If you are on this page, you or someone you know has probably experienced bodily harm as a result of someone’s negligence. If that is the case, you can file a claim to receive a settlement for pain and suffering.
Every situation is different, and as a result, it can be challenging to settle some scenarios. However, if you have a good case, a personal injury lawyer should be able to get you a sizable settlement.
Here we will be discussing everything you need to know about pain and suffering settlements.
What Is Pain and Suffering?
Pain and suffering are not just words to describe physical pain and mental issues. Instead, “pain and suffering” is a legal term that refers to traumatic physical, psychological, and emotional trauma inflicted by a third party. So, for example, you might qualify for a pain and suffering settlement if you experience wounds, fear, or shame due to another person.
Statute of Limitations on Pain and Suffering
Before we get into timelines, we want to emphasize that laws are different in all states in the United States and other countries. As a result, the statute of limitations on pain and suffering claims may vary.
However, most states require the victim to file a claim within two years of the incident. Therefore, the court will not accept claims made after two years.
Two Types of Pain and Suffering
There are two types of pain and suffering that you can file your claim under in court. Those types are general and special damages.
General damage usually refers to economic damages, and they can easily be seen through someone’s injury or property damage. You can immediately see the damage because you can bring hospital bills, lawyer fees, and property repair fees to the court.
Everything that you spend money on as a result of an injury falls under general damage. Some examples include physical therapy, rehab, property repair, lost wages, hospital expenses, and other medical fees.
These fees should usually be covered by your insurance company, especially if you live in a no-fault state. As a result, you might not need a lawyer to file these claims.
Unfortunately, special damages are not as easy to track. As a result, you will need to hire a personal injury lawyer to help you file these claims. Special damages do not have a fixed monetary value attached to them.
Special damages extend to your mental and physical trauma, hence pain and suffering. Some examples of special damages include emotional distress, chronic pain, loss of bodily functions, disfigurement, lowered quality of life, PTSD, and depression.
How to Quantify Pain and Suffering
Unfortunately, nothing can make you whole if you have experienced a traumatic event. However, a cash settlement can make things a little bit better. As a result, a cash value will be applied to your pain and suffering using one of two methods.
The per diem method assigns a monetary value to your suffering for every day. As a result, you will experience compensation for every day that your quality of life is lower as a result of your injury. If your injury cannot heal fully, they will extrapolate that number based on your expected lifespan.
How much money you receive will depend on the extent of your injuries. For example, if your injuries kept you out of work for three months but fully healed, you will receive compensation for the missed time and an additional amount for your pain and suffering.
However, if your injuries never fully heal, you may qualify for a larger settlement.
The multiple method is also available. Insurance companies use it to determine compensation for their clients.
The sum of your economic damages is taken and multiplied by a number from one to five, depending on the severity of your pain. That number is used as a baseline for the compensation your lawyer will demand from the defendant.
Is Your Settlement Fair?
Calculating the sum of money you deserve for your pain and suffering is difficult. As a result, these cases can take years to close.
You need to hire a personal injury lawyer to get a fair settlement. They are trained to get you as much money as possible.
Some of you might want to go to court without a lawyer to save money, but this is not a good idea. You will get a larger settlement with a lawyer than without one. Additionally, your lawyer fees will be factored into the settlement.
No one wants to experience pain and suffering, but a cash settlement can improve things. The best way to get a good settlement is to hire a personal injury lawyer.
If you’re interested in speaking with one of our experienced attorneys about your pain and suffering settlement, contact Mottaz & Sisk Injury Law today.