Alabama accident victims who suffer injuries because of someone else’s negligence or recklessness are entitled to compensation. They can seek to negotiate a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurer or file a personal injury lawsuit. Most victims know they can claim compensation for medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages. However, many wonder whether pain and suffering can really be included in a claim. Rest assured that even though this is a non-economic loss, it is valid and recognized by Alabama courts. It can be difficult to attach a dollar value to something like pain and suffering. However, your Alabama car accident lawyer will help you to quantify all your losses.
Pain and suffering is a broad term. It covers both the physical pain caused by an injury and the mental anguish that often accompanies it. People who suffer serious injuries in a car accident are usually affected quite significantly. They may experience post-traumatic stress disorder, find it difficult to sleep, or develop depression and anxiety. If they become disabled or disfigured, they may also experience embarrassment or indignity. Some car accident victims no longer enjoy life. All this can be included in the claim for damages.
Pain and suffering like other losses must be proven. Your attorney may call on medical doctors, psychologists and other professionals to give an opinion on your condition. However, you can also present a crucial piece of evidence. You need to document what you experience physically and emotionally every day. If you don’t do this, you may find it hard later to explain everything that you felt. Even if you’re not sure that you’ll seek damages for pain and suffering, you should keep a diary. This will help to ensure that you get full compensation in the event that you make that decision.
There’s no set amount that compensates for pain and suffering. The jury in each case will decide what is fair and reasonable compensation for the victim in question. That’s why you must able to accurately describe the severity and duration of the pain you experienced. You also need to be thorough in your description of the mental and emotional impact of the accident. Your Alabama accident lawyer will help you to make a strong case.
Insurance companies, attorneys, and courts use several formulae to calculate damages for pain and suffering. These include:
The per diem method. This method may be used if you suffered an injury from which you’re expected to fully recover. It involves determining a per day rate for the physical pain, mental anguish, and limitations you experienced. Your lawyer will help you to calculate what is a reasonable amount.
The multiplier method. This approach calculates your damages for pain and suffering based on your economic losses. Once your medical expenses, lost wages, and similar damages are totaled, the sum is multiplied by a number between 1.5 and 5. A multiplier of 1.5 is used for minor injuries while 2 or 3 is used for moderate injuries. Significant and permanent injuries attract a multiplier of 4 or 5. Your attorney will advise you as to whether this approach is best for you and if so, which multiplier is appropriate. You can expect the defendant’s insurance company or lawyer to dispute the multiplier your lawyer suggests.
Past settlements and awards. The amount you receive in compensation may not depend solely on an equation. If your injury was life-altering your attorney will also look at previous similar cases. They will review them to determine how much other victims received. This can give you an idea of how much your case is worth and how the jury will view your injuries.
If you’ve suffered injuries in a car accident that was not your fault, you deserve compensation. Not only should you recover your economic losses but your non-tangible losses as well. Reach out to our team of experienced Alabama vehicular accident attorneys to get the help you need.
It is important that you contact us as soon as possible after the crash so we can begin working on your case. You have just two years after the accident to file a lawsuit, so you need to move quickly. The other party and their insurance company will have lawyers working for them. You don’t want to face them alone. Contact The Vance Law Firm today to schedule a free initial consultation. We’ll help you to get the compensation you deserve.