Pain and suffering damages – How are the calculated (Part 3)?

January 29, 2021

Pain and suffering damages – How are the calculated (Part 3)?

pain and suffering compensation

In Part 2, we defined pain and suffer, the difference between special and general damages and how you can prove pain and suffering.

This time, we are focusing on payment of pain and suffering damages, emotional distress and some examples of what are some types of injuries worth.

When will the insurance company pay you for your pain and suffering?

When one party is clearly at fault for the accident/injury, he/she that sustained the injuries will receive some compensation for the pain and suffering they sustained. The majority of insurance companies realizes that those involved in a car accident have to be compensated for the wait the accident has impacted their lives. Of course, the statement doesn’t determine how much will they be compensated. After all, pain and suffering are only one part of the total damages that you have to be compensated for.

Is emotional distress included in pain and suffering?

Emotional distress or mental anguish is when someone’s negligent actions caused injuries and mental harm to another person. These can be torment, insomnia, depression, anxiety or humiliation. Emotional distress is very commonly included under pain and suffering. Through consultation with our experienced lawyers, you will learn in what way and extent is included in pain and suffering and what additional types of mental anguish can be considered emotional distress.

Can you sue for emotional distress?

Yes, you can. However, lawsuits for emotional distress are usually covered under the following types of claims:

  • Embarrassment and humiliation
  • PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Loss of enjoyment of life and
  • Diminished quality of life

Technically speaking, suing for emotional distress or mental anguish is possible. Expressing that emotional distress through specific amount of money is not that simple and these cases usually require careful and thorough evaluation done by mental health experts.

The first offer

The first initial offer received from the insurance carrier will be very low at first. After all, they want to pay out as little as possible and they are looking after their own interests. When this happens, negotiations will be required and for this you will need proper legal representation. With the right attorneys at your side, the figure can be increased to the amount that you’re comfortable with.

When insurance companies calculate your compensation, they take into consideration several factors:

  • How severe are your injuries
  • How severe is the pain and discomfort that are associated with the types of injuries
  • If and how did those injuries impact your life, relationship, ability to work etc.
  • The amount of medical attention and treatment required to treat those injuries
  • The time necessary for those types of injuries to heal
  • If you will require future care such as therapy, medication, surgical procedure etc.

Is the settlement higher if your car is totaled?

A totaled car in an accident will most likely increase the settlement. Totaled cars can play a big role in the settlement if there are no high medical bills e.g. when you suffer from whiplash. The important thing is it take good quality photos of the scene which can clearly represent your car as totaled. Good photos of wrecked cars can also cause pain and suffering and emotional distress.

How much are some injuries worth?

The amount you will receive though a settlement is also determined by the type of injuries you sustained in the accident. Broken bones generally yield a higher settlement. Here are some examples of injuries and their approximate “worth”:

  • Broken or fractured wrist/hand: $35,000 – $70,000
  • Elbow fracture that will require surgery: $150,000 – $250,000
  • Torn rotator cuff (without surgical intervention): $40,000 – $75,000
  • Torn rotator cuff (with surgery): $100,000 – $175,000
  • Hip fracture: $50,000 – $75,000
  • Herniated disk: $25,000 – $50,000

These are of course only estimates. For a more specific and accurate figure, contact our office and schedule an appointment.

We hope that these series were helpful to understand that the process of calculating and receiving compensation for pain and suffering after an accident, is not really that simple. If you or your loved one were involved in an accident and you think that you’re entitled to receive compensation (aside from the material damages) contact our office and let us evaluate your case with you.