If someone else hurt you, chances are that it was willful or at least negligent.
In any case, people who have been involved in a car accident usually suffer beyond their physical injury, whether it is a broken bone, internal organ damage, or long-term medical illness.
You may also have emotional pain and suffering that can last months or years into your future.
And with serious injuries, additional operations or necessary medical interventions can lead to your pain and suffering.
Your pain and suffering may also be due to your inability to engage in activities that you once enjoyed.
For example, if you have a spinal cord injury, your days as a surfer may be in the past.
And if you’ve made a living doing strenuous physical work, your workdays may be over too.
By now you are probably wondering if you can get in pain and suffering without hiring a lawyer.
While it is true that it might be possible to pursue a claim without the help of lawyers, it is generally not recommended.
With this in mind, we will explain in the following article how you can claim personal injury Pain and sufferingand if you should use a lawyer.
Table of Contents
What is pain and suffering?
Pain and suffering are any psychological distress that you can claim compensation for in your car accident.
Pain and damage sustained depend on the injury you sustained, the severity of the pain sustained, and how the injury affected your quality of life.
The majority of states consider pain and suffering harm as part of non-economic harm, also known as general harm, which is intangible loss that is difficult to attribute to dollar amounts.
Economic damage such as medical expenses and lost wages can easily be encumbered with dollar amounts, but non-economic damage is highly subjective.
Definition of non-economic damage for financial compensation
To prove pain and suffering resulting from injury due to the negligence of another person, you need to understand what constitutes pain and suffering under your state law.
Pain and suffering are typically defined as a form of non-economic damage that can include:
- Disturbances in your usual way of life
- Debilitating physical impairments
- Emotional and mental stress
- Physical deformities or disfigurements
If you are hiring an attorney, be sure to share your complete medical records with them that support your claim.
Other damages and their long-term effects can also present pain and suffering, depending on what led to your initial injuries.
Life changing injuries that are considered noneconomic losses
Certain bodily injuries can be considered catastrophic if they occur as a result of an injury caused by the negligence of another person.
Some of the most catastrophic injuries are:
- A spinal cord injury that leads to total or partial paralysis
- Amputation of a limb
- Severe brain damage
- traumatic brain injury
- Loss of ability to communicate effectively
- Bad burns
- Injuries that result in complete loss of vision
- Forced infertility or loss of reproductive organs
Accidents like this usually result in a forced change in your lifestyle and employment.
Again, share your medical records with your personal injury attorney here.
Your medical records will also help you detail the event that led to your injuries and the time it took to recover.
With or without a lawyer
Depending on your accident and injuries, having legal representation will likely save you time and money.
Before you decide to do this yourself, consider the following factors to determine whether you should hire an attorney to represent you.
The severity of your injuries
It’s not uncommon for an insurance company to offer a comparison to cover your property damage and medical expenses in minor car accidents.
However, always watch out for injuries that do not occur immediately after minor accidents. You don’t want to settle down too early and stop paying for damage caused by your accident.
If you have been involved in a serious accident, you must at least speak to a personal injury attorney about your case.
The more serious your damage, the more likely it is that you will receive an underestimated settlement offer from the insurance company.
To support your claim, you will need evidence such as testimony and evidence in order to make a successful claim.
If you don’t have clear evidence of your pain and suffering, the insurance company will assume it doesn’t exist.
If you’re struggling to get evidence on your case, consider getting help from an attorney.
Proof of the other driver’s mistake
If you make a claim against the other driver or his insurance company, you need to be sure that the other driver was responsible for the accident.
If it is obvious that the other driver caused the accident, you may be able to proceed without a lawyer.
But it’s not easy to pinpoint errors.
So if there is a dispute over who is to blame, or if the other driver counterclaims, you need the help of an experienced lawyer to win your case.
Do not proceed with your claim against the other driver or his insurance company until you are certain that the other driver was at fault.
Calculate your pain and suffering
In order to get pain and suffering harm, you need to be able to calculate pain and suffering.
You need to declare a certain dollar amount for them.
This can be difficult without an attorney as there is no set equation for calculating pain and suffering.
Many lawyers use the “multiplier” method to calculate their client’s pain and harm.
If you can’t find a dollar amount to spend on your pain and harm, you need to seek help from a skilled personal injury attorney.
Your personal injury attorneys have the knowledge and experience to calculate a maximum amount of damage.
Assert yourself a pain and a claim to suffering
If you want to make a pain and suffering claim without a lawyer, you must first send the insurance company a letter of request that summarizes your claim and your damages.
Discuss your pain and harm suffered in your letter of request and provide support by adding relevant documents and evidence.
To prove any type of personal injury claim, you must first have evidence to back it up.
You will need to obtain medical records and a police report yourself if you want to file without a lawyer.
The following documents, if available, should also be attached to your request letter:
- Medical bills and records
- Doctor’s note
- Police report
- Photos of the accident
Explanation of your pain and suffering
You must also state how you value your pain and damage suffered.
It usually does this by explaining how your pain and suffering affected your daily activities.
When discussing your pain and suffering with insurance companies, keep the following in mind:
- Severity of your injury
- The type of scarring or disfigurement
- Recovery time required
- Potential for lasting consequences
- Amount claimed in special damages
- Socio-economic factors
- Your state’s maximum damage limit
Get professional legal help with your pain and suffering claims
When deciding whether to experience pain and harm with or without a lawyer, you should carefully consider the above factors.
Many people choose to seek compensation themselves because they believe they can save legal fees.
However, an experienced personal injury attorney will maximize the number of damages you can claim and make sure nothing is done to reduce the value of your claim.