Sustaining injuries in a car accident caused by the negligence of another driver can be devastating. There are many different degrees of pain and injury that people experience in this type of situation. While some injuries are minor and heal quickly, others have a wide range of long-term consequences on the victim’s life.
When you have been injured through no fault of your own, you may experience a great deal of pain and suffering. You may wonder if this is something you can be compensated for and how difficult it is to prove.
Defining Pain and Suffering
How is “pain and suffering” defined from a legal perspective? In its most simple terms, pain and suffering refer to the physical and mental stress that a person experiences as a result of their injuries in an accident.
Physical injuries can cause temporary or permanent limitations such as bodily aches, pains and an inability to perform activities to the same level that were possible before the accident. Injuries can also extend to emotional distress or trauma, which can include mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, depression, anger, and fear.
How Pain and Suffering Reduce Your Quality of Life
A person who has been traumatized by a car accident often has their quality of life greatly reduced. Consequences of a serious accident can lead to a wide variety of possible manifestations of pain and suffering such as an inability to work, loss of appetite, lack of energy, sleep disturbances, and sexual dysfunction.
In some cases, the emotional trauma lingers even after the physical injuries have healed, and treatment for conditions such as posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety or depression may continue to be required.
While pain and suffering may be very severe when an accident causes major injuries, it can also be a factor when injuries are more minor. For example, a back injury may prevent you from taking a trip that you had planned for years or from standing up in a relative’s wedding. In this case, your life was still impacted even though your suffering was short-term.
Factors That Affect Determination of Pain and Suffering Compensation
The expertise of a personal injury lawyer will be needed in order to prove that you have experienced pain and suffering because of your auto accident. What has to be considered is not just the trauma and injuries you have suffered up to now, but also what additional detrimental effects that you are likely to go through in the future because of another driver’s negligence.
There are no set standards for determining the amount of compensation a person is entitled to. Factors that will be considered include:
- How severe the physical injury is, which means an injury that is very debilitating or permanent would result in higher compensation.
- The victim’s age, because a young person may have to live with the consequences of an injury for a longer period of time.
- The degree of suffering. Minor injuries aren’t likely to trigger as much pain and suffering as major injuries.
Proving Pain and Suffering
The more evidence that you are able to gather to prove pain and suffering, the more likely you will be able to obtain some compensation for what you have gone through. Your medical records will be able to document your physical injuries, while proof of treatment by a mental health professional can help to document emotional trauma.
At Taos Injury Lawyers, our expert personal injury lawyers can guide you through the process of how to prove that you have endured pain and suffering. Contact us by filling out the form on this page and one of our legal team members will get back to you soon.Tags: Accident Injury, Pain