Motor Vehicle Accidents

What is considered pain and suffering in a car accident?

By LHD Lawyers

The term pain and suffering is used in legal proceedings to describe the physical and emotional injuries that a victim has sustained due to the effects of a car accident. Any physical or emotional injuries that impact your ability to live a normal life following a car accident may entitle you to compensation.

Compensation will be awarded either directly to the victim or to the victim’s family if the victim’s injuries proved fatal.

If you are a victim of a car accident and want to better understand what is considered “pain and suffering” from a legal perspective, review the information below to learn more about:

  • Examples of pain and suffering
  • How pain and suffering is calculated
  • How to prove pain and suffering
  • Making a claim today

Examples of pain and suffering from a car accident

There are three types of pain and suffering that can be put forward in a compensation claim following a car accident. The first two are physical and emotional pain and suffering experienced by a victim. The third is called “loss of consortium”, which means the pain and suffering experienced by a victim’s family.

Physical pain and suffering

Physical injuries sustained following a car accident impact the victim’s quality of life. The pain suffered in most cases requires emergency treatment or long-running care over a period of time. In more extreme cases, the effects of the injury are irreversible even if therapy to reduce their severity is available.

Examples of physical pain and suffering:

  • Brain injury
  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Internal organ damage
  • Nerve damage
  • Headaches
  • Pulled or sprained muscles
  • Dislocated joints
  • Paralysis

Emotional pain and suffering

Emotional injuries sustained following a car accident can result in mild or even severe mental and psychological changes that can last long after the accident. The emotional pain following a car accident can be debilitating and have a profound and lasting impact on a victim’s quality of life.

Examples of emotional pain and suffering:

  • Psychological trauma
  • Fear
  • Insomnia
  • Worry
  • Anger
  • Grief
  • Cognitive changes following a head or brain injury
  • Loss or diminishment of quality of life
  • Frustration
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

Loss of consortium

In instances where the physical injuries sustained in a car accident result in the victim’s death, the family is entitled to make a wrongful death claim. The pain and suffering experienced relates to the victim’s family, and compensation is meant to help them deal with the loss of their loved one (especially if that family member was the family’s financial provider).

This claim is a way to hold the driver accountable for their actions and the impact their actions have had on the lives of others.

Examples of loss of consortium:

  • Care
  • Companionship
  • Parental guidance
  • Spousal intimacy
  • Love and affection
  • Household services
  • Financial ability

How is pain and suffering calculated in a car accident?

Due to the unique nature of every personal injury claim, calculations for pain and suffering depend on the individual facts and circumstances of each case. However, two methods are frequently used to help calculate the pain and suffering endured by a victim: the Multiplier method and the Per Diem method.

Multiplier Method

This method calculates all the damages which are a direct result of the car accident such as medical bills, lost wages etc. This cumulative figure is then multiplied by the severity of the victim’s injury (from 1x up to 5x). This final figure then determines how much compensation the victim is entitled to.

Per Diem Method

“Per diem” is latin for “per day”, and this is the basis of this method in calculating the compensation the victim will receive. A specific amount is determined and awarded to the victim as compensation to cover them from the day the accident occurred to the day they have completely recovered.

How to prove pain and suffering from a car accident

Being a victim of a car accident is undoubtedly a traumatic experience; having to then prove the legitimacy of the injuries sustained is a painful reality. Unfortunately, proving pain and suffering is a crucial component in a successful compensation claim.

Providing documentation and evidence to support your claim will illustrate how the accident has impacted your life due to the pain and suffering. This evidence may include:

  • Doctors’ notes
  • Medical evidence
  • Photographs
  • Personal journals that document pain, suffering and other effects
  • A therapist or mental health counsellor’s report

If the task of gathering evidence of this nature is an issue for you to do yourself, please speak to our team to arrange for us to handle some of the workload on your behalf, so you can focus your efforts on your recovery.

Recent client win for pain and suffering claim

Our client in NSW was rear-ended by a minivan in 2016 while waiting for a roundabout to clear. After spinning into the roundabout and colliding with other cars, they sustained injuries to their neck, shoulder, upper and lower back, and buttocks.

LHD Lawyers secured the client a Motor Vehicle Accident payout of $403,758.80 based on their pain and suffering.

View more examples of motor vehicle compensation payout case studies.

Make a motor vehicle accident compensation claim today

LHD Lawyers help everyday Australians receive the benefits they’re entitled to for Motor Vehicle Accident Claims. We are so sure of our abilities to win your case that we stand firmly by our No Win No Fee Policy: if we don’t win, you don’t pay. Call 1800 455 725 for a no-obligation consultation about your case.

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