After you have been injured in a car accident, you are likely to consider hiring an attorney to get the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to. Part of this compensation will be for medical expenses. Some of this compensation will be for things unrelated to medical expenses such as a loss of income. But one area of compensation that many people are concerned with is pain and suffering. And although you may be entitled to it, there are a few things you should understand.
There are legal precedents for pain and suffering
For the most part, what constitutes pain and suffering has been worked out in court over time. There are disagreements, at least to the severity of pain and suffering, but not as much surrounding what it is. Just because you feel pain and suffering does not mean you are entitled to compensation for it. You may have felt that you have had a near-death experience with the car accident and are suffering due to the experience, but this is not likely to hold up in court. Your pain and suffering will need to be related to your injury. Burns from the accident are a good example. Your medical bills do not address the pain you feel as your body heals from the burns, nor do they address the scars that the burns will leave.
An insurance company will likely give a low estimate
Insurance companies have their own way of calculating compensation for pain and suffering. Certain broken bones may be deemed more worthy of compensation than other injuries. However, the length of time for rehabilitation, along with the pain of rehabilitation, may be overlooked. This, combined with the type of work you do, will likely lead to an underestimate of your compensation for pain and suffering. Only an attorney that you hire will be able to help get you all of the compensation you are entitled to.
No-fault insurance states do not allow it
Although states that allow for a determination of the fault of a car accident are in the majority, there are several states that adhere to a no-fault model for car accidents. In these states, you are not allowed to file a personal injury claim for pain and suffering. However, most of these states have an exception to this rule if your medical expenses go beyond an amount specified by law. So if you live in one of these states, you need to consult with an attorney about the possibility of compensation for pain and suffering.
Compensation for pain and suffering can be complicated, and you should never trust an insurance company to give you all that you are entitled to. After your car accident, seek medical attention immediately and always consult a car accident attorney to protect your interests.