Pain And Suffering Claims In Auto Accidents – If you have suffered injuries in a car accident caused by another driver in Arizona, you may have the right to seek financial assistance for your losses. The average settlement amount in car accidents depends on many factors, including the severity of injuries, the long-term impact on your life, the availability of insurance coverage, and who is responsible for the crash. Although an attorney cannot accurately predict how much money you might recover in a settlement, an experienced attorney can advocate for maximum compensation.
At Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC, you can trust our Arizona car accident lawyers to give your case the attention it deserves. Call or contact us today for a free consultation.
Pain And Suffering Claims In Auto Accidents
No attorney can accurately predict how much money a car accident victim will recover in a settlement. However, they can evaluate the facts and circumstances of a client’s case to determine what amount of money will provide the client with fair compensation for their injuries and losses. Some of the most critical factors that could affect the size of your car accident settlement include:
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Depending on the severity of a crash, a car accident can cause a wide range of injuries to accident victims. Some of the most common examples of car accident injuries include:
An Arizona car accident settlement can compensate you for injuries and other financial and non-financial losses from the wreck. A settlement may include money for your:
Arizona law requires all drivers to have auto insurance. This coverage must have the minimum policy limits required by state law. These minimums include:
Liability coverage kicks in when a driver causes a crash that harms others. Drivers can choose to purchase higher liability coverage limits. In Arizona, insurers also typically offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) equal to the policy’s bodily injury coverage limits, although drivers can decline this coverage in writing.
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Driving without insurance coverage or proof of insurance constitutes a misdemeanor under Arizona law. Penalties include fines and possible driver’s license suspension.
Car accident settlements and verdicts are different. A settlement provides an agreed sum of money resulting from negotiations between the parties involved. The parties will consider factors such as the documented injuries and losses of the accident victim, the strength of the evidence and the potential expense of a court case to arrive at a compensation figure that both sides believe is fair.
Parties can also negotiate payment terms for a car accident settlement, including negotiating a structured settlement that pays money over time (which often leads to higher total settlement amounts). In exchange for a settlement, the accident victim agrees not to take any further legal action against the at-fault driver.
A judgment comes from a car accident lawsuit. A judge or jury makes a verdict that awards payment to an accident victim for any losses they can prove at trial. Once a plaintiff receives a judgment and verdict in a car accident, they can collect the entire judgment from the responsible defendant(s).
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As with the settlement amount, an attorney cannot accurately predict how long it will take to settle. While some cases resolve in a matter of weeks or months, others can take a year or more to resolve or reach a verdict. The complexity of the case, the number of defendants and the extent of the injuries can all drag out the length of a case. Victims with catastrophic injuries do not want to settle prematurely. If they settle too soon, they may encounter unexpected costs and complications that they later have to pay out of pocket. Settlements are final, so you don’t want to accept any money without first talking to an Arizona car accident attorney.
Under Arizona’s statute of limitations, you only have two years after a car accident to file a lawsuit. In addition, if you have a car accident against a state or local government entity, Arizona law requires you to give written notice of your claim to the appropriate government agency or official within 180 days of the crash. These deadlines make it important to consult with a car accident attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you make a timely claim.
If someone else caused an accident that injured you, a strong legal team can help you fight for justice and accountability. Put Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC to work for you. Call or contact us today for a free consultation with a proven car accident attorney in Arizona.
Zachary Mushkatel discovered his affinity for the law by accident. As a political science major at the University of Arizona, he first aspired to become a professor. But an unexpected invitation to participate in a mock trial team at the university prompted him to turn his competitive spirit and drive… Pain and suffering cover the physical and emotional damages that a person experiences as a result of an injury. Unlike economic damages related to medical bills and property damage, pain and suffering are more subjective.
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The effects of an injury can be felt long after the accident has occurred. Getting fair compensation plays a big role in getting your life back, but what determines a fair settlement if you’ve been affected in ways that don’t have a price tag, like no longer being able to participate in your hobbies?
For those situations, injured parties are awarded pain and suffering damages. No matter where you are in your lawsuit, looking at pain and suffering settlement examples can help put your expected settlement into perspective.
Pain and suffering is the term used to describe non-economic damages that people can claim for their physical and emotional injuries. Non-economic damages involve the effects of an injury that are less tangible than clear expenses.
Non-economic damages can be subjective because they are not tied to specific bills like economic damages are. Check out the chart below for more information on their differences.
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When making your claim, you will not need to choose between pursuing economic or non-economic damages. You can get both for the same injury, but you’ll have to quantify each one separately.
Pain and suffering damages fall under one of two categories: physical and emotional. Sometimes there is no clear line drawn between the physical and emotional effects of an injury, so there is often an overlap, such as a physical impairment leading to a loss of quality of life. In those cases, both should be claimed in pain and suffering lawsuits.
Physical pain and suffering refers to how your injury physically affects you outside of economic factors such as losing your job. This could include:
Just because you claim the physical effects of an injury doesn’t mean you can’t also claim its emotional effects.
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Emotional pain and suffering stems from the effects of an injury on a person’s mental health. Sometimes it can be linked to a specific injury, while other times it will be a result of experiencing the event. This could include:
These examples, along with those listed as examples of physical pain and suffering, should not be viewed as all-inclusive. If you have been affected in some other way that you think you deserve compensation, bring it up with your personal injury attorney to see if it qualifies for compensation.
There are two approaches that insurance companies use to calculate what they believe is the value of an injured person’s pain and suffering.
The multiplier method works by adding up all the economic damages, such as medical bills and lost wages, involved in the case and multiplying that figure by a number between one and five. The multiplier is chosen based on various factors. Generally, a multiplier of one is used for mild injuries and a multiplier of five is used for severe injuries. Insurance companies will almost always use a lower multiplier because they want to pay injured victims as little as possible.
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John is injured in a car accident. He requires surgery and misses a month of work. His medical bills total $25,000 and his lost wages are $6,000. His total economic losses come to $31,000.
John still experiences mild pain a year after his surgery and it limits his physical movements, affecting his daily life. John’s lawyer uses a multiplier of 5 to explain this.
John’s attorney uses $155,000 as a starting point to begin pain and suffering negotiations with the insurer.
The diem method is an alternative to the multiplier method for determining pain and suffering damages. This method is used much less often than the multiplication method. To do this, you assign a certain dollar value to each day you experienced pain and suffering after the accident.
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It is difficult to determine an appropriate meal. Sometimes, that value is equal to your daily earnings before the accident. Again, the insurance company will come up with a per diem as low as possible. Let’s apply this method to the previous example to see how the results differ:
Since John earned $6,000 a month, that’s about $300 per day of work. If he experienced pain and suffering for a year after the accident, we would use 365 days as a multiplier:
Both the multiplication method and also the per diem method are starting points for the
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