Compensation For Pain And Suffering
Compensation for pain and suffering after an accident is not as easily calculated as other financial losses such as loss of income or loss of property. Pain and suffering is also hard to prove because it is not a physical or easily observable injury, and in some states cannot even be compensated unless the injured party has exceeded an injury threshold. However, pain and suffering is real, and an experienced attorney can help you prepare a solid case and get compensated for pain and suffering if it applies in your case.
Pain and suffering damages are referred to as general damages, which are damages for which no exact figure can be calculated. Damages for medical costs, loss of income, and others that can be calculated based on the money paid or lost are known as special damages. Pain and suffering can generally be described as the suffering of mental conditions such as fear, depression, anger, or anxiety as a result of an accident. Pain and suffering may also include physical pain that is as a result of the injuries suffered in the accident. In order to prove the mental and physical symptoms, the injured person can provide evidence through medical records or testimony showing any treatment sought and provided for the symptoms. If no medical treatment is sought, it may make the case a little harder to prove, although not impossible. Testimony from friends and family concerning the changes in a person’s demeanor and general attitude after an accident can be helpful.
In Florida, a person injured in a car accident cannot get damages for pain and suffering unless he or she can show that they have suffered:
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function,
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, and
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement.
In addition, a person pursuing a wrongful death claim resulting from a car accident can seek pain and suffering damages. Without first showing that this requirement has been met, the defendant in a lawsuit or the insurance company involved in settlement negotiations may not be required to pay what the injured person deserves.
There is no threshold injury requirement in the state of Georgia, and Georgia courts allow juries to consider certain factors when deciding how to award pain and suffering damages. These factors evaluate the injured person’s actual pain and suffering as well any future pain and suffering, the injured person’s ability to continue with his or her normal life, how the injury affects the person’s bodily health and vigor, and whether any of the effects of the pain and suffering are permanent.
However, in both Florida and Georgia, there is no way for a plaintiff to accurately predict a dollar figure for the pain and suffering damages.
Contact An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you suffered pain and suffering as a result of a car accident, you need an experienced attorney to prepare your case and make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact the experienced Jacksonville, Florida and Brunswick, Georgia personal injury attorney at the Gillette Law, P.A. for professional assistance with your case.