expert that specializes in physical injuries
- Prescriptions for pain management medications or for treatment of mental health issues
- Your journal of your pain and suffering
- Written testimonies from family, friends, or co-workers regarding your pain and suffering
How to Sue for Pain and Suffering Through DoNotPay
Although filing a lawsuit is your best bet to recover damages, suing for pain and suffering may not always be as straightforward as you want it to be. This is where DoNotPay can help! Our robot lawyer helps you file a lawsuit at the comfort of your home. With DoNotPay, all you have to do is:
- First, log in to DoNotPay and select the Sue Now product
- Enter the dollar amount you are owed
- Then, select whether you want a demand letter or court filing forms
- Finally, describe the reason for the lawsuit and submit any applicable evidence
That’s it! DoNotPay will then generate a demand letter or court filing forms for you. We’ll also mail a copy of your demand letter to the individual you are suing!
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