In Pennsylvania, you typically can recover two types of damages if you suffer an injury due to another party’s negligence. You are entitled to recover your financial losses and pain and suffering. While you could receive a settlement offer for your pain and suffering, without the representation of our experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer, that award will likely be significantly lower than you deserve. The Reiff Law Firm specializes in complex personal injury cases and is dedicated to helping people receive their just compensation. Below, our lawyer looks at pain and suffering awards in Pennsylvania.
What is Pain and Suffering in a Pennsylvania Personal Injury Claim?
One of the reasons it is vital to retain our Pennsylvania personal injury attorney is that they can thoroughly examine your situation and help determine the value of your pain and suffering.
As stated above, the victim of an injury or accident that was not their fault usually can recover for the expenses they incurred and for their pain and suffering. It is generally easy to understand and document expenses arising from an injury. You are entitled to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and property damage. By providing receipts or other documentation, you can determine the costs incurred.
Pain and suffering is much more difficult to quantify. Each person experiences pain differently and will be affected by an injury uniquely. Pain and suffering damages encompass a wide variety of conditions, including anxiety, depression, and the inability to enjoy life.
Calculating Pain and Suffering Damages in a Pennsylvania Personal Injury Case
Before accepting or negotiating an injury settlement agreement, you need to know how to calculate your damages. Our Pennsylvania personal injury attorney will estimate the amount using a different method than an insurance company would use.
No two people experience pain and suffering in the same way. The impact of a broken arm might be a slight annoyance to one person and a life-altering event for another. The pain associated with a neck injury could be significantly different for two different people. An injury settlement offer will rarely reflect your actual pain and suffering.
Typically, an insurance company will use a simple formula to determine a pain and suffering award. For instance, if your medical expenses were $5,000, an insurance provider might consider multiplying that figure by two to establish a pain and suffering amount. In some situations, that figure might appear generous, but if your injury had a much more significant negative effect on your life, you should be compensated appropriately. When working directly with an insurance company, it is unlikely that they will look at the personal impact of your injury. In some cases, only your actual expenses will be considered, and an insurance adjuster will not factor pain and suffering into the settlement offer.
Also, it is important to remember that insurance companies are not working for you. Their team of adjusters and attorneys are employed to limit their liability and the amount they are required to pay for a personal injury settlement. Often, they will purposefully try to deny or limit your offer based on statements you offer in either conversation or writing. You should speak with our Pennsylvania personal injury attorney before speaking with an insurance company.
Pain and Suffering Awards in Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawsuits
In some instances, getting the compensation you deserve requires taking your case to court. Through a personal injury lawsuit, our experienced Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers can seek compensation for your economic damages and your pain and suffering. Because a judge or jury is not beholden to an accountant’s formula, the awards for non-economic damages are often much higher than an insurance company’s settlement offer.
However, awards for pain and suffering are not handed out without providing evidence. You must prove that you experienced a negative impact from the injury. When requesting economic damages in your case, our Pennsylvania personal injury attorney will turn to your receipts and bills to establish an amount.
Proving Pain and Suffering Damages in a Pennsylvania Injury Case
Non-economic damages are more challenging. To calculate an amount for pain and suffering, our law office will consider a number of factors. Because the award should reflect the impact the injury is having on you, you must provide evidence of its effect. We advise keeping a pain and suffering journal. For example, you should keep a daily log of the level of pain you are experiencing. Additionally, you should list those activities that you are prohibited from doing because of the injury. If you were an avid runner before the accident and now are unable to run because of the injury, you should list all the negative impacts it has on your life.
By combining the evidence you provided with testimony from medical professionals, friends, and family, our Pennsylvania personal injury attorney will formulate an estimate that reflects your unique experiences. If you are a good and credible witness, there is compelling supporting evidence, and your pain is consistent with medical testimony, then you have a good chance of receiving a reasonable amount of compensation for your pain and suffering.
Call Our Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorney to Discuss Your Pain and Suffering Award
If you are injured through no fault of your own, you should not be responsible for any medical costs or other expenses that arise from your injury. However, you are entitled to be compensated for more than just your financial losses. Victims of an accident or injury are entitled to recover for their pain and suffering. Our Philadelphia car accident lawyers and personal injury attorneys are dedicated to fighting for people harmed by the negligence of others. To schedule a free appointment, call the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940.