Calculating pain and suffering damages in a car accident

When we get behind the wheel of a vehicle, we can control where we go, what route we take, how fast we drive and what stops to make. On the other hand, as a driver we have no control over traffic, when the light will turn green and if the motorists we encounter will follow the rules of the road. Car accidents are unexpected and unpredictable. They have the tendency of causing destruction and pain. Thus, it is important for accident victims to understand what they could seek regarding damages in in a civil action.

Depending on the severity of the accident, the cause of the crash and the injuries and damages suffered, a compensation award could be recovered through a personal injury action. Typically, accident victims seek damages for pain and suffering, physical disfigurement, impairment, shortened lifespan, mental anguish, loss of reputation, loss of companionship, loss of the enjoyment of life and emotional distress.

Pain and suffering is a specific type of damage and can be highly subjective. It can be difficult to ascertain how much pain a person has suffered because two people with the same injury may describe or experience the injuries very differently. Thus, it can make it very difficult to establish standards and guidelines when it comes to compensating for pain and suffering from a car accident.

Although challenging to establish standard guidelines, the court has developed general guidelines and factors when it comes to assessing pain and suffering from a car accident. These factors include the severity of the injury, the location and nature of the injury, scarring or disfigurement, recovery time needed, potential for ongoing medical care, amount claimed for special damages, socio-economic and political factors and the state damages cap.

It can be difficult to put a number to the harms and damages experienced in a car accident; however, it is important that accident victims be made whole again. This means providing them with the necessary compensation to address current and future losses and damages associated with the accident.

Source: Findlaw.com, "Car Accident Pain and Suffering Damages," accessed Oct. 22, 2017

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