If you were the victim of an accident – whether a motor vehicle accident, a slip and fall, an accident at work or maritime accident – you may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering. In personal injury claims, pain and suffering refers to the emotional distress or “mental anguish” a person has to go through because of the negligent acts of the at-fault party. While medical expenses and property damage are easier to put a value on, it is more complicated to place a dollar amount on pain and suffering.
There are two types of damages that apply in personal injury cases: special damages and general damages.
- Special damages are the losses and expenses that can easily be given a monetary value. Special damages include medical bills, loss of wages, loss of property and other out-of-pocket expenses.
- General damages are more difficult to immediately put a value on. General damages do not have bills and receipts, unlike special damages. General damages include emotional or mental trauma, the affects of physical disfigurement and the loss of quality of life. General damages are broadly referred to as pain and suffering.
When the Louisiana personal injury lawyers at Domengeaux Wright Roy & Edwards go through all the details of your claim and calculate the value, we take into account both types of damages to make sure our clients get the full compensation to cover your injuries, as well as any ramifications that have resulted. Our experienced Louisiana personal injury lawyers can explain how pain and suffering may be evaluated in a free consultation.
“Pain and suffering” include financial compensation for having to “live with” certain things that you otherwise would not have had to if it wasn’t for the accident or injury. In a minor accident, it can be compensation for the inconvenience the accident has placed in your life. After major accidents, it is compensation for the suffering and agony you have been forced to go through. An example may be after a serious injury, though the medical bills may be covered, a victim may never be able to enjoy the same type of active lifestyle, such as a back injury from an accident that won’t allow a victim to enjoy playing with his kids ever again. Paying medical bills doesn’t compensate a victim for that pain.
WHAT CAN PAIN AND SUFFERING DAMAGES INCLUDE?
The term “pain and suffering” has a broad definition and may include:
- Physical pain
- Physical impairment
- Suffering or agony
- Physical discomfort such as aches and pains
- Mental anguish, including depression, anxiety and embarrassment
- Permanent restrictions on activity
- Loss of enjoyment of life experiences
- Disfigurement or scarring
PROVING YOUR PAIN AND SUFFERING
You will need to document pain and suffering and provide as much evidence as possible to help prove what you are experiencing. Proving damages for pain and suffering is an important way to ensure you receive a fair amount for your injuries. The more evidence you have, the better. It is also one of the most complex issues in a personal injury case. The lawyers at Domengeaux Wright Roy & Edwards can help you with this. In any case with a serious injury, we encourage you to hire an experienced attorney to protect your rights.
The following evidence could help establish your pain and suffering damages:
- Your doctor’s written opinion about the nature and extent of your injuries and pain
- Medical imaging test results that show broken bones, soft-tissue injuries or other signs of injury
- Records of the pain medications you have been prescribed
- Depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues caused by the accident as related in testimony by a mental health expert.
- A daily pain journal in which you document your pain and suffering.
- Photographs of your injuries throughout treatment can give a clear reflection of your pain and suffering.
- Testimony from friends, family or co-workers regarding your pain and suffering and the limitations you now face.
COMPENSATION FOR PAIN AND SUFFERING
Once pain and suffering has been proven in court, the final step is calculating the appropriate amount of damages, or compensation. Typically, the courts will use the multiplier method or the daily rate method.
The multiplier method involves multiplying the medical expenses by a number, often between 1.5 and five. This would include all surgeries, medications, treatments and resulting follow-up care. The more severe the injury, the higher the number is likely to be.
The daily method, or per diem method, establishes a set rate for compensation per day. The number of days the victim took to recover are multiplied by this daily rate to establish a value. Your attorney will assign a specific value to each day that you have had to cope with your injuries, the daily inconvenience of recovering, and the repercussions.
Your final settlement amount depends on the circumstances of your case and the ability of your attorney to justify your pain and suffering. If you were injured in any accident because of someone’s negligence, you are justified in pursuing a larger amount for pain and suffering. The personal injury lawyers at Domengeaux Wright Roy & Edwards can help you pursue maximum compensation for the pain and suffering you have endured in a wide range of circumstances.
Contact us today for a free consultation about your case. We will review your case and explain what your damages may be worth. We have a long history of results in helping clients pursue maximum compensation for pain and suffering because of another’s negligent actions. We can help you.
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