How Much Do Insurance Companies Pay for Pain and Suffering?

By  //  March 21, 2022

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There are many types of personal injuries that occur in the U.S. every year. Many laws are similar among the various states, but there are a few differences in state law from one state to another, when it comes to personal injury law.  Many people file a claim for pain and suffering when they are injured in a personal injury.

What constitutes a personal injury? How much do insurance companies pay for pain and suffering? These are questions that a qualified personal injury attorney can answer for you or the loved ones of a person who died as a result of a personal injury. 

What is a Personal Injury? 

A personal injury occurs for a variety of reasons. Personal injuries, which can happen to anyone at any time, whether they are at work, traveling in a motor vehicle, shopping at a retail establishment or grocery store, or even at home, often leaves the victim of these types of injuries with pain and suffering. Another example of a personal injury is medical malpractice.

When a medical provider is responsible for injury or death to a patient, that person or their surviving loved one may bring a claim for personal injury that includes a legal demand for compensation for pain and suffering. 

Every type of injury that a person experiences does not meet the requirements for filing a personal injury claim. If you are at fault for the injury, you will almost certainly not be able to recover damages in a personal injury claim.

One example is when a person gets broadsided by another vehicle, that individual may think that they have a personal injury claim and that they can seek damages from the other party. If you run a red light or fail to stop at a stop sign, you are likely the person who will be found to be at fault in the personal injury claim that the other driver files with their personal injury attorney. 

Motor Vehicle Crashes  

Motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death across the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also indicates that there were well over two million people treated in emergency departments across the U.S. for injuries that occurred because of a motor vehicle accident.  

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals that the number of people who were killed in motor vehicle crashes continues to increase at “record pace.” United States Department of Transportation officials consider the number of traffic crash deaths in the United States to be a national crisis.  

A personal injury claim that involves a vehicle is not limited to a car crash involving the at-fault party driving their personal car. A person may bring a claim for pain and suffering against a person or company for a crash involving a truck, motorcycle, delivery truck or van, or another vehicle.

Some people who file claims for pain and suffering were injured by a vehicle while they were on a bicycle or were a pedestrian. These incidents may also qualify for payment for the emotional and physical pain and suffering that the individual experiences in the personal injury. You can refer to this injury claim calculator to get a general idea how much you claim is potentially worth.

It is important that you get as much information as possible, if you are able to do so, at the scene of a motor vehicle crash. Make sure that you get the personal information of the other party, their insurance information and statements from any witnesses at the scene of the crash. Take pictures of both vehicles and the surrounding area where the accident occurred if you can take any pictures. Ask responding officers for their badge numbers and the report number. 

Some people may feel that they do not need to go to the hospital after a traffic crash. It is understandable that you just want to go home. The problem with this way of thinking is that there are a lot of types of injuries that an individual may not know that they have right away. 

 You could have a broken or fractured bone, spine damage or organ damage, bleeding on the brain or another type of brain injury. You may think that your headache is just related to the stress of the crash, but it could be a dangerous sign that a serious physical injury has occurred that needs prompt medical attention.

Go to the hospital to get checked out after a motor vehicle crash. You will have the assurance that you received an examination from emergency department medical providers, which may prove vital to a claim for pain and suffering later, after you see your attorney. 

Product Liability 

Product Liability claims arise when a person experiences harm that results in pain and suffering related to a specific product. The Cornell Law School legal Information Institute indicates that product liability may occur at any stage of the manufacturing process, including component parts of a product.  

The responsible parties in a product liability claim may include the manufacturer of the product, the wholesaler of the product or the owner of the retail store that sells the product. Do you know who to name as the responsible party in a personal injury claim so that you can get compensation for the pain and suffering caused in a product liability issue? Do you know whether the claim is based on the design defect, because of defects that occurred during the manufacture process or the marketing of the product? 

Many people rely on the expertise of a personal injury lawyer to guide them through the process of recovering damages for pain and suffering caused by product liability. The attorney will discuss the incident that occurred that resulted in your injuries, will determine if you have a product liability case, and will discuss your options and how to proceed with your claim. 

Medical Malpractice 

Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional had a duty of care to the patient, breached that duty of care that was owed to the patient, and an injury occurred because of that breach, and resulting damages. A physician, a nurse, nurse practitioner, hospital or other medical facility or other medical professionals that have a duty of care to a patient may potentially be found liable for damages in a personal injury claim related to medical malpractice. 

