In North Carolina, when you are injured in an accident that was caused by the negligence or recklessness of another party, you are entitled to file a claim against that party for financial compensation for the losses that your injuries have caused you. These damages include economic damages, such as all the medical expenses for treatment of your injuries and the loss of income you suffered if you were unable to work while you recovered. There are also non-economic damages that you can be financially compensated for. One of the most common of these non-economic damages is for pain and suffering. The following is a brief overview. For more detailed information and what type of damages you may be entitled to, contact a North Carolina injury attorney from Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn.
What Is Pain and Suffering in an Accident Claim?
In an accident claim or lawsuit, pain and suffering is the physical discomfort and emotional anguish that a victim suffers because of the negligence of the at-fault party. This can include pain the victim suffers in their body, emotional trauma, depression, scarring, reduction in their quality of life, limitations on daily activities, embarrassment, future pain and suffering, and shortening of life. However, there is no dollar amount that can be easily calculated as there is for medical expenses. The value of pain and suffering is different from victim to victim and is often subjective.
So, how is pain and suffering calculated in a personal injury lawsuit? The most common way that many insurance companies use is to add up the victim’s total cost of medical expenses and lost wages and multiply that total by a number between one through five. That multiplier depends on the severity of the victim’s injuries. The more severe the injury, the higher the multiplier. Another method the insurance company may use is to determine a dollar amount per diem up to the day the victim is deemed to be fully recovered.
Unfortunately, since each insurance company has its own pain and suffering calculation method, the amount a victim is offered can greatly vary depending on the company they are dealing with. Making this situation even more frustrating is that insurance companies almost always use the method that will come up with the lowest possible amount for the victim. This is why victims should always consult with a personal injury attorney before accepting any settlement offer from an insurance company.
A personal injury attorney can help ensure you get the best possible settlement based on the circumstances of your case. Evidence your attorney can use to show the type of pain and suffering your injuries have caused include medical records, diagnostic test results, treatment plans, photographs of your injuries, and medical expert testimony.
Contact a North Carolina Injury Attorney for Assistance
Pursuing an injury claim or lawsuit can be complex, especially when the injuries sustained are serious or severe. Although some victims pursue claims on their own, to do so increases the chances of your claim being denied greatly. If the insurance company does accept your claim and offers you a settlement, chances are that if you do not have an attorney representing you, the amount of the settlement is far less than what you are actually entitled to.
If you would like to speak with one of the dedicated North Carolina personal injury attorneys from Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn, contact our office today for a free case evaluation and to find out how we can help get you the compensation you deserve.