If you have been in a car accident that another driver careless driver caused, you might be eligible for compensation. It doesn’t matter if it was a minor car crash; you might be compensated for vehicle damage, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Aside from recovering from your injuries or getting back on your feet, compensation for the harm you suffered is a crucial concern after a car crash.
It is easier to award pain and suffering after a severe car accident than a minor crash. However, an Atlanta car crash attorney can guide you through the whole process of filing a pain and suffering claim.
Will I Be Awarded Pain and Suffering After a Minor Accident?
The answer to this question is yes, although it might not be easy to establish or prove the level of pain and suffering. In some states that practice a no-fault system for injury accidents, pain and suffering claim is not an option. However, Atlanta is in Georgia, an at-fault state, meaning the accident victim can claim compensation from the driver’s at-fault insurance company.
So, if you have incurred injuries due to an accident caused by another driver’s careless action, you can file a claim for damages. These claims include medical bills, vehicle damages, and pain and suffering. First, however, you must prove the damages incurred due to the accident.
Proving these damages can be challenging, especially for pain and suffering in a minor accident. However, it is much easier to prove pain and suffering when it’s a severe accident. Also, the level of pain and suffering awarded solely depends on the damages calculated.
For example, if you have suffered a mild elbow sprain from an accident, incurred $800 in medical bills, missed no time at work, and gained full recovery in three weeks, you might get an injury settlement of $2,000. This settlement includes $800 to cover all medical bills and $1,200 for pain and suffering.
An Atlanta Car Crash Attorney Explains What Pain and Suffering Means
There is no clear definition of pain and suffering in car accidents. However, it refers to mental or physical pain that someone endures because of someone’s else wrongful act. Pain and suffering include the following:
- Physical pain resulting from bodily injuries
- Emotional trauma resulting from stress, anxiety, or other psychological effects due to the accident’s impact
- Any discomfort due to needed medical care for injuries suffered
Note that some pain may not be clearly evident. An example of this situation might be emotional pain or soft tissue damage. So, the victim will need a medical professional to examine them to find any pain symptoms. Sometimes, even if pain and suffering are evident, there could still be challenges regarding the severity of the pain.
This is because pain and suffering are inherently subjective, and pain that sends someone to the hospital might be something another person shrugs off as a trivial annoyance. Furthermore, there are different types of pain and suffering and methods to calculate them. We’ll discuss them shortly.
Examples of Pain and Suffering
There are several examples of physical pain and emotional suffering. Physical pain results from:
- Physical disfigurements such as amputations, burns, or scars
- Long-term disability
- Future physical limitations
- Traumatic brain damages
Likewise, some examples of emotional suffering include:
- Anxiety or depression
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Mood swings
- Anger, humiliation, or fear
- Changes in eating and sleeping habits
An Atlanta car crash attorney can help you determine what qualifies as pain and suffering and how much you can ask as damages.
How Are Pain and Suffering Calculated in a Car Accident Case?
Lawyers and insurance companies use two methods to calculate pain and suffering. We discuss them below.
The Multiplier Method
This method involves taking a claimant’s total accident medical bills and multiplying them by a certain number. The number is called a multiplier which is usually two or three. For example, if the claimant’s medical bill is $4,000, a multiplier of 2 is used to calculate the claim.
Now, if your injuries were severe but you made a full recovery within a month, the rough value of the claim would be $8,000. However, in recent years, many insurance companies have drifted away from automatically using a standard multiplier.
Instead, they now use their unique formula to create their multiplier. This formula factors in certain injury-related variables from a car accident, such as:
- The level of your injuries
- The amount of medical treatment necessary to treat the injuries now and in the future
- If you will suffer any permanent effects from the car accidents
- If your injuries from the accident have limited your ability to perform everyday activities.
Also, other factors come into play, like gross negligence from the at-fault driver. Your attorney will explain more about this.
The Per Diem Method
The per diem method counts the number of days a claimant suffered from the effects of a car accident and multiplies the total days by a specific monetary value. With this method, there is no particular way to determine this daily economic value, but the claimant’s average daily wage might be a good starting point.
The critical thing to consider about this method is that the daily monetary value should be whatever amount the claimant wants or can accept. For example, if you earn a minimum wage, the daily amount could be small.
However, if you are the primary caretaker of your family, then the daily monetary value could be higher. Irrespective of whatever calculation method you use, the fact remains that the more medical treatment or recovery time you need, the more money will get for pain and suffering.
Talk to an Atlanta Car Crash Attorney After a Minor Accident in Atlanta
Although we have walked through some of the facts about pain and suffering claims after a minor accident, every person’s situation is different. This is why you should never make assumptions about your rights. Even if the car accident was minor, but you sustained injuries, you deserve compensation from the at-fault party.
At The Weinstein Firm, we will help you fight for the compensation you’re entitled to receive. Our Atlanta, Georgia, injury lawyers understand how car accidents can impact every area of your life. But, we also know that you need the right people to help you understand your options and help you get the best results.
Therefore, we allow you to learn how we can help you through an initial free consultation. In addition, we work on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t have to pay us upfront. So, book an appointment today with our Atlanta, Georgia, injury lawyers.