If another driver has caused you pain, you may be eligible for money damages. Many have heard that they can be paid for pain and suffering after an auto accident but never considered how that works. To learn more about the factors that contribute to monetary compensation for pain and suffering, read on.
Economic Damages and Non-economic Damages
When you are owed money by the at-fault driver's insurer, that is known as damages. Damages can be economic or non-economic. Economic damages can be figured out easily because they are based on the actual amount of something like your medical expenses. Along with that, lost wages and what it costs to repair your vehicle are other economic damages. Pain and suffering is known as a non-economic form of damage. That makes this sort of damage open to interpretation and more difficult to figure out.
What Does Pain and Suffering Feel Like?
If you are the victim of a careless driver, you may already have a ready definition of pain and suffering. An accident will affect victims in numerous ways. Most of the effects are associated with how the injuries on your body make you feel. It can take weeks, if not months, to recover from injuries. Then there is the discomfort brought about by dealing with those injuries. It's very inconvenient to be stuck in a hospital bed and unable to get around. You may also be missing your family who you are unable to see as often if you are hospitalized (because of COVID-19 measures). Worrying about your job and bills pilling up are also part of pain and suffering. The things listed here are only a small fraction of the way an accident will personally affect you.
Pain and Suffering Factors
To be paid for pain and suffering, some insurers and lawyers calculate money damages using a factor system. The factors are a number between 1.5 and 5 or greater. The more serious your injuries and the worse your pain and suffering, the higher the factor. That factor, once decided upon, is multiplied by your medical expenses. If your factor is 4 and your medical expenses totaled $250,000, your pain and suffering calculation might be one million dollars. When your personal injury lawyer negotiates for your settlement, the factor chosen is of prime importance. As you can see from the example, your pain and suffering award will likely be the most valuable part of your settlement. Those with permanent injuries might be factored at more than 5 times their medical expenses. Those with minor but still considerable factors might be paid 2 times their medical bills in pain and suffering.
To find out how much you can expect from your accident, speak to your car accident attorney.