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“Pain and Suffering” & Related Damages

QUESTIONS ABOUT CAR ACCIDENT COMPENSATION- PART 2

Many people wrongfully assume that only physical damages are recoverable after a car accident, but this is not so. Victims of car accidents are often able to recover financial compensation for a type of damage known as “pain and suffering.” Contrary to physical, measurable damages, pain and suffering damages are emotional in nature. Although they are not easily quantifiable, many car accident victims successfully claim this type of damage.

THE DIFFICULTY IN DETERMINING AN AMOUNT OF PAIN AND SUFFERING

Because pain and suffering damages are emotional in nature, it can be difficult to determine how much pain warrants how much compensation. For example, you may have been physically injured in a car accident. After calculating present and future medical expenses, your lawyer determines that you are entitled to $7,000. However, this does not include pain and suffering.

How do you put pain and suffering into a dollar amount? This is the difficulty that many attorneys and plaintiffs face on a daily basis. As attorneys who frequently deal with auto accident cases like this, we can tell you what types of factors we consider when determining an amount of pain and suffering:

  • Are you suffering from moderate to severe posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?
  • Did your accident result in an injury that negatively impacts the quality of your life?
  • Did your accident result in an injury or permanent damage that prevents you from working?
  • Did you lose a loved one in a car accident?

Answers of “yes” to any of the aforementioned questions can result in additional types of pain and suffering compensation such as loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of companionship and more. The more severe your emotional damages seem to be, the more you can claim and fight to recover.

The state of Missouri has passed various tort reform laws that put caps on the amount of noneconomic damages that a plaintiff can recover in a personal injury claim. While economic damages do not have a cap, you may be limited in how much pain and suffering compensation you can claim after an accident. Regardless, our firm will fight to see that you get as much as we feel you deserve, even if that exceeds the state noneconomic damage caps.

To learn more about pain and suffering compensation and what you might be entitled to after an accident, contact a St. Louis, MO car accident lawyer at our firm. Keep your eyes peeled for our last blog on this series, which will be on lost wages and other economic harms after a motor vehicle accident.

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