Proving Pain and Suffering
Attorney Carl Nagle solely fights for the rights of motor vehicle collision victims, and for decades he has successfully recovered compensation for the benefit of people injured in roadway accidents. As an experienced Raleigh car accident lawyer, Mr. Nagle has valuable insights into the calculations and methodology used by insurers to determine how much a claim is worth. Before founding Nagle & Associates, Mr. Nagle worked as an insurance defense attorney and an insurance claims adjuster. At Nagle & Associates, we appreciate that for accident victims, recovering an award for pain and suffering is critical to recovery. Together with his legal team, Mr. Nagle understands that proving the value of a car accident case requires assessing many factors, and a strong claim includes documentation of medical costs and the true extent of the injuries. Pain and suffering refers not only to the physical pain that accompanies an injury but also the emotional distress and anguish suffered by victims. Our office is proud to assist people throughout North Carolina, including injured individuals in Wilmington, Asheville, Raleigh, and Winston-Salem.
Prove the Full Extent of Pain and Suffering Following a Motor Vehicle Collision
Pain and suffering compensation is the tax-free money paid to an accident victim by all at-fault parties to compensate them for the physical pain and emotional suffering that their injuries will cause them over the course of their entire life. The subjective nature of pain and suffering makes it challenging to quantify when seeking damages in a motor vehicle collision lawsuit. While victims of car accidents tend to suffer emotionally, the physical aspects of injuries are typically easier to prove. There is no set formula to calculate this form of damages. Therefore, our job as attorney and advocate is to tell your story in a compelling way while also threatening to bring the same story to a jury if a settlement cannot be reached.
Personal injury plaintiffs seeking to prove pain and suffering following a car accident will need to first prove fault and legal liability. Under North Carolina law, challenges may be faced even in fairly straightforward claims, since the doctrine of contributory negligence may apply. If the claimant was at fault for the accident, even minimally, they will be barred from financial recovery.
When a victim has received medical treatment or hospital care for an injury, this signifies a more serious injury than, for example, an injury treated by a chiropractor alone. Insurance companies also consider the length of time that the claimant sought treatment and whether the treatment seemed excessive or appropriate for the type of injury. For serious injury victims, pain and discomfort are expected to linger, and in most cases, an award will reflect this severity.
The severity and duration of pain and suffering play a role in the amount of damages awarded. Photographs and videos that document visible injuries may help motivate insurance adjusters to provide a larger award. During the healing process, victims should photograph their lacerations, fractures, and other physical harm.
When placing a dollar value on pain and suffering damages, the judge or jury may look at factors such as how the injury has affected the injured individual’s ability to work or enjoy leisure activities. As a form of non-economic damages, pain and suffering also includes emotional distress that has been triggered by an accident, such as anxiety, PTSD, depression, and other mental states. By demonstrating the full impact of the injuries on their quality of life, victims may receive payment for their past, present, and future non-economic harm caused by a collision.
Expert testimony, including the use of vocational rehabilitation experts, physicians and surgeons, Certified Life Care Planners, accident reconstruction experts, and others, also help to support a claim for pain and suffering. If an individual has received mental health treatment or care, documentation of these visits may prove helpful, particularly when a plaintiff is seeking compensation for depression or anxiety. In some situations, there may be circumstances that increase an award. For example, if a car accident victim were left with permanent facial scarring, an award for pain and suffering may increase.
Accident victims may set forth information concerning their lifestyle and health status before the collision. Some individuals suffer from preexisting issues, and revealing prior medical conditions will not necessarily decrease an award for pain and suffering. It is also often advantageous to describe their family circumstances, including whether the victim is a parent of young children. Detailing a list of activities and hobbies may be helpful, particularly if the collision affected their ability to engage in these activities. In some cases, it may be appropriate to set forth a journal or personal narrative that describes the challenges faced after the accident.
Retain a Skilled Motor Vehicle Collision Attorney in the Raleigh Area
Motor vehicle collision lawyer Carl Nagle fully understands the pain and suffering that victims endure. Since we focus on maximizing recovery for our clients, our law firm charges a lower percentage of a settlement or jury award than many other personal injury law firms. Our fee is just 25% of settlement, where most firms charge 1/3. Also, our goal is to secure and present iron-clad evidence to increase the settlement value of your case. To the extent that we increase the insurance carrier’s settlement offers, our fee is paid by the insurance company. Nagle & Associates helps people who have been harmed by the carelessness or wrongdoing of others throughout North Carolina, including in Winston-Salem, Wilmington, Raleigh, Asheville, Charlotte, Hickory, Greensboro, and other areas of Wake, Forsyth, Mecklenburg, New Hanover, Durham, Brunswick, Catawba, and Cumberland Counties. Call our office at (800) 411-1583 or complete our online form to set up a free consultation with a skilled Raleigh attorney.