If you or your loved one has been seriously injured in a Pennsylvania car accident, you are probably wondering what steps you should take next. Your medical bills may be piling up, and you may be unable to return to work because of your injuries.
Depending on your case, you may be able to recover composition by filing an insurance claim with the at-fault individual or business. Or, you may decide to pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. In Pennsylvania, victims of personal injuries are entitled to economic and non-economic damages, including damages for pain and suffering.
What are Pain and Suffering Damages?
Pain and suffering damages are a specific type of non-economic damages available to personal injury victims. The purpose of pain and suffering damages is to compensate injury victims for the physical and emotional pain they’ve endured due to their injuries. Suppose the victim of a car accident endured a spinal cord injury that resulted in partial paralysis.
Not only will the victim have to deal with ongoing physical pain from nerve damage, but the victim will also experience a loss of enjoyment of life. In many cases, victims of personal injury accidents who experience catastrophic injuries experience anxiety or depression related to their injuries. Coping with chronic pain wears on a person’s emotional health and can result in numerous mental health challenges.
Innocent victims should be compensated for all of the pain they have experienced. Obtaining compensation for your pain and suffering will not stop your pain or make your injuries go away. However, it will help you cope with your day-to-day financial expenses and help secure you and your family’s financial future. Recovering compensation for pain and suffering can help you move forward with your new normal.
How Much Will You Get for Pain and Suffering
There is no easy answer to the question of how much you will get in your case for your pain and suffering. Courts do not use an exact formula to determine the exact amount of the plaintiff’s pain and suffering. Instead, every award for pain and suffering is based on each individual’s unique circumstances. The total amount of pain and suffering compensation you might get will depend on several different factors.
The Severity of Your Injuries
The severity and type of injury you have experienced will play an important role in the amount of pain and suffering compensation you will receive. When you have an apparent physical injury, such as a broken bone or a spinal cord injury, most people will understand that you will experience pain from your injury. However, suppose your injuries are more difficult to understand, such as a soft tissue injury in your neck. In that case, you may have a more difficult time recovering compensation for pain and suffering.
Whether You Have a Disfiguring Injury
If you have a disfiguring injury oh, you will likely be able to recover more compensation for pain and suffering. Disfiguring injuries often include scarring, amputations, or burns to your hands, arms, or face. It is easy to understand that becoming disfigured can be embarrassing, painful, and result in depression and anxiety.
How Your Injuries Impact Your Daily Life
Finally, how your injuries impact your daily life will affect the amount you can recover. Suppose your injury caused pain for a few months, but you can now perform your job again. In this case, you may not be able to recover as much for pain and suffering. On the contrary, if you are no longer able to perform your favorite activities because of your injury, you will probably receive more compensation. Suppose you were an avid rock climber and athlete, and now you are paralyzed from the waist down. In that case, your injury severely affects your day-to-day life.
Proving Pain and Suffering Injuries
Proving damages for pain and suffering is more complicated than proving other damages like medical bills and lost income. One of the best things you can do after your accident is undergo a thorough medical evaluation. Tell your doctor about all of the pain you are experiencing so he or she can document it. We also recommend following up with a recommended specialist in attending all of your doctor’s appointments. Additionally, saving all of the documents and information related to your injury will help you prove your pain and suffering. We recommend keeping all of the following information at hand:
- Keep all of your medical records, including visit summaries, notes, x-rays, diagnostic tests, and records from your physical therapist. We also recommend keeping all of the bills from your medical appointments.
- Keep all of your prescription records, especially prescriptions that you needed to cope with anxiety, pain, and other problems. If you have used over-the-counter pain medications, keep receipts from purchasing those as well.
- Keep proof of your lost time at work due to pain. If you can obtain documentation from your company proving that you are in pain, that would be valuable, as well.
- Take photographs of your injuries on your phone to show the scarring, swelling, bruising, and other signs of your injuries.
- Keep a journal in which you write down a record of your pain levels. Include as much detail as you can, including how your pain levels have affected your activities and how often you need to take pain medication.
- Include documentation from your fence and family that discusses the activities you enjoy before the accident and how your physical pain or mental anguish from the accident has affected your daily life.
Contact a Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyer
After you have been involved in a serious injury accident, your first concern should be recovering physically. Once you are stable, we recommend discussing your case with a personal injury lawyer. At Stanley Law Offices, Our personal injury lawyers will work diligently to protect your rights and pursue all of the compensation you deserve, including compensation for pain and suffering. Contact our Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers today to schedule your free initial consultation.