Victims of a car accident suffer serious injuries, such as back injuries, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injury, paralysis, and burns. They can often spend months or longer healing—if they are even able to fully recover. Sometimes the worry and emotional trauma about the mounting medical bills, inability to return to work, and the life-altering changes to the victim’s life can be as overwhelming as the serious medical problems. While it can be relatively easy to calculate the medical costs and lost wages the person could be entitled to, putting a monetary figure on the victim’s emotional suffering can be difficult.
Factors That Could Influence a Pain and Suffering Award
An insurance adjuster or jury could consider many things in making an award for a victim’s emotional trauma. Some factors that could affect a person’s compensation include:
- Consistency. A victim of an auto crash needs to be consistent in explaining how the accident occurred and in describing his pain. He should be careful not to exaggerate the level of pain, especially for a relatively minor injury. In addition, his actions after the accident should be consistent for someone with the level of pain he is experiencing.
- Credibility. A person must appear credible in what he is saying. If the insurance adjuster or jury does not believe the person is credible in general, they could disregard his version of how the accident occurred and his testimony regarding his pain and suffering.
- Likeability. If the jury or adjuster does not like the victim, they would be less likely to award as much compensation for his suffering. An experienced car accident attorney can help a person who is harsh, abrupt, or otherwise less likeable present himself in a more favorable light.
- Medical provider support. It is critical that a victim’s doctor substantiates the seriousness of his injuries. This is because the pain and suffering damages a person is awarded can be based on the severity of the injury. If a person’s doctor believes his injuries are much less serious than the victim, the victim is less likely to receive a favorable award for his emotional trauma.
- Changes to day-to-day activities. If a person is unable to resume his normal activities or his job after the accident, the insurance adjuster or jury could take his claims of emotional trauma more seriously because the injuries appear more severe.
If you or a family member suffered injuries in a car accident caused by another driver, you need an experienced car accident attorney to help you prove the emotional trauma you’ve suffered. Fill out our online form to schedule a free no-obligation consultation to learn about your legal options.