What is Considered “Pain and Suffering” After a Car Accident?

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What is Considered "Pain and Suffering" After a Car AccidentIf you’ve been in a car accident, you deserve compensation for the car accident injuries you have sustained. The at-fault party’s insurance has likely already stepped in to cover your medical costs and even your lost income, but what about compensation for your pain and suffering? It’s not as easy to quantify what pain and suffering is, even if you have a report from a walk-in chiropractor. While everyone may agree that you are hurt, they may not agree on the degree of pain you’re in or that you’re suffering is worth compensation. The first step in seeking additional compensation is to learn how pain and suffering is determined by a court.

Why Is Pain and Suffering Hard to Determine?

Pain and suffering isn’t as straightforward as a medical bill or the cost of replacing your car. For one, there isn’t a clear, simple, and unbiased way of determining how much pain you are in. This is because pain is subjective. If you have a high pain tolerance, for example, you may say that your pain on a scale of one to ten is around a four, while someone else with the same injuries may rate it a seven.

Because of how difficult it is to quantify, it’s not always easy to convince a court that you should be awarded pain and suffering compensation. However, if you have the right doctors and the right legal team on your side, it is possible. Courts typically use one of three different methods to determine how much you should be compensated for pain and suffering.

How Pain and Suffering Compensation is Calculated

Let’s look at the three different ways pain and suffering can be quantified:

  • The daily rate or per diem method uses your lost wages and medical bills to determine your daily rate. This rate is then multiplied by the number of days you were unable to work and were receiving medical care.
  • The multiplier method is somewhat similar. It adds up the amount of your lost wages and the total of your medical bills. Then it multiplies that number by the multiplier. The multiplier is anywhere from one to five, depending on how severe your injuries are. If you were in a major accident, you should have a higher multiplier and, therefore, receive more compensation.
  • The third option combines the two. It looks at your lost wages, how much you’ve spent on medical bills, how severe your injury is, and how much time you were out of work or received medical care. The court uses all of these factors to come up with an amount of compensation.

How Can You Improve Your Chances of Receiving Pain and Suffering?

While it’s not always easy to get a judge to award pain and suffering, it’s not impossible. In fact, if you have the right information on your side, it can actually be fairly straightforward. The most important thing you can do for your case is to seek medical attention as soon as you can following the accident. If emergency services arrive on the scene, have them perform a medical evaluation. While they will not have the ability to perform X-rays, MRIs, or other advanced scans, they can still perform a number of exams to determine your injuries. This plus any follow-up exams will confirm that your pain and suffering comes directly from the accident.

Working with a chiropractor is also a necessity after a car accident. While your primary care physician can diagnose many injuries, they are not an expert in the musculoskeletal system. Chiropractors are, and they can often find injuries to the neck, back, and spine that others can’t. If you’ve been in an accident and need to see a chiropractor, the Pro Care team is here for you. Contact us today to set up an appointment.

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