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Understanding Damages for Pain and Suffering in Car Accident Claims

August 18, 2020

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, there were nearly 80,000 people that were injured in car crashes in 2018. Although that sounds like a lot, the number of people injured on the state’s roads in 2018 was one of the lowest numbers since 1950. Still, every one of those people injured in car accidents that year had some degree of pain and suffering. When another driver was at fault for the accident, victims can seek compensation for many types of damages, including pain and suffering.

Of all types of damages available in car accident claims, those for pain and suffering are some of the most confusing. Damages for pain and suffering do not have a concrete monetary value and so, they are difficult to calculate. A Pennsylvania car accident lawyer can help estimate these damages so you can claim the full amount you deserve.

How Much can You Get for Pain and Suffering?

Fortunately, Pennsylvania does not place a cap on non-economic damages, which means after a car crash, you can receive compensation for the full amount of your losses. However, no one can determine how much an accident victim can claim without fully looking at the facts of the case. A few factors that will affect the amount of pain and suffering you can recover are as follows:

  • Type of injury: The more obvious your injuries are, the easier it is for others to understand your pain. For example, a jury would likely acknowledge that you are in severe pain when recovering from multiple broken bones, while convincing them of the pain associated with a soft tissue injury may be more difficult.
  • Permanent disfigurement or scarring: Permanent injuries, such as scars and disfigurement, can cause a great deal of physical pain, as well as emotional suffering. When these injuries are present, a higher amount will likely be rewarded for pain and suffering.
  • Impact on your life: If your injury has had a significant impact on your life, such as if you can no longer engage in the hobbies you once enjoyed, a jury may award you more in pain and suffering.

Proving Pain and Suffering

After a car crash, you do not only have to prove another person was negligent, but you also have to prove your damages. Due to the fact that pain and suffering damages are not visible, proving them is particularly difficult. Evidence that is helpful when proving pain and suffering includes:

  • Medical documentation
  • Prescription records
  • Pictures of your injuries
  • A pain journal
  • Testimony from family and friends that proves how the injuries have affected your life
  • Documentation from your employer proving time lost from work

While you are recovering from your injuries, a lawyer can collect much of this evidence so you can focus on getting better.

Our Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyers can Accurately Evaluate Your Claim

If you have been involved in a car accident, there are many ways our Allentown auto accident lawyers can help. At van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim, we will collect evidence to prove that someone was at fault for your crash, and we will accurately evaluate your claim so you receive the full amount of compensation you need. When you have been hurt, call us at (215) 486-0123 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with one of our skilled attorneys.


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