Examples of medical malpractice include medical negligence, failure to diagnose the patient’s medical condition, misdiagnosis, performing unnecessary surgery or operating on the wrong part of the patient’s body. A person may bring a claim when the medical professional discharges a patient prematurely or when they fail to follow up with the patient. 

The damages that may be claimed when a person files a claim of medical malpractice, when the malpractice occurred to themselves or to a loved one who died as a result of medical malpractice include a claim for both physical and emotional pain and suffering. 

Most patients likely do not know how to file a medical malpractice claim, which leads them to contact a personal injury attorney who knows how to best proceed in the event of a personal injury. The attorney will know who to include as defendants in your claim for damages for your pain and suffering, where to file the claim and how to best represent you so that you get the best outcome in your case. Medical malpractice claims, like other types of personal injuries, may be settled without taking the case to the state court system.  

Turning to an attorney who has the knowledge and experience to help a person who has personal injuries that are related to medical malpractice can potentially get you the compensation that you deserve for your pain and suffering when the insurance company of the at-fault party pays out the claim.  

Intentional Wrongs 

A personal injury claim may include a situation of intentional wrongs. This type of personal injury occurs when a person hits you and you experience an injury, or if the person shoves you and you experience an injury, even if the person does these things as a joke, you may be able to recover damages in a personal injury claim. A person may be sued for other types of intentional wrongs such as assault and battery. This may seem strange to some people, since assault and battery is usually considered a criminal wrong.  

Your personal injury attorney can help you proceed in the civil case against the defendant so that you can recover the compensation that you deserve for your pain and suffering that you experienced because of the assault and battery.

The civil case is kept completely separate from the civil action against the individual that committed the act of assault and battery or another act for which you may be able to file a claim for pain and suffering. 

Physical and Emotional Pain and Suffering 

Pain and suffering claims are not limited to the physical injuries that you have because of the personal injury caused by the other party’s negligence or intentional acts. There may be severe emotional distress that occurs after a personal injury.  

Physical Pain and Suffering 

Physical pain and suffering is the pain that lasts longer than the accident or incident itself. Some examples of physical pain and suffering include fractured or broken bones, sprained, strained or pulled muscles, traumatic brain injury, or spinal injury or long-lasting back pain.

Some other types of physical pain and suffering are long-lasting headaches, nerve damage, paralysis, or damage to internal organs. 

Emotional Pain and Suffering 

A person who is injured because of the acts or omissions or intentional wrongs of another party often endures emotional pain and suffering. The courts and insurance companies often pay compensation for emotional pain and suffering if the person is able to prove their case.  

Examples of emotional pain and suffering include depression, anxiety, insomnia, fear or worry, grief, frustration, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psychological trauma, loss of enjoyment in activities that you used to enjoy, cognitive injuries experienced after a brain injury due to a personal injury and a diminished quality of life. 

The attorney will understand your emotional pain and suffering, and will help you throughout your claim for damages for your emotional pain and suffering, which the court often recognizes today. The emotional pain and suffering may be as long-lasting or as permanent as the physical injuries. 

A family member who is a personal representative of a person who died after a personal injury may file a claim for pain and suffering that the person endured before their death, including for the physical and emotional pain and suffering. Your personal injury attorney will guide you every step of the way throughout the process of the case.  

Loss of Consortium 

The pain and suffering that occurs after the death of a loved one caused by a personal injury is referred to as a loss of consortium. The severe grief, sense of loss, and mental anguish that occurs after a loved one’s death that occurs because of a personal injury can be overwhelming for family members.  

Examples of the loss of consortium include a loss of companionship, the loss of affection, and the loss of spousal intimacy. The loss of care, loss of parental guidance and upbringing, loss of household services, or other claims that may be brought by a surviving spouse, child, or parent. A personal injury lawyer who has knowledge of the state laws related to loss of consortium can help you recover the damages that you may be entitled to in a loss of consortium claim. 

The compensation that you recover after the death of your loved one will not bring your loved one back, but will help the family. Some ways that the pain and suffering may help the family include helping pay for the upbringing of minor children of the deceased family member, paying medical bills, paying for funeral and burial costs, or other financial obligations related to the person’s responsibilities or costs related to their death.   

