Collecting Damages for Pain and Suffering
After being involved in an accident, a frequently asked question many people have regards collecting damages for pain and suffering. As a result of your accident, you may be facing mounting doctor bills, lost wages, and rehabilitative costs; but what about the emotional and physical toll an unexpected injury presents? Is there a price you can put on the pain and suffering the negligent actions of others have caused? Depending on the circumstances and your symptoms, the answer to that may be yes.
Mental and Physical Suffering
Regardless of the circumstances, being involved in an accident is a traumatic event. The unexpected nature of such an event, and the resulting feelings of helplessness and victimization, can result in serious trauma. If the event was, or is even perceived to be, potentially life threatening, post-traumatic stress can result. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, sufferers of post-traumatic stress can experience nightmares, flashbacks, insomnia and general psychological distress continuing for many years after an event.
In addition to mental suffering, injuries caused by accidents often have long-term physical effects. Repercussions from brain injuries caused by concussion or whiplash can be felt long after the actual incident. Additionally, the injuries sustained as the result of an accident can result in chronic musculoskeletal disorders, trigger points of pressure that result in tension headaches, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and back pain.
Compensation for Pain and Suffering
Unlike medical bills and lost wages, damages for pain and suffering can be difficult to gauge. In standard jury instructions for civil cases (section 502.1), the Florida Supreme Court lists a number of factors for jurors to consider when calculating pain and suffering. The Court lists mental anguish, inconvenience, and loss of enjoyment of life as factors to be considered, although there is no exact standard of measurement.
In attempting to receive compensation for damages due to pain and suffering, it’s a good idea to document everything. You’ll want something in writing from your doctor or mental health worker describing your symptoms, the ongoing treatment he or she prescribes, as well as your prognosis for the future. Additionally, you’ll want to document all medications prescribed for pain, anxiety, insomnia or depression, as well as a statement from the prescribing physician regarding the effectiveness of the medication in treating your symptoms and how long you’ll need to be on them. Equally important are statements from family, friends, coworkers, and anyone who can testify to the lasting changes and ongoing impacts you suffer as a result of the accident.
Contact Our Personal Injury Lawyer
In order to adequately assess your claim for damages caused by pain and suffering, contact the law offices of Fort Pierce personal injury lawyer William E. Raikes. Lawyer Raikes represents clients throughout St. Lucie County. He will review the merits of your case, and guide you in determining the amount you may be entitled to due to pain and suffering. Contact us today and get the full compensation for your injuries.