Pain and Suffering in a Car Accident Claim

an injured woman after a car accident

Pain and suffering is any significant physical discomfort or mental distress that you experience after a car crash or another type of accident. In addition to seeking compensation for car repairs, medical bills, and lost wages, you can seek compensation for the pain and suffering you endured after an auto accident. It’s important to note, however, that pain and suffering damages are only available if you sustained a permanent injury in the accident. 

A Pensacola car accident lawyer can help you understand your options and help you pursue pain and suffering compensation in your personal injury case. 

What Is Pain and Suffering in a Car Accident Claim?

Car accident victims often experience both physical and mental pain in the aftermath of the accident. Sometimes, pain and suffering are so severe that they cause problems like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), insomnia, and anxiety. Both physical and mental pain can linger for a long time, depending on your injuries.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, nearly 25 percent of Americans experience chronic pain from illness or bodily injury, including broken bones, neck and back pain, and scar tissue. Car accident victims often sustain these types of injuries.

Suffering the physical and mental strain of chronic pain takes a toll on your ability to work, care for your children or loved ones, and enjoy a satisfactory quality of life. 

What Can Be Considered Pain and Suffering?

What is pain and suffering in a personal injury claim? Pain and suffering refers to the physical and emotional pain resulting from an accident, injury, or illness. Physical pain is the actual pain you feel in your body, while mental pain is the emotions like sadness, fear, anger, and mental anguish that often follow a traumatic experience like a car accident.

Let’s say you broke your arm in a car crash. You will experience a lot of initial pain from the break, surgery, or medical treatment and may also experience ongoing pain and discomfort as the bone heals. However, there is also a mental factor to consider. Perhaps you develop anxiety attacks at the thought of traveling or driving a car again. It’s easy to understand how this response can worsen your quality of life.  A pain and suffering claim can help compensate you if you suffered injuries and emotional trauma.

Under Florida law, you can only recover pain and suffering damages from a car accident claim if you suffer:

  • Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
  • Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement
  • Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
  • Death

An experienced Pensacola car accident attorney can help you determine if you qualify to receive pain and suffering damages. 

How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated in Florida?

Pain and suffering damages are compensation for non-economic losses, which can make them harder to quantify than economic damages, which are compensation for tangible losses, like medical expenses. Your car accident attorney can explain in greater detail their approach for how to calculate pain and suffering, but one common approach to calculating pain and suffering compensation in personal injury lawsuits involves what’s called the multiplier method.

First, they consider factors like:

  • The extent and severity of your injuries
  • The impact of your injuries on your daily life
  • Past, current, and future suffering resulting from your injuries
  • Emotional distress 
  • Loss of consortium as a result of your injuries

They’ll also take into account your age and any pre-existing medical conditions. Based on all this information, they’ll rate the severity of your injuries on a scale of 1.5 to 5, with 5 indicating the highest degree of severity. Finally, they’ll total your medical bills and multiply the total by the number they’ve chosen to account for your pain and suffering. 

For example, let’s say they assign your severity of injuries a 3 and you have $200,000 in medical bills. Using the multiplier method, your pain and suffering would be valued at $600,000 (3 x $200,000).

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney in Pensacola, FL Today

Calculating damages for a pain and suffering award after a car crash is complex. At Cardoso Law, PLLC, we take the time to explain your rights and how we use our experience to pursue maximum compensation on your behalf. Our skilled personal injury lawyers handle car, truck, and motorcycle accident cases for clients throughout Pensacola. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

At Cardoso Law, our mission is to make things right. To protect those who have been injured because of someone else’s negligence. To hold those who hurt our clients accountable. We do all this by treating every client with compassion and respect, as we fight for every penny they’re owed.