After a car accident, plaintiffs can claim considerable damages, depending on the circumstances and their injuries. Since pain and suffering are non-economic injuries, calculating them can be challenging.
Plaintiffs injured in car accidents can claim damages related to pain and suffering when the physical pain and emotional trauma from the crash takes a toll on their daily life. Pain and suffering are somewhat vaguely defined damages, and different plaintiffs might experience them differently. Calculating damages for pain and suffering often requires analyzing how the accident happened and the plaintiff’s injuries. Various factors might influence the damages award amount, including whether your injuries are permanent, your ability to work, and your quality of life after the accident. Although there are no statutory caps on non-economic damages, there are limitations on how high these damages can be, depending on how they are calculated.
If you were recently in a car accident and wish to file a lawsuit for damages, our NJ car accident lawyers can help you determine the value of your case, including damages for pain and suffering. For a free case review, call Legal Care New Jersey at (732) 838-9769.
When You Can Claim Pain and Suffering After a Car Accident in NJ
Pain and suffering are more common than people realize and should never be overlooked. Even relatively minor injuries can cause plaintiffs severe pain and emotional trauma. Talk to our Jersey City car accident lawyers if you are unsure whether your case contains non-economic damages for pain and suffering.
Pain and suffering are non-economic and part of a plaintiff’s compensatory damages. Compensatory damages related to the losses and injuries sustained by the plaintiff must be compensated for the plaintiff to be “whole” again. Pain and suffering are non-economic damages not necessarily connected to an exact monetary value. Even so, courts often compensate these damages with monetary awards because there is usually not much else that can be done.
Pain and suffering include the physical pain a plaintiff endured during an accident and the emotional trauma that often accompanies a crash. Since these experiences often do not cost any money, assessing their value is difficult.
Calculating Damages Related to Pain and Suffering After a Car Accident in NJ
No singular model or method is used to calculate pain and suffering damages. Generally, plaintiffs and their attorneys do not even present a number or value they believe represents the worth of pain and suffering. Rather, they can argue over these damages and whether they exist, but the jury is the final determiner of how much pain and suffering are worth.
Non-economic damages are often assessed in relation to economic damages. The greater your economic damages are, the greater your non-economic damages will likely be. While the value of your economic damages may be a good indicator of non-economic damages, it is not definitive. Some car accidents result in heavy economic damages (e.g., a totaled vehicle) but relatively low non-economic injuries. For example, your car might be completely destroyed, but you miraculously emerged mostly unharmed.
On that note, the severity of your injuries may be used to assess damages for your pain and suffering. Drivers who were more seriously hurt in an accident can expect greater damages for their pain and suffering.
Factors That Might Affect Damages for Pain and Suffering After an NJ Car Accident
As discussed above, courts have no one method or system to calculate the value of pain and suffering. Instead, each case is reviewed individually, and the jury decides the final damages award amount. As such, our Newark car accident attorneys must convince the jury that your pain and suffering are significant and deserve as much compensation as possible.
The nature and extent of your injuries play a significant role in the value of your damages for pain and suffering. Injuries with a long-lasting or permanent impact on your life are often regarded as more painful or emotionally traumatic, and greater damages might be awarded.
For example, a person with a broken leg will recover in a few weeks and may be compensated for their pain during that time. A person who is permanently paralyzed and can never walk again will endure the pain and trauma of the accident for the rest of their life. As such, their damages for pain and suffering should be much more valuable.
Even injuries that are not particularly painful can cause severe mental distress. For example, a driver who gets a large cut across their face in a car accident might experience some physical pain, but the emotional and mental anguish from living with a new disfigurement may weigh more heavily on damages calculations.
Duration of Recovery
Injuries do not have to be permanent to warrant damages for pain and suffering. Even people who fully recover can claim pain and suffering for the time it took them to recover. The recovery process is not always easy or comfortable. Many injured accident victims struggle with the physical pain of treatment. They might also find the treatment and recovery process very mentally draining.
A longer recovery might mean greater damages for pain and suffering. You can talk to our Paterson car accident attorneys about how long your recovery process is expected to take and how you feel during this time. We can help you claim damages for the pain and suffering you endured while being treated after the accident.
Quality of Life
Car accidents can significantly affect a plaintiff’s quality of life. Those who experience permanent or long-lasting injuries or disabilities might face new limitations to which they must adapt. For example, a plaintiff who lost a leg in a car accident might no longer be able to run marathons or maintain the active lifestyle they once had. Additionally, mental and emotional trauma might make living difficult, and many car accident victims struggle with their mental health even years later.
If physical pain, injuries, or mental trauma make living your life harder, or you must come to terms with new limitations and accept that you can no longer do things you used to love, we must present these details to the court. The change in your quality of life may convince a jury to award you greater damages for pain and suffering.
Call Our NJ Car Accident Attorneys for a Free Case Review
If you were in a car accident, you might have experienced great physical pain and deep emotional wounds. Our Edison car accident lawyers can help you argue for damages related to your pain and suffering. For a free case review, call Legal Care New Jersey at (732) 838-9769.