Helpful Information

What Qualifies As Pain And Suffering In A Car Accident?

Posted by Harlene Labrum | Feb 09, 2022

In many cases, victims of car accidents experience much more than financial losses and property damage. When victims suffer injuries, they may experience substantial and lengthy period of pain and suffering. What qualifies as pain and suffering in a car accident? According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, physical injuries from car accidents can include neck pain, paralysis, broken bones, severe brain injury, back pain, internal organ damage, and dislocated joints. All of these medical conditions are accompanied by weeks, months or years of pain. Additionally, grief, insomnia, anger, fear, worry, frustration, psychological trauma, and post-traumatic stress disorder are some medical conditions that may also qualify as emotional pain and suffering. If you have suffered car accident pain and suffering and are interested in receiving justice, consider contacting an experienced Tennessee car accident lawyer at Labrum Law at (615) 338-9500 for a free consultation. 

Proving Pain and Suffering

Victims must prove the value of their pain and suffering in order to receive compensation in a settlement from an insurance company, or a lawsuit.  In many cases, insurance companies determine the severity of an injury by considering if the victim goes to the doctor after encountering a car accident, and the prognosis delivered.


However, if a victim does not visit a medical professional after an accident, the insurance company will make the assumption that the victim is not in any significant pain and pay less attention to such claims. A victim must prove car accident pain and suffering by providing medical bills, medical records, injury photographs, and absent records from work as evidence. If the victim proves that the injuries received require a lengthier recovery time and medical treatment, then they have more of a chance to receive compensation for pain and suffering.

Pain and Suffering Journals

It is recommended for a victim who has been through a car accident to keep a daily journal following the car crash. A victim should make the entries regarding how the car accident happened, how it affected their physical and mental health, how long they have been on medications after the accident, and how long they have been unable to perform any physical activities. Any mental health suffering should be included as well.

Examples of Journal Entries for Pain and Suffering

The journal entries should constitute all the details from the beginning of the accident to the end of victim's recovery. Some examples of journal entries can include the following details:


·        A victim should begin making entries in detail regarding how the accident took place and who was involved. If it is possible, they should try to write every minor thing they remember from the accident, as sometimes the element that does not seem significant at the first turn to be crucial at a later time.

·        Include all medical appointments, procedures, hospital visits, therapy (both physical and mental) and any other details regarding physical or emotional care received as a result of the accident.

·        Keep a list of all the things that have resulting in financial harm, such as property damage, taxis, rental cars, and replacement of items within the vehicle.

·        Victims should detail all activities they are no longer able to do: walking up the stairs, lifting up their child, playing tennis, or daily activities that are too difficult to perform.


It is important to remember that if the car accident case goes to court, the journal may be discoverable, so victims should make all entries accurate and professional in tone.


Types of Compensations for Car Accident Victims


Generally, there are two types of compensation available for damages in a car accident, which include special damages and general damages. Special damages comprise quantifiable monetary losses with measurable dollar amounts such as vehicle repairs, medical bills, and lost wages. In contrast, general damages do not have an exact dollar amount, and this type of compensation includes pain and suffering.

How to Calculate Car Accident Pain and Suffering Compensation

While every situation will have unique facts and circumstances, there are two different types of ways to potentially calculate a victm's pain and suffering. These include either the multiplier or per diem method.


Multiplier Calculation

The medical bills of victims act as a base in the multiplier method. In most cases, the more substantial the injuries, the higher the multiplier. Typically, multipliers are between 1.5 and 5 times the amount of the economic losses. The medical bills of the victim calculated by multiplying them with a number in that range. If you suffered injuries in a car accident, consider visiting with the experienced personal injury attorneys at Labrum Law to help you determine the amount of compensation you have a legal right to receive under the law.


Per Diem Calculation


The per diem method calculates the number of days between the date of his injury and the date of release from medical care. Therefore, if the victim sustains severe injuries that result in surgery or therapy, the per diem compensation calculations will be higher. In-car accident pain and suffering calculations, the total amount of the victm's economic losses is multiplied by the number of days it took the victim to recover.

Which Factors Affect the Pain and Suffering Calculations?

Insurance companies, judges, and juries consider several factors when they calculate pain and suffering damages, such as:


·        Nature of injuries victim has suffered

·        Duration of pain caused by injuries

·        Intensity of pain

·        Effect of pain on the life of a victim

·        Recovery time

·        Age of victim

·        Anticipated future medical and psychological challenges


Any combination of the above-defined factors can play a significant role in pain and suffering calculations. 

An Experienced Attorney at Labrum Law Can Help Answer Your Questions About Your Pain and Suffering Compensation

If you are a victim of car accident pain and suffering, you may have the legal right to receive justice as well as compensation for your economic and non-economic losses. Consider contacting our experienced personal injury attorneys at Labrum Law at (615) 338-9500. We can help answer your questions about your legal rights, and ensure they remain protected.  

About the Author

Harlene Labrum

Harlene is focused and passionate about helping those injured in car wrecks.  She earned her J.D. at Nashville School of Law and her Bachelor's degree at State University of New York at Albany, awarded with the highest GPA and high honors.  Harlene began her career in law as a personal injury par...

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