What Is a “Pain and Suffering” Award?
When you or someone you love has been seriously injured due to the negligence of another entity, there are ways to protect your rights and financial security. You know a lawsuit is in your future, you even know it falls under the umbrella of personal injury, but there are many moving parts and factors you need to know about. One such factor is damages: what that word means, how damages are determined, and what you can expect during negotiations or trial.
One type of compensation – and perhaps the most famous – is for pain and suffering. The name seems self-explanatory, but law is rarely so straight-forward. You should understand how it works in Missouri personal injury claims.
What does pain and suffering refer to, specifically?
Damages in general are designed to make you “whole” again. Pain and suffering awards are designed to compensate you for intangible losses. It refers to damages awarded for emotional trauma relating to the accident, along with the physical pain of your injuries and recovery. It can include long-term, chronic pain and stress as well as shorter-term pain that goes away over time. It can also include loss of consortium, a fancy way of explaining the loss of intimacy between spouses.
Usually, it follows that the greater your injuries, the greater your pain and suffering compensation can be. There are so many mitigating factors that go into the calculation of this award, designed to make it difficult to take advantage of. That is why you want to hire a Kansas City injury lawyer to go over your case before you speak with an insurance company or agree to a settlement. Often, the liable party will attempt to brush off pain and suffering if your injuries are not physical or immediately apparent. You want someone who can prove to a jury that not all scars are on the outside.
Other compensatory damages
As previously mentioned, this is not the only kind of compensation one could receive from their personal injury case. Depending on the circumstances, you could be entitled to some or all of the following:
- Lost wages, referring to every wage, bonus, vacation time, and sick day you miss due to your injuries, with even more compensation available if you are permanently unable to return to your field of work.
- Medical expenses, past, present, and future. Hospitalization, medications, therapies, transportation, and more would all be included, and could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- Property damages if your vehicle or home/personal property was involved and damaged beyond repair in the accident.
There are many entities who may be responsible to pay you these damages, and none of them will want to. It can be an exhausting, stressful, and long process to pin down corporations or big-wigs when you rightfully want their money unless your attorney has the experience needed to make them listen. Remember that they will have their own attorneys fighting as hard as they can to do the opposite, and try to prepare accordingly.
How can you prove pain and suffering in a Kansas City lawsuit?
Proving pain and suffering can be a challenge, especially if you bear no physical scars. As your attorneys, we use your medical records and treatment plans to show the full extent of your injuries, and the steps you need to take each day to live with them. We’ll talk to your friends and loved ones about any changes in your behavior or day-to-day activities that reflect the pain you’re in. We’ll speak with your employer and colleagues about how your pain affects your ability to work (providing you can work at all). We review and analyze all of this information and present it to an insurance company or a jury, when needed, to show the effect your pain has on your life.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit for damages?
In Missouri, time is of the essence when it comes to your personal injury claim. You generally have five years from your injury to file, and that time limit may be shorter depending on your unique circumstances. This is one of the many reasons why it is so important to start as quickly as possible with an attorney who can keep track of important deadlines and requirements to make sure you don’t miss a thing. Waiting too long and exceeding the statute of limitations means that, no matter how liable the other party may be, the court will not hear your case or award any damages.
If you do file your personal injury claim in time, your attorney can get to work building your case and making it as strong as possible. It is during this time you can talk about what sort of compensation you may be entitled to – including pain and suffering.
So if you or a loved one have been injured by the negligence or mistreatment of another entity and you want to make sure you receive the maximum amount of damages you are owed, trust the Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys. We are here for you throughout Missouri and Kansas, with a number of offices in Kansas City, Overland Park, Olathe, Lee’s Summit, St. Joseph, and Parkville. To get started for free today, call us at 816-471-5111 or use our contact form.
We know that it can feel as if there’s no end in sight when you’re living with a serious injury. At Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys, we’re on your side from day one. We’ll not only fight for your best interests, but we’ll help you process and deal with your injury along the way. Our personal injury lawyers handle the insurance company for you, and make sure that you find the tools and resources you need to move forward. When you need an experienced, compassionate Kansas City personal injury lawyer, we answer the call.