When we first meet with accident victims, the first question they ask us is how much their case is worth. They want to know how much they’re going to get, how pain and suffering is calculated, and they want to know when they’re going to get it. There’s nothing wrong with that. If we were involved in a car accident, we would want to know the same things.
However, there’s no way to know upfront exactly how much anybody’s case is worth. It all comes down to the seriousness of their injuries and the damages they’ve suffered. Our Douglasville injury lawyers have spent years representing accident victims. We pursue insurance companies for any compensation we feel our clients are entitled to. This typically includes damages for pain and suffering.
Most everybody has heard the term pain and suffering. Even if you’ve never sued anybody in your life you know what this term means. Pain and suffering damages are intended to compensate accident victims for any physical and mental anguish they suffered. These damages cannot be broken down into dollars and cents. They cannot be proven by mechanics receipts or medical bills. They are intangible.
And this is exactly why it’s hard for us to predict how much any client will receive in pain and suffering. However, we do know how pain and suffering will be calculated. This is something we will discuss in detail here. In the meantime, if you or your loved ones have been seriously injured in any sort of accident, you should call and speak with one of our personal injury attorneys in Georgia right away.
Your Personal Injury Lawyer in Georgia Will Demand All Sorts of Damages
When it comes time to file your initial claim against the insurance company, your Douglasville injury lawyer will have to make a demand for damages. This can include any or all the following:
Compensation for Medical Bills and Future Medical Bills
The person responsible for your injuries shall be held liable for any medical bills you’ve accrued as a result of your personal injury. This includes things like hospitalizations, doctors’ bills, physical therapy, and any other out of pocket expenses.
Your personal injury attorney in Georgia will also demand you be compensated for any future medical care you may need. Your attorney will have your doctor sign an affidavit indicating what sort of care you’ll need in the future. Then your attorney will speak to an actuary and who can give them an estimate of how much this treatment will cost.
If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, then you’ll certainly be entitled to compensation for any repairs that were made to your vehicle. If your vehicle was totaled in the accident, then you’ll be entitled to the fair market value of the vehicle at the time of the crash.
If you were out of work for more than a week or two because of your accident, you may be eligible for lost wages. Your Douglassville injury lawyer will submit evidence showing how much time you missed from work and how much income you have already lost.
Lost Future Income
If your injuries are serious enough that you will not be able to return to work, you may be entitled to lost future income as well. These damages are equal to the difference between what you would have earned had you not been injured and what you will actually earn going forward. This amount will be multiplied by the number of years left you have before you reach the age of 65. They use age of 65 because that is the average retirement age in Georgia.
Pain and Suffering
These damages are intended to compensate victims for any physical or mental anguish caused by their personal injury. This may include things like not being able to enjoy sports anymore. It would obviously include physical pain that you were subjected to. In addition, this may include compensation for any mental or emotional damage you suffered because of your injury.
While most of these damages can be calculated using receipts, bills, and other verifiable documents, pain and suffering is different.
You Are Never Guaranteed Pain and Suffering
One thing that needs to be understood before we discuss how pain and suffering are calculated is that nobody is guaranteed pain and suffering damages. Just because you were involved in an accident does not mean you’re entitled to any damages. Your Douglasville injury lawyer is going to have to prove each and every type of damage that you’ve demanded in your initial complaint.
When it comes to proving pain and suffering damages, you attorney will rely on any of the following types of evidence:
- an affidavit from your doctor or testimony from your doctor confirming how much pain you were in, given your injuries
- medical records regarding any pain management appointments you attended
- receipts from prescription medications you have had to take to deal with your pain
- testimony from friends and family confirming that your life is not as enjoyable since the accident
- your own statement detailing the pain that you experienced and how life has changed for you because of your personal injury.
There is a General Rule for Calculating Pain and Suffering
The general rule most personal injuries attorneys in Georgia rely on when calculating pain and suffering is that it is equal to three times your medical bills. This makes sense since your medical bills reflect the seriousness of your injuries.
For example, if you broke your neck or severed your spinal cord, you will have suffered a lot more pain and suffering than someone who suffered whiplash. The same is true for anyone who suffered burn injuries. Burn injuries are some of the most painful injuries imaginable.
What your attorney will do is take whatever your medical bills added up to and multiply that number by three. Keep in mind, there is no guarantee that you’ll receive this much. However, this gives your attorney room when they start negotiating a settlement.
Contact a Seasoned Douglasville Injury Lawyer Right Away
If you or your loved one have been involved in any sort of accident, you should call our office right away. You can sit down with one of our personal injury attorneys in Georgia and take advantage of your free, initial consultation. Let them review your case and give you an idea of what your case may be worth. If warranted, they will also give you an idea of whether you’ll be entitled to pain and suffering damages. Since your consultation is free, you have nothing to lose.