If you’ve been injured in an accident, medical bills are just one of the costs you face. There are also intangible costs—things that don’t cost you money, but do take an undeniable toll on your life. Severe pain and suffering is one of those things, and you have a right to file a claim and recover money. A good Atlanta accident lawyer can help you make your injury claim for pain and suffering after an accident.
Let our lawyers help you. We have decades of experience helping the victims of car accidents, and we have see firsthand the impact that severe pain can have. We never charge you anything unless we win you money. Let us give you a FREE consultation. We can answer your questions, explain your rights, and help you decide what to do. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.
What exactly is “pain and suffering”?
If you are injured in an accident, you probably have out-of-pocket costs, like medical bills, prescriptions and the cost of physical therapy. If the accident has put you out of work, you may also have been without a paycheck. These losses are known as “special damages.” It is fairly easy to put a dollar value on the money you have already lost, and experts can use calculations to estimate the cost of your medical care and lost pay in the future.
But an accident affects your life beyond just the medical bills. You may have to deal with ongoing pain that affects your ability to enjoy activities. You may have to change careers, or you may suffer mental trauma from the accident or from confronting the reality of living with your injuries. You can’t add up receipts and calculate a value for these type of injuries, but the law compensates them through a claim for “general damages” for pain and suffering.
Pain and suffering has two parts: the physical pain and discomfort you have felt after the accident; and the emotional effects of the accident. These types of injuries can be harder to place a value on because they relate to the way you felt, not the money you will have to pay out. You will need help from an experienced lawyer to make a strong pain and suffering claim.
What kind of injuries qualify for a pain and suffering claim in Atlanta?
Many injuries count, and both the physical and emotional pain is considered.
Physical pain and suffering damages can include any physical pain or discomfort related to your injuries. For example, you might feel recurring headaches after a concussion, or shooting pain in your arm after breaking a wrist.
The emotional side refers to the emotional effects of an accident where you’re physically injured. Emotional effects don’t just include mental health disorders—they can include just about any way the accident has affected your ability to live life to the fullest. Some of the emotional injuries that you might recover money for include:
- Mental health conditions like depression or post-traumatic stress disorder
- Major changes to your lifestyle because of the accident
- Loss of the ability to take part in activities you used to enjoy
- Having to change your career because of physical limitations
- Missing out on important life events
- Diminished personal relationships because of the accident
Every person’s life is different, and the mental and emotional effects of an accident will not be the same for you as for someone else. Your pain and suffering claim might be supported by evidence of the pain that similar accident victims have experienced, or by testimony from you and your family members. It can be a good idea to keep a diary to write down your daily physical and emotional feelings after the accident. A lawyer can advise you on making a strong claim.
How much money can I recover for pain and suffering in Atlanta?
Unlike special damages, which are tied to hard costs like medical bills and lost wages, damages for pain and suffering are hard to calculate. There is no easy way to put a dollar value on your pain or the emotional consequences of your accident. So, insurance companies usually use a shortcut known as a “multiplier.” They assign your pain and suffering a value from 1 to 5, with one being the most minor and 5 the most serious. Then they multiply your special damages (hard costs) by this number to arrive at a figure for your pain and suffering damages.
The multiplier method isn’t an iron-clad rule—pain and suffering damages can still vary. But the multiplier demonstrates how the money you receive for pain and suffering damages can be far greater than the cost of your medical care.
In many cases, pain and suffering damages are the biggest part of your settlement. They can even turn an otherwise small settlement into a $1 million dollar settlement or more.
I have an offer from the insurance company. How can a lawyer help?
Insurance companies don’t like to pay out a lot of money in claims because it hurts their profits. This means that the insurance company’s offer is probably far less than the true value of your claim. A typical insurance company offer either neglects pain and suffering altogether or tries to minimize the accident’s impact on your life. And it comes with strings attached. If you take the insurance money, you will have to give up your right to recover more money in the future.
A car accident attorney in Atlanta Georgia can help you by making sure you are getting a fair deal from the insurance company. Your lawyer can connect you with doctors who know how to diagnose you and estimate the cost of your care—including a counselor who can assess the emotional effects. And your lawyer can use strong negotiating tactics with the insurance company or file a lawsuit on your behalf, working to get you the pain and suffering damages you deserve.
Talk to an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer for Free
No one should have to go through severe pain or suffering. And when you do, the law gives you rights. Our law firm can help you protect those rights—and get every penny you deserve. Let us give you a FREE consultation. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.