Getting hurt in an accident is something for which few people are prepared, as a Waldorf personal injury lawyer can tell you. Instead, these problems arise quite often at the worst possible times. Consequently, you, the victim, find yourself in dire financial, physical, and emotional straits, wishing that you had more resources to deal with the situation. Well, the reality is that you will never be at your best when such an unexpected occurrence hits. This fact is why it comes highly recommended that you speak with a competent personal injury lawyer who can help you file a lawsuit, receive just compensation and get back on your feet.
What You Need to Know Before Filing a Lawsuit
Before contacting a Waldorf personal injury lawyer, it is a good idea to have some knowledge of the legal process of torts. This field of law concerns civil suits when one party harms another. There are certain elements that must be present in the facts to justify a tort claim that your legal representative will look for. If these facts are present, then the lawyer will most likely file a claim for damages on your behalf. If ordered to do so, the defendant, who is the party being sued, has to compensate for the pain and suffering caused by their actions.
What Is Pain and Suffering?
To help those, such as you, contemplating filing a lawsuit, understand what lawyers, juries and judges look for when assessing damages, here is an explanation of just what pain and suffering entails. There are two types of pain and suffering:
- Physical Pain and Suffering– First, legal professionals usually look for physical, or bodily, injuries. You, the claimant, usually suffer some form of harm to your body as a result of the accident. These injuries may be visible on you at the moment, or located in a medical report. Physical pain and suffering also includes injuries that result not immediately during the accident, but in the acceptable future. As long as there is a demonstrable causal connection between the negligent actions of the defendant and your later pain and suffering, then a Waldorf personal injury lawyer can request a damage award.
- Mental Pain and Suffering– Once you, the plaintiff, who is the one suing, establishes physical harm, you will also want to include mental damages, if present. This category of pain and suffering considers the emotional state of the injured party. Being hurt may cause negative feelings and emotions. It is the responsibility of you, the suing party, to demonstrate a relationship between the physical injuries and the mental problems. Some common types of mental pain and suffering include:
- anger over being victimized
- anxiety over being unable to control what happened
- emotional distress from financial and physical losses
- fear of dying from the injuries
- humiliation at being the source of unwanted attention
- shock over the extent of physical injuries
- mental anguish over the slow process of recovery
- loss of enjoyment of life because of the changes
A Specific Example of Pain of Suffering
It is important for anyone planning to file a personal injury suit seeking, whether for physical or mental harm, know of some specific examples. A hypothetical can help you, the prospective litigant, better know if your unique situation might fall within the accidents that the courts generally consider representative of legitimate pain and suffering. Vehicular collisions are a common cause of pain and suffering claims. Victims may receive various physical injuries as a direct result of the violent crash of cars. Heads may bang against windows, arms may slam against doors or necks may whip back-and-forth from the vibrations. These physical injuries may require months or years of medical treatment, which might mean a significant financial loss to the plaintiff. Consequent to these harms to the body, the victim may become depressed. There might not be enough money available to pay for the required doctor visits. Faced with mounting medical bills, the victim begins to lose faith in the system. You may believe there is nothing you can do to stay financially solvent. A Waldorf personal injury lawyer will look at the relevant evidence and discern just how much physical and mental damage the perpetrator caused you. They then will file a lawsuit seeking a direct amount of money to properly redress the injustice.
General Rules as to How to Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages
There is no prescribed method for deciding how much you and the lawyer should request in damages. One reason is that lawyers can ask for both compensatory awards, those designed to match the amount directly lost by you, and punitive awards, those designed to be so high as to punish the defendant. Quite simply, each individual case is unique. Nevertheless, there are some general rules that legal professionals choose to use in order to initially grasp an idea of how much your case could eventually be worth. Here are some of those rules.
- Chances that the claimant will make a credible witness
- The amount of damages reported by a physician
- Likelihood that the jury will understand the link between injuries and the accident
Contact a Waldorf Personal Injury Lawyer for More Information
It is always best for you to consult with a Waldorf personal injury lawyer, such as one at The Law Office of Carroll Drake, LC, at (301) 638-1280, to discuss the possibility of receiving a damage award for pain and suffering caused by another.