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
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.