Examples of Pain and Suffering Settlements in Personal Injury Cases

pain and suffering settlement examples

In West Virginia, if you have been injured in a wreck or other accident by someone else’s carelessness, you are entitled to compensation by commencing a personal injury lawsuit against the company that provides the at-fault party’s auto liability insurance. According to West Virginia personal injury law, you are entitled to restitution for all of your damages, including monetary and non-monetary. Pain and suffering settlements for an injury victim’s pain and suffering are not quantified in terms of money. You can file a lawsuit and pursue compensation if the insurance company refuses to pay the claim or make a reasonable settlement offer to resolve the claim. Either avenue is best navigated with a West Virginia personal injury attorney.

Feeling Emotional and Physical Pain? 

Numerous different types of damages are recognized by West Virginia personal injury law. We will focus on economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

Some damages are only economic, meaning the losses have a distinct and quantifiable monetary worth. Some economic losses include medical bills, auto repair bills, and lost wages. Victims can usually provide concrete financial proof of their losses through bills, pay stubs, and other documentation.

Non-economic Damages

Not all damages can be precisely measured. Someone who has been injured may also suffer from emotional distress, depression, loss of sleep, psychological trauma, loss of physical pleasure, and loss of love and devotion. Non-economic damages cover damages often referred to as pain and suffering.

How Do Courts Determine Pain and Suffering Damages? 

How do you put a dollar amount on your mental anguish or emotional trauma? Calculation of pain and suffering compensation is somewhat of a science. Since every personal injury case is different, there is no universal formula to calculate pain and suffering damages. The judge’s discretion plays a big role in determining the amount awarded for pain and suffering. When determining pain and suffering settlement, a court or insurance company may use one of several methods.

The Multiplier Method

When determining a pain and suffering settlement, the multiplier method is one of the most used approaches. A figure that depicts the severity of the injury—usually between one and five, with five being the most severe—will be multiplied by the monetary amount of the economic losses by the court. The medical treatment needed per medical records will be helpful to prove pain to some extent. The multiplier increases with the severity of your bodily injury. While severe injuries (like traumatic brain injuries or catastrophic injuries) might be multiplied by two or three, minor injuries might be multiplied by one. More severe damage, however, may be amplified by four or higher. Victims are unique, so no two auto accidents will yield the same results or monetary awards. Your age, occupation, and pre-existing health conditions are just a few variables that will influence your final settlement payout.

The Per Diem Method

By allocating a certain sum of money for each day the accident victim feels pain and suffering due to the accident, the parties attempt to determine a settlement offer using this technique. Frequently, the wounded victim’s daily earnings previous to the accident are used to compute this daily rate.

Pain And Suffering Settlement Examples

In most cases, West Virginia has no ceiling on personal injury claims. This means that state law limitations do not apply to the amount of economic and non-economic damages in standard claims. However, depending on the particulars of the situation, there are exceptions. If any of these unusual constraints apply to your case, your personal injury lawyer and the courts will let you know. General damages are awarded to the plaintiff to compensate for unquantifiable losses brought on by the party at fault. A West Virginia personal injury pain and suffering attorney would cite diminished earning potential, reduced quality of life, mental pain, and suffering to justify an award under this heading.

Here are some factors a court may consider.

Injury Type And Pain and Suffering Damages

The amount of a pain and suffering settlement can be heavily influenced by the type of damage. Large settlements are frequently reached in cases of catastrophic injuries that result in long-term disability to make up for ongoing pain and suffering. Even less severe injuries—such as a broken arm—may result in significant settlements, depending on the amount of time spent in the hospital, physical treatment, and counseling. Even non-physical injuries can result in considerable pain and suffering settlements.

The Type of Injury Victim

Accident victims are not created equal.

The type of victim may influence the pain and suffering award as well. A personal injury claim brought by an elderly injured person may result in a pain and suffering settlement much higher than a young accident victim who suffered injuries similar on paper. Say an older injury victim and their grandchild visit a personal injury attorney for a free consultation and lament how they both suffer pain stemming from an auto accident. Simply by being different ages, the medical bills and emotional pain and suffering would differ. The young injury victim could be on their way to maximum recovery, while the older victim may deal with personal injuries for years to come. Medical bills may continue to rise, and lost wages could accrue. The personal injury case for each victim would look different. A court considers many other factors when assessing personal injury claims. For example, proving pain from a broken arm will not be the same for each injured person. It is best to leave personal injury lawsuits in the hands of an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Implications of the Modified Comparative Negligence Rule

West Virginia’s 50% modified comparative negligence rule may preclude you from obtaining pain and suffering damages if you contributed to your harm somehow. This negligence rule merely decreases your pain and suffering award per your percentage of culpability, allowing courts to give you pain and suffering damages unless you are more at fault than the person or people you sued. Therefore, you may still receive a payout if you are 40% at fault but not if you are 60% at fault. Auto accidents are not always cut and dry. You may be responsible to some degree for the resulting bodily injuries, and the other side’s personal injury attorneys will likely harp heavily on this. Please schedule a consultation with a West Virginia personal injury lawyer here so we can assess your unique personal injury claim.

File a Personal Injury Claim Before It’s Too Late

A statute of limitations is state legislation restricting injury victims’ time to file a personal injury claim. According to West Virginia law, there is a two-year statute of limitations for car accident injuries or property damage to vehicles or other items. This implies that if you are not at fault in a car accident, you have two years from the car accident date to recoup the costs you suffered due to the accident. Some personal injury cases fall by the wayside because time elapses while they deal with their emotional pain and suffering. The insurance company will not remind you that time is running out to make a personal injury claim. An experienced personal injury lawyer will help you keep track of these timelines after a car accident while gathering medical expenses and negotiating with an insurance company.

Hire a Personal Injury Attorney in West Virginia 

Miley Legal knows how to communicate with insurance companies on your behalf and, if required, put up a fight in court. We’ve dealt with challenging situations previously. We also design persuasive and detailed claims to maximize your reward. You only have to worry about attending your appointments and getting better if you let an experienced personal injury lawyer handle your case. Call our office for a free case review.

Author Bio

Tim Miley is the Founder of Miley Legal Accident Injury Lawyers, a West Virginia personal injury law firm he formed in 2006. With more than 30 years of experience in personal injury law, he is dedicated to representing clients in a wide range of personal injury cases, including car accidents, trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, brain injuries, wrongful death, and other personal injury matters.

Tim received his Juris Doctor from Duquesne University and is a member of the West Virginia State Bar and the Harrison County Bar Association. He has helped his clients win more than $10 million in personal injury verdicts and settlements and has further served the people of West Virginia by filling legislative roles in the state’s government since 2004.

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