Determining Pain and Suffering in Car Accident Cases

Pursuing compensation for noneconomic damages like pain and suffering in a car accident is often the only way families can feel any sense of justice when they’ve lost a loved one. Experienced car accident attorneys can help families get the compensation they deserve.

Suffering an injury in a car accident is an extremely traumatic experience. Injury victims may be trapped in their vehicle as they wait for help to arrive, and multiple occupants of a single vehicle may be injured in the same crash. It’s an experience that no one can imagine, and when it happens, it’s impossible to forget.

To account for the emotional toll of personal injuries, and for how an accident may change one’s entire way of life, Tennessee allows victims to sue for noneconomic damages—damages for pain, for suffering, for disfigurement and disability. These damages are also referred to as “pain and suffering” damages. Surviving immediate family members of people killed in an accident may also sue for noneconomic damages. While money cannot undo the damage that’s been done, it can at least make injury victims, or their survivors, feel  a sense of recovery and compensation.

If you live in the Tennessee Valley or northern Alabama and have suffered a serious injury in an accident, you could be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering. Contact the law office of John R. Colvin to request a free case consultation: 1-931-962-1044.

Helping Families Dealing with Pain and Suffering after an Accident

In 2016, a tragic school bus accident in Chattanooga claimed the lives of six children. Afterwards, their grieving families learned that the most they could potentially expect to receive for their pain and suffering was arguably limited by law to $750,000.

In some states, including Tennessee, lobbyists have been successful in convincing state legislatures to limit the amount of money accident victims can receive in a personal injury case. In Tennessee, generally noneconomic damages are capped at $750,000 with a few exceptions; for example, if because of somebody’s negligence you are rendered quadriplegic, if you are rendered paraplegic, or if you are burned over 40% of your body; the cap of $750,000.00 does not apply.  However, there remains certain limits in place for even those noneconomic losses.  For operators of large commercial trucking and bus companies, $750,000 isn’t a lot of money in comparison to annual corporate profits reported on Wall Street.  Limiting families to a predetermined arbitrary cap is not only arguably unconstitutional but insulting to families who have suffered tremendous losses at the hands of a negligent party.

Surviving a Crash

The psychological toll of surviving a serious crash can be extreme. Some people injured in an accident spend weeks in the hospital unconