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What Is Considered Pain and Suffering in a Semi-Truck Accident?

Semi-truck collisions are catastrophic accidents that result in devastating and debilitating harm. Not only are the injuries often horrific and extremely painful, but the emotional struggle and turmoil that victims have to endure are grueling. What makes matters worse is that these individuals often do not know whether they can recover compensation for their extensive pain and suffering.

To help clear up some of this confusion. This post will delve into the subject of pain and suffering and explain what these damages can mean for you following a semi-truck crash.

Two Types of Damages

Typically, following a semi-truck accident, victims are often entitled to both economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages: These damages are actual, verifiable, easy to quantify losses the accident caused.

They can include:

  • Medical bills including past, current, and future medical expenses such as doctor visits, prescription medications, surgeries, and hospital stays.
  • Lost wages, including past and current lost wages.
  • Lost earning capacity.
  • At-home nursing care.
  • Personal property damages.
  • Other out-of-pocket expenses.

Non-economic damages: These damages are rather subjective losses that result from the accident and are not easily quantified.

They can include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of a limb
  • Loss of reputation
  • Scarring
  • Disfigurement

Because these non-economic damages are hard to verify, calculating pain and suffering damages can get rather tedious and complicated.

What Is Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering is the legal term for the emotional and physical stress caused by an injury after an accident.

Many times the damages that come under this category include:

  • Chronic pain injuries such as spinal cord damages that result in significant and frequent back pain.
  • Injuries that have painful treatment plans such as severe burn injuries.
  • Permanent or temporary limitations that result from a debilitating injury that prevents the victim from participating in their daily activities.
  • Depression or emotional pain because of the victim’s new relationship with their loved ones after suffering their injury.

As you can see, pain and suffering damages encompass not only physical pain but also emotional and mental injuries, including insomnia, grief, worry, inconvenience, and losing the ability to enjoy life.

Calculating Pain and Suffering

What makes these damages so difficult to calculate is no two people experience pain the same way. Consequently, it is very challenging to determine the value of a victim’s pain and suffering. Several variables can affect the amount of compensation someone can receive for their pain and suffering.

These factors include:

  • The injury’s severity: The more severe the injury, the higher the pain and suffering damages a victim deserves. For instance, those individuals who suffer a traumatic brain injury will experience more lasting emotional and physical limitations than a person that suffers a broken leg.
  • The degree of a victim’s suffering: It is normal to experience pain after suffering an injury due to a semi-truck accident. However, the level or degree of this pain will play a significant factor when determining pain and suffering damages. For example, a severe burn can lead to numerous health and emotional issues even if the skin eventually heals. In comparison, a laceration on the arm may be painful, but this pain should subside over time.
  • Victim’s age: Usually, when an individual gets hurt in an accident, the younger the victim, the larger their pain and suffering damages tend to be. This is often because of the perception that a life-changing injury will affect a younger victim for a more extended time.

Only a few factors can determine the value of your pain and suffering. However, many additional elements can affect the amount of compensation you receive. That is why following a semi-truck collision, it is in your best interest to work with an experienced truck accident attorney who can review your case, determine which of these factors influence the value of your claim, and fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.

Proving Pain and Suffering

Generally, pain and suffering damages are more challenging to prove than other damages. This is because you will not have a receipt indicating the value of your pain and suffering. Instead, you will need to provide additional forms of evidence that can help prove the extent of your suffering.

Working with a skilled truck accident lawyer can help you gather this critical evidence, which often includes:

  • Personal statements: When it comes to your life, nobody knows it better than you and your family. That is why having your family or close friends attest to any changes they have seen in your quality of life, your mood, or your personality can be vital for your claim’s overall success.
  • Journal statements: It is an excellent idea to record your feelings and what you are going through after your accident. Make sure you keep detailed accounts of how the semi-truck accident impacted you and your life.
  • Medical records: Medical records can provide a comprehensive look at everything that you endured. These records will disclose your specific injuries, the treatments that you now require, how these injuries have impacted your life, and how your mental health has suffered.
  • Photos and videos: Try to take as many pictures as you can of the accident and your injuries. These photos can show the severity of the collision and what happened to you.
  • Expert witnesses: To help substantiate your claims and prove damages, your attorney can bring in expert witnesses to testify, such as accident reconstructionists, doctors, or physical therapists.

A successful claim for your pain and suffering damages requires more than just physical evidence. In truth, you need sound legal arguments to prove the extent of your pain and the impact the accident has had on you—physically and emotionally. For these reasons, if a semi-truck crash harmed you or a loved one, do not wait any longer. Contact an experienced truck accident attorney today and let these lawyers fight for the damages and justice you deserve.

