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What type of damages are awarded for pain and suffering?


Published in Personal Injury on April 9, 2018.

Many injured accident victims realize that pecuniary damages for medical bills, loss of income, and physical property can be recovered in a claim submitted to the respondent insurer following an accident. But, what they often do not realize is that general damages for pain and suffering are also a part of the compensatory benefits, usually becoming the most valuable part of a settlement. However, insurance companies are not necessarily under any obligation to inform a claimant that long-term lump sum benefits can be paid as well, which is very common in connection with an auto accident that produces significant injuries. Being paid equitably for the problems the injury will create in your life going forward always requires an experienced auto accident attorney who understands how to calculate general damages based on an injury prognosis.

Compensatory Damages

Damages for extended living difficulty resulting from a personal injury are part of the conventional compensatory damage benefits available with any accident claim. Calculable compensation amounts for special damages that include physical property, medical bills, and loss of income can be totaled effectively using modest numbers. But, arriving at a reasonable value for the imposition which the injury has put on the life of the injured plaintiff, can be a complicated task. Auto accident injuries are always unique in some aspects, and the amount of physical injury and long-term injury prognosis are important factors. General damages for lingering problems related to the injury care are still considered non-economic compensatory damages and are part of the primary settlement for the plaintiff.

Punitive Damages

There are some accident cases where the plaintiff’s injuries are a result of egregious negligent behavior on the part of the defendant, such as a crippling injury caused by an accident with a drunk driver or a serious truck accident. An aggressive auto accident attorney knows when they may have a chance at seeking punitive damages, and commonly they will take a case to a full trial requesting exemplary damages from a sympathetic jury based on overwhelming material case evidence. These damages are primarily the result of catastrophic personal injuries, meant as punishment for the defendant and whole damage compensation for the injured plaintiff, which means they are not considered as compensatory general damages. This could be important in some cases.

Calculating General Damages

Calculating equitable damages for pain and suffering is one of the most difficult tasks personal injury attorneys have to perform. This process is another reason why it is so important to have an experienced accident attorney representing your case, a specialist who understands how to approach the determination of a fair settlement value. There are two methods that are commonly used, with one being merely multiplying the total special damages using an agreed upon factor by all parties. This is typical in nominal personal injury cases with no ongoing medical issues. The other method is a per diem calculation, which can include the length of the effects of any injuries within reason. Individuals who suffer very serious or catastrophic injuries could ultimately receive whole damages of a very substantial amount when all damages are finally determined for compensation settlement.

Any personal injury claim that may include a pain and suffering general damage component should always be represented by an experienced personal injury attorney with a strong track record of results for their clients. The right attorney can make a significant difference when calculating long-term compensation. All great reasons to get in touch with the team at Nelson & Smith lawyers today!

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