How Much Do Insurance Companies Pay for Pain and Suffering? 

Do you want to take the at-fault party to court as soon as possible and tell the judge and jury that you should receive the maximum amount of money for damages allowed under the state laws for personal injuries?

This is the attitude that many people may have after a personal injury that is the fault of another person. Did you know that the overwhelming number of personal injury claims that seek damages for pain and suffering are settled out of court? 

The fact that most cases are settled out of court may seem disheartening to the plaintiff who is seeking damages for their pain and suffering. The truth is that you may actually receive more money if you settle the claim, compared to if you take your case to court and ask a judge or jury to award you damages for your physical and emotional pain and suffering.

When your attorney, who has experience in personal injury cases, tries to settle your claim, the attorney is still going to seek the amount of damages that best represents what you should receive for pain and suffering damages.  

Do you have to have a personal injury attorney represent you and file a claim for your pain and suffering? The answer is that no, you do not have to have an attorney to file your claim. Take into consideration some important details before you decide that you do not need an attorney to file your claim. Do you know how to file your claim?

Do you know what information to include in your claim for pain and suffering? Do you know what records, files or other information that you need to file a claim to receive damages? Do you have the legal expertise to argue your case against the attorney or insurance company of the at-fault party?  

Trust an attorney who has the necessary knowledge of the tort threshold law that must be met in order to file a claim for personal injury which includes pain and suffering against the party who is responsible for your injuries. Do you want a personal injury attorney that has the experience to fight for you and your rights when the other party’s insurance company tries to settle the case or reduce the amount of damages in court?

Perhaps it may be better to have an attorney who knows how to fight for the amount of damages in a personal injury claim that will compensate you for your pain and suffering, or for the pain and suffering that is related to the death of your loved one in a personal injury. 

Perhaps you wonder why your attorney cannot just demand that the insurance company or the court issue an award for damages, which is the maximum amount permitted under the law. 

The reason that your attorney cannot make a legal demand for you to receive the maximum dollar amount of damages is because there is no hard, actual maximum dollar amount of damages that the insurance company of an at-fault party will pay the victim of a personal injury for their pain and suffering.  

There is also no guarantee that you will receive the amount of money that you think should be awarded to you, or that you will recover any dollar amount at all if you insist on taking your claim to court. You take a chance on going to court, rather than trying to settle your pain and suffering claim without going to court.  

Although it is best to try to settle your case without going to court, sometimes the other party’s insurance company or their attorney refuses to settle the case for the amount of compensation that truly represents what you should receive for your physical and your emotional pain and suffering.

When this happens, you can trust that your personal injury attorney will do their best to make sure that you receive the compensation that you deserve for your injuries. The attorney will also fight for the family left behind after the death of a family member who died because of a personal injury that was caused by another party when your case goes to court. 

Your attorney will know the importance of factors that go into making decisions regarding the calculation of pain and suffering damages in a personal injury case.

This includes the circumstances of the personal injury case, the length of recovery time, the severity of your injuries or injuries to your deceased loved one, required medical treatments or therapies, and the long-term physical and emotional effects that you have because of your injuries. 

Statute of Limitations 

The three-year statute of limitations for personal injuries after the date that the injury or death occurs is a common example of the limitations that individual states place on the time limit to file a personal injury claim. There is also a three-year period of limitations for filing a claim after a product liability injury.

There may be a different statute of limitations for some personal injuries, such as for an assault or for a battery case. Michigan, for example, has a two-year period of limitations for plaintiffs to bring a case for injuries that are related to either an assault or a battery personal injury.  

It is important to have an experienced attorney on your side who knows the laws and court procedures related to the time limits for filing a personal injury claim. The court may order the attorney for the plaintiff to present certain evidence or other records within a specified time.

Most individuals do not know the statutes of limitations in their state, and most likely do not know how to go about getting their evidence, police report, witness statements, medical records or other necessary evidence or documents to present to the court. Let your personal injury attorney take care of these things for you while you focus on your recovery so that you can heal from your physical injuries and your emotional pain and suffering that was caused by the party who is at fault for your personal injury. 

Do not delay speaking to a knowledgeable attorney who knows how to seek the best possible outcome of your personal injury claim for your pain and suffering. Reach out to the attorneys who know how to fight for the clients against the other party’s insurance company and attorney today.