When you seek compensation for pain and suffering through personal injury claims, be prepared to provide medical proof.
Unlike, say, a broken ankle, the medical costs of pain and suffering are difficult to calculate. Consequently, pain and suffering auto claims are susceptible to being scrutinized by auto insurance companies.
Pain and Suffering Defined
Pain and suffering is considered the physical or emotional stress you experience from your injuries.
Despite the vagaries of this definition, you can, by law, file an insurance claim for pain and suffering compensation. This amount is considered separate from other medical expenses―X-rays, medications, hospital visits―and lost wages compensation.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim: Calculating Pain and Suffering
Unfortunately, there is no set formula in calculating the costs of pain and suffering, or what is also known as "general damages." Some people multiply the total medical bills related to the car accident injuries by two, three, or even four.
Others use a formula based on daily suffering. For instance, if your kneecap was busted in a car accident, you would gauge your daily pain and all of the daily activities you're incapable of doing due to your injury. You would then pin a compensation cost to each day and multiply this figure by the number of days you've been injured.
And some others just estimate a generalized cost.
Whichever method you choose, be aware that you will need to provide the car insurance company with proof and evidence behind your claim. This requires documenting:
- Medical reports.
- Prescription receipts.
- Over-the-counter medication receipts.
- Medical bills, if applicable, for therapy, ambulance costs, x-rays, emergency room visits and more.
- Proof of lost wages.
- Photos of your injuries.
Should You Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you don't think you will be able to support the compensation you think you deserve with solid evidence, consider hiring a personal injury attorney. These lawyers are experienced with the abstract nature of pain and suffering claims and will use their experience to help you establish a claims amount. Plus, they'll be able to represent you should the auto insurance company try to limit your compensation.