Pain And Suffering Damages In Car Accident Personal Injury Cases: A Brief Primer

Pain and suffering damages refer to a negotiated or court-appointed settlement for injuries you received due to the accident in question. Pain and suffering damages are often times awarded for those who were injured due to a car accident and levied a personal injury suit against the individual or entity who caused the accident. Throughout the course of this brief article, you will learn a bit about how pain and suffering damages are qualified by the court and insurance companies.

General Damages

Pain and suffering damages usually fall under the umbrella category of "general damages." This can refer to both mental anguish, as well as physical trauma. As such, there is not a particularly easy way to quantify how much you will receive as a settlement. The amount of your settlement will almost always correspond to the extent of your injury. Soft tissue injuries that do not require medical treatment, like bruises or minor scrapes, will usually not see a payout. However, broken bones and deep lacerations that require stitches or staples most certainly will. As a rule of thumb, it is generally easier to generate a payout for physical trauma – as the evidence has a very clear visual element – than it is with regard to emotional and mental anguish.

Insurance Companies

The manner in which courts determine pain and suffering damages can be even more difficult to ascertain than how a court will award you your settlement. While the logic of court usually dictates pain and suffering to fall under the category of general damages, insurance companies all operate differently. However, they mainly operate with one major underlying linchpin: if you did not go to the doctor for treatment regarding the purported pain and suffering, then you must have not been experiencing either pain or suffering. How an insurance company will process your claim largely depends on corroboration with your recent medical history, in addition to records regarding time off of work or school due to the pain or suffering you experienced.

Evidence Review

An insurance provider will usually submit your claim to what is referred to as an evidence review. This means that a claims adjuster will review a litany of your documents related to your claim, including photographic evidence of your injuries, records of prescriptions that were given or assigned to you due to the pain and suffering caused by the car accident, medical bills, and receipts regarding any OTC medications you purchased to alleviate pain caused by the car accident.

For more information on pain and suffering damages in car accidents, visit law firms such as Antonucci Frank & Associates Attorneys.