Upwards of 5 million people become injured in car accidents every year in the United States. If this is the result of the negligence of another driver, it is up to the injured party to seek compensation through the legal system.
This can be complex to navigate, especially calculating the extent of the damages. These include economic compensation as well as losses related to “pain and suffering.”
What is the average settlement for car accident pain and suffering? That depends on several factors, which have to do with the details of your unique case.
The good news is that, once you understand what those variables are, you will have a better understanding of the potential your case has. This article covers these factors. Keep reading to find out more.
Lawsuit and Settlement Basics
“Damages” are compensation for the wrong someone has suffered. They come in the form of “punitive” and “compensatory damages.”
Punitive damages are meant to punish an entity that has acted in a particularly negligent way. They are rare in car accident cases unless the wreck was caused by a defective car part that the manufacturer knowingly continued to use.
Most settlements come in the form of “compensatory damages.” As the name suggests, these are meant to compensate the plaintiff for the harm done to them.
Most often, these comprise economic damages, like medical and rehabilitation bills from the injury. They can include lost salary, wages, or earning potential. Compensatory damages also include pain and suffering.
What Is ”Pain and Suffering”?
Pain and suffering are their own category because it is more difficult to assess and prove. This makes it no less important than other areas of compensation but requires a certain level of expertise to assign a dollar amount.
You can compile medical bills and calculate lost salary. Determining damages from pain and suffering is more difficult because it involves less tangible impacts.
In short, pain and suffering refer to the physical or emotional trauma someone experiences as a result of an accident. This can be during or immediately after the incident, in recovery, or even months or years down the road.
Depending on the severity of the car accident, you may suffer extreme mental anguish or post-traumatic stress disorder. Your enjoyment in life might or your reputation may be diminished.
Due to a disability, you might be unable to enjoy certain activities with friends or loved ones. You could suffer other emotional hardships. All these falls within the category of “pain and suffering” and would be included in a car accident settlement.
What Is the Average Settlement for Car Accident Pain and Suffering?
The average settlement for car accident pain and suffering is often somewhere between two and three times the amount awarded for economic losses. But not always. Several things can impact this, which an experienced lawyer can further explain.
One is whether you were negligent at all in the accident. Texas is a state that does allow plaintiffs to sue for damage, even if partial fault was theirs. This could impact the final settlement though.
Another big factor is how much you can demonstrate in court. This comes down to the reliability of testimony, including from eyewitnesses or medical professionals. Strong testimony can go a long way to increasing the payout amount.
Find Experienced Attorneys Near You
Now that you have an idea of the average settlement for car accident pain and suffering, you can have a better idea about the potential your case has. The most important thing you can do is hire an attorney with experience in personal injury law to help you navigate these questions.
At McDonald Worley, we handle a range of civil litigation issues, from personal injury to product liability. Our team has the legal knowledge and experience to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Reach out to us today to schedule a free consultation.