What Is a Contingency Fee and How Does it Affect You and Your Case?

If you turn on the TV, you are flooded with legal ads and personal injury lawyers promising you that they will not get paid unless you do. For those facing legal issues, this “contingency” basis may seem like the ideal solution they need. Yet, no matter how promising this arrangement may be, very few people actually understand what these fees mean or how they work on an individual case basis.

To help you better grasp the concept of contingency fee agreements, we have created the following blog to try to help explain what contingency agreements are, how they work, and whether they are right for you and your case.

Contingency Fees – What Are They and How Do They Work?

A contingency fee is a type of payment that a personal injury lawyer receives if you obtain some compensation for the harm you endured. Instead of charging an hourly rate for their services, the attorney receives a percentage of any monetary recovery they help you recover. Consequently, their payment is “contingent” on you receiving some compensation.

Typically, you and your lawyer will agree to a recovery percentage.

The precise amount of compensation your attorney can receive may depend on:

  • Who will pay for the litigation costs, and when?
  • How complex is the case and what risks are involved with it?

Case Complexities and Contingency Fees

Generally, in a more risky or complicated case, a personal injury attorney can charge a higher contingency fee percentage as long as it is not unreasonable or excessive. In comparison, the lawyer can lower the contingency fee if the case appears relatively straightforward or likely to end in recovery.

When Are Contingency Fees Used?

Contingency fees are especially beneficial in complex or costly cases, and when the client is short on funds. However, because a personal injury lawyer would not get paid until their client receives compensation—and even then, would only collect a percentage of that compensation—and—most personal injury attorneys do not accept cases unless they find a means to collect a settlement or judgment, such as an insurance policy or a clear and present liability.

Lawyers often work for contingency fees in civil cases such as workers’ compensation claims or personal injury cases.

But some lawyers may use them in:

  • Sexual harassment cases
  • Professional malpractice cases
  • Wage dispute cases
  • Employment discrimination cases
  • Class action lawsuits
  • Debt collection cases
  • Bankruptcy cases

Contingency fees are not allowed in criminal or divorce cases where the fee is contingent upon securing a divorce, alimony support, or a property settlement.

What Happens to the Litigation Costs – Do You Still Have to Pay?

In most situations, even if a lawyer will work for a contingency fee, the client may still need to pay for individual administrative costs—unless the contingency fee contract states explicitly the client is exempt from these fees.

These litigation costs can include:

  • Filing Fees and Court Fees
  • Expert Witnesses
  • Discovery Costs which can consist of deposition expenses
  • Mediation Costs
  • The cost of obtaining specific evidence such as medical records or public documents
  • Investigator Costs
  • Telephone Costs
  • Travel Costs
  • Messenger Costs
  • Incidental charges, including postage costs or making copies

Before agreeing to any contingency fee arrangement, it is vital to review your contract and clarify with the attorney what expenses you will must pay, even if you lose your case.

Contingency Fee Advantages

The numerous advantages to contingency fee agreements include:

  • No fees you need to pay upfront: The most significant benefit of a contingency fee arrangement is that you do not have to deal with legal bills as your case is ongoing. Many individuals believe this helps those with lower incomes have better access to get the legal assistance they need.
  • Attorney incentive: When your attorney only gets paid if you receive some sort of compensation, your attorney will be highly motivated to do everything they can to fight for maximum damages on your behalf.
  • Paying attorney fees: Another significant advantage of a contingency fee is that if you lose your case, you will not pay the attorney any fees (although you may still need to pay administrative expenses).
  • Increased compensation: People who hire personal injury lawyers on contingency tend to recover more money than they would if they had brought the case on their own—even after their attorneys deduct fees and expenses.

What to Consider When Creating a Contingency Fee Agreement

Contingency fee agreement contracts need to be in writing, signed by the client, and any lawyer paid under the contract. These agreements must also state the percentage of the recovery the attorney can keep, the expenses the attorney will deduct from the award, and how the attorney will deduct these expenses.

Check the state’s laws, because many times, they cap the contingency fees a lawyer may charge.

Should You Be Represented on a Contingency Fee Basis?

Lawyer fees can be complicated and hard to understand. However, they should not stop you from bringing a claim for the harm you endured. If you are looking for a more detailed explanation regarding contingency fees, you need to discuss your case with a trusted and experienced attorney who can take the time to explain everything you need to know about the legal process and how these contingency fee agreements work.

That is why if a personal injury accident injured you or a loved one, do not wait. Contact a skilled personal injury lawyer today, and let these lawyers provide you the answers you want, the clarification you need, and fight for the justice that you deserve.