In some states, insurance companies pay for pain and suffering. Some states require you to meet a threshold of “serious injury” to collect this form of non-economic damages. If you cannot receive compensation for pain and suffering through an insurance claim, you could do so through a personal injury lawsuit.
Additionally, every case and injury is unique. Your potential settlement or court-awarded offer depends entirely on the extent of your injuries and how they affected you. A lawyer with our firm can help calculate damages for pain and suffering and fight for fair compensation through a claim or lawsuit.
Possible Compensation You May Receive After a Car Accident
While pain and suffering is an important category for settlements, there are other losses you may receive when suffering injuries due to another party’s negligence. These include:
- Current medical bills
- Ongoing medical expenses for long-term conditions
- Vehicle repairs
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
These losses are economic damages that come with exact dollar amounts. These are easier to calculate and negotiate with insurers. Pain and suffering is more subjective, but it may still warrant compensation.
Evidence of Your Pain and Suffering
Documentation of pain and suffering is what can make a difference in obtaining compensation for this non-economic loss. Evidence may include documentation of permanent injuries, disfigurement, chronic pain, or disability.
Written records from medical doctors are an important first step for a pain and suffering claim. A lawyer may also suggest gathering additional evidence, such as:
- A journal or diary detailing your pain and suffering
- Character witnesses or testimonies of witnessing your pain
- Photographs that corroborate what you went through
- Photographs depicting any physical trauma
- Photos of scars and any permanent damage
Having such documentation, as well as medical records supporting your claims, help justify the value of your pain and suffering.
Mental Health Issues May Warrant Compensation
If you suffer from psychological issues after a serious accident, it could be a sign that you have a latent concussion or are experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These are serious conditions that require follow-up medical attention from a professional. Therapists can also help diagnose and treat any mental health issues you may be having.
Mental health issues may also qualify you for compensation from a liable party. Our personal injury attorneys can break down the evidence of these non-economic losses for the insurance agents or jury and help you tell your story clearly.
The Personal Injury Claims Negotiation Process
Whether insurance companies pay for pain and suffering depends on whether you can successfully negotiate it with them and justify the expense.
Insurance adjusters do not usually start with their best offer. They may make an initial offer that undervalues your claim before exploring the full extent of your injuries. This is why it is important to seek medical attention after an accident.
Taking Your Case to Trial
If an insurer refuses to offer a fair settlement that accounts for your pain and suffering, you have the option to take legal action. By filing a lawsuit, you can pursue a court-awarded offer that would fairly cover your losses, including non-economic damages.
According to the American Bar Association (ABA), a person’s damages may include permanent scarring, disfigurement, or disability. You do not have to go through this process alone. One of our lawyers can handle your case from start to finish, making sure to calculate your non-economic damages and gather the necessary evidence to prove them.
Deadlines for Taking Legal Action
If you cannot secure fair compensation through an insurance claim, you should know that you do not have an unlimited amount of time to file a personal injury lawsuit. Under 735 ILCS 5/13-202, you generally have two years after the date of the injury to take legal action against a liable party. If you try to file past this deadline, you risk having the court dismiss your case.
Similarly, you have a deadline to file a wrongful death lawsuit if you lost a loved one to negligence. Per 740 ILCS 180/2, you also only have two years to file.
As long as you reach out to our firm as soon as possible, we can help you abide by these deadlines and protect your right to compensation. Keep in mind that negotiations with insurers also take time, so act quickly.
Contact the Office of a Car Accident Attorney Today to Learn More
If you want to discuss the process of seeking pain and suffering damages, The Kryder Law Group, LLC can listen to the facts of your case and explain your options for pursuing fair compensation.
We offer free, no-obligation consultations where we can answer all your legal questions. To get started pursuing your rights with our legal team, call us today.