When some of our clients come into the office following a car crash, they have one question: How much is my case worth? The second question they have is how long it will take to get their money. Some people don’t realize that your Decatur accident lawyer must prove two things before you’re entitled to a dime in compensation. First, they have to prove that the defendant was responsible for the accident. Second, they must prove that you suffered certain damages.
The whole point of filing a lawsuit is to make you whole. The goal is not to make you rich. You can’t expect to collect damages for injuries you didn’t suffer. In fact, the only damages you can demand that aren’t related to a bill of some sort is pain and suffering. While your Decatur accident lawyer is going to fight to get you as much money as possible, there’s never a guarantee. Here, we’ll discuss how pain and suffering is calculated. We’ll also briefly discuss how you can prove you’re entitled to these damages.
There’s No Guarantee That You’ll Receive Pain and Suffering
Just because you were in a car accident, that doesn’t mean you’re automatically entitled to damages. Before you can get a dime, you have to prove that you were hurt. Typically, in order to collect pain and suffering, your Decatur accident lawyer will have to prove that you experienced an extreme amount of pain. This can be demonstrated using medical records or an affidavit from your doctor. If these records don’t substantiate that you deserve pain and suffering, you’re not going to get it.
Your Decatur Accident Lawyer Must First Prove Negligence
As mentioned above, in order to collect a dime, your attorney needs to prove negligence. This requires that they show the following four (4) things:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care – This is almost a given in a car accident lawsuit. All drivers owe the other motorists and pedestrians a duty of care. At a minimum, you have to follow all traffic laws.
- The defendant breached their duty of care – It’s not enough to show that a crash took place. You have to show that the crash was caused by the other driver’s breach of duty. For example, if your Decatur accident lawyer can show that the defendant was speeding, it will help prove negligence.
- You were injured – In any car accident lawsuit, you have to prove you were injured. The more serious your injuries, the better your chances of receiving pain and suffering.
- Your injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach – This shouldn’t be hard to prove either. Unless something other than the crash caused your injuries, this element won’t be hard to demonstrate.
If your Decatur accident lawyer can prove all four elements of negligence, then you’ve overcome one hurdle. You also need to prove each type of damages you’ve demanded in your lawsuit.
You’ll Also Have to Prove Damages
The hardest part of your Decatur accident lawyer’s job is proving your damages. You can use medical records, receipts and outstanding bills to prove most of your damages. For example, if you missed time from work, you could demand lost wages. The same is true if you can no longer do the same type of work. If your future earnings will be reduced due to the crash, your attorney will also demand lost future income. Depending on your injuries, you may also be entitled to pain and suffering.
Most Decatur Accident Lawyers Use a Rule of Thumb
Pain and suffering damages are intended to compensate you for any physical and mental anguish caused by the accident. The more serious your injuries, the more you’ll be entitled to. While there is no exact formula for determining pain and suffering, most Decatur accident lawyers use a rule of thumb.
This rule is that you can demand pain and suffering in the amount of your other damages multiplied by three. So, if your total claim is for $100,000, you could demand up to $300,000 in pain and suffering. Of course, this is just a rule of thumb. You may not receive any at all.
Call and Discuss Your Case with a Skilled Decatur Accident Lawyer Today
If you or your family are injured in a serious car crash, you are probably entitled to damages. The best way to pursue these damages is to hire an experienced Decatur accident lawyer. They’ll review your case and demand compensation for all of your injuries. This includes damages for pain and suffering. Call today and schedule your free, initial consultation.