How Do You Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages After a Car Accident?
If you have been injured in an automobile accident, you may be able to recover damages from the party responsible for the accident, so long as you can prove that the other party was at-fault for the accident.
Your damage award can include reimbursement for property damage, medical treatment, and lost wages. In addition, you can receive damages for something called pain and suffering. Pain and suffering damages are hard to quantify, but they are meant to compensate the injured party for the physical and emotional stresses caused by an accident. It seems like an amorphous concept. Perhaps an example will help.
Imagine a driver named Peggy is traveling on the freeway when a Dan, another driver, crosses the median and hits Peggy head on. Peggy is burned in the accident, and it takes emergency personnel nearly half an hour to remove Peggy from her vehicle. While Peggy survives the accident, she is severely burned. She will never walk again, and the trauma of being in a flaming vehicle has impacted her.
Peggy settlement can include money to compensate her for the damage to her vehicle. The other party will pay for her medical expenses and her continuing medical care. Her settlement should also include her lost wages because she has spent weeks in the hospital, and her injuries mean that she can no longer work.
Peggy may also be entitled to pain and suffering damages based on the trauma of the accident. Dan’s insurance company may determine the number of those damages using a multiplier formula. Some companies multiple medical expense and property loss by a digit between one and five depending on the severity and permeance of the injuries. Other companies may use another approach.
In no-fault states, like Utah, pain and suffering damages are not allowed in cases that do not meet the no-fault minimum. Utah requires that all auto insurance policies contain personal injury protection. PIP will cover medical expenses incurred in an automobile accident up to $3,000.00 without determining who was at fault for the accident.
In fact, no one in Utah may bring a suit for personal injury damages for less than $3,000.00.