How Pain And Suffering Fit Into Personal Injury Cases
People who speak with personal injury lawyers about filing claims usually have a fairly easy time understanding one part of seeking compensation. How medical bills fit into cases usually makes a lot of sense. As long as an expense is justifiable, you present the bill as part of the claim and that is that. However, pain and suffering may represent something that people have trouble wrapping their minds around. It can seem a bit abstract of a concept, but the law does have a structured way of dealing with it.
What Are Pain and Suffering in Legal Terms?
In addition to the direct medical costs of injuries, claimants have the right to demand compensation for the agonies they've suffered. This includes the initial pain and suffering at the moment of the accident, and it also covers any resulting agony from medical care, disfigurement, and long-term recovery. Likewise, it covers pain and suffering that are permanent and life-changing.
Notably, emotional trauma is compensable, too. If someone suffered mightily after an animal attack, for example, they might be afraid to leave their home. This lasting trauma can degrade their quality of life, and that also deserves compensation.
How to Prove Pain and Suffering
Many personal injury attorneys recommend their clients have a journal. The idea is for the client to make small notes each day about the pain, suffering, and traumas they experience. If a claimant woke up in pain from a back injury due to a slip and fall accident, for example, they'd make a note of the time that day they felt the main. Personal injury lawyers might ask their clients to rate their pain on a 1-to-10 scale.
Collecting these small notes over time allows an attorney to present the longer story of a victim's pain and suffering. Oftentimes, they'll also ask expert witnesses to fill in some details about how people tend to get by emotionally and physically with these sorts of issues. All of these details can go into the demand package when a lawyer officially notifies an insurer or a defendant that the client expects compensation.
Your medical bills set the base for compensation. Most insurers and courts then apply a multiplier to calculate a victim's compensation for their pain and suffering. This is usually somewhere between 1.5 and 5 times the medical bills. The settlement then awards compensation for pain and suffering on top of any medical expenses.
Contact a company like Schonberg Law Offices for more information.