When you file a personal injury lawsuit based on an injury caused by negligence or intentional harm, you are entitled to damages for your medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An Arizona accident attorney can help you to determine what types of compensation you should receive for each of these different categories of damages.
In some cases, it is simple to determine how much money you should receive. For instance, lost wages is simply the amount of money you did not earn, and will not earn, as a result of the injury you suffered. In other cases, however, it is much more difficult to determine an appropriate damage amount. This is true in particular for a future loss of earning capacity and even more so for pain and suffering.
Pain and Suffering Damages
Pain and suffering damages are awarded when someone hurts you because of the belief that you should be compensated in some way for having to endure pain and discomfort. Unfortunately, it is hard to put a price on just how much a particular type of pain is worth. After all, there is no marketplace where people are given a certain amount of money in exchange for having a broken arm or some other type of injury.
Because pain and suffering are more difficult to prove, insurance companies will often use something called a "pain multiplier" when they are determining how much to offer for an out-of-court settlement. A pain multiplier involves multiplying the amount of actual economic damages (damages for medical costs and lost wages) times some designated number that is usually between 1.5 and 5. Of course, this is an inexact way to determine pain and suffering and it may not be appropriate in every case, especially if someone didn't have a lot of lost wages or income but did experience a lot of suffering.
When an insurance company does offer you a settlement, an accident attorney Arizona can help you to assess whether the settlement is fair and reasonably compensates you for all of the pain you endured. Remember, once you agree to settle, you can't take that back and sue for more, so be sure to talk to an Arizona accident attorney before you sign anything from an insurance company or defendant in a personal injury case.
Proving Pain and Suffering
If you do not believe that the insurance company is paying you enough, or if you decide to take your claim to court and have a jury decide damages, it is going to become very important to prove pain and suffering. In other words, you will need to show just how much pain you had to endure in order to maximize the amount of compensation you receive for it.
There are a number of different techniques you can use to effectively prove pain and suffering. One option is to keep a journal and to write in that journal every time you have pain. You can also make sure to take detailed photos of your injuries to show how severe they are. It may even be possible to present to the jury a video of you trying to do daily tasks and struggling as a result of your injuries and pain.
An experienced Arizona injury lawyer will help you to consider all of your different options for proving pain and suffering and will help you to decide on the best course of action for making a convincing case.