The cost of your medical bills and the financial value of your pain and suffering are two separate parts of an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. If you are injured in a car crash, trip and fall accident, or any other type of accident, you can collect compensation from the person responsible for the accident and your injuries. You could also be eligible for additional compensation for your pain and suffering. Both forms of compensation are two different parts of a personal injury claim called economic and noneconomic damage.
You Are Entitled to Compensation for Economic and Noneconomic Damage
According to the American Bar Association, personal injury claims can pay for two different types of damages: economic and noneconomic.
Economic damages are usually obvious and might typically include:
- Medical bills, including emergency care, hospitalizations, and assistive medical devices
- Loss of income for the time you cannot or could not return to work due to your accident-related injuries
- Property damage for your vehicle if it was damaged or destroyed in the accident
According to Florida Statute 627.737, a person injured in an accident can also receive a monetary award for their noneconomic damages. Noneconomic damages typically include:
- Inconvenience caused by your injuries and their necessary treatments
- Pain and suffering or mental anguish in the aftermath of the accident
- Physical disfigurement that can include unsightly, severe, and permanent scars
- Permanent disabilities, including the loss of a limb and partial or complete loss of a bodily function
Defining different types of damage can be a complex process. Consult a law firm near you for a complete explanation of your specific economic and noneconomic damages. A lawyer can also provide understanding and guidance while assigning a monetary value to your noneconomic damages.
Assigning a Financial Value to Your Pain and Suffering
Every accident claim will have its own set of circumstances. Just as your lost income might be higher or lower than another accident victim, your claim for financial compensation due to pain and suffering will not be the same as any other case of pain and suffering.
Because every accident case is different, there is no exact formula for deciding the value of your pain and suffering. According to Florida Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases, any monetary amount you receive for pain and suffering “should be fair and just in the light of the evidence.” The jury instructions describe the elements for valuing pain and suffering in personal injury and property damages as “injury, pain, disability, disfigurement, [and] loss of capacity for enjoyment of life.”
On your own, identifying those individual components and assigning a total financial value to the elements of your personal injury claim can be difficult. A lawyer in your area can help you determine the value of your pain and suffering. Your lawyer can also advise you not to accept a settlement if it does not fully cover the noneconomic cost of your accident, its resulting injuries, or the impact of the mental anguish from the accident.
The Role of a Lawyer in Your Claim for Pain and Suffering
When an accident leaves you with physical injuries and emotional scars, it can be difficult to know exactly what to do. After you receive initial medical treatments and your injuries have been stabilized, you should consider contacting a law firm. A personal injury lawyer can support your compensation claim by:
- Accurately valuing your economic and noneconomic damages
- Helping you collect paperwork, documents, and photos that prove your claim
- Identifying and interviewing witnesses to the accident that caused your injuries
- Negotiating with the at-fault party’s insurance provider for a settlement
- Pursuing the at-fault party in court if a financial settlement cannot be reached
A lawyer can provide guidance, direction, and advice in your pursuit of financial compensation. Your personal injury lawyer will also act as your advocate and can start to build your compensation claim while you focus on your physical recovery.
Collect Financial Compensation for Your Pain and Suffering
If you or a family member was injured in an accident that was not your fault, you might be able to hold the at-fault party responsible for your injuries and medical bills. In addition, you might be eligible to hold the at-fault party responsible for payment to compensate you for your pain and suffering.
When you are ready to explore the full range of your financial compensation options, call the office of Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers at (855) 529-0269 to speak to a member of our team after the accident as soon as possible.
For a free legal consultation, call (855) 529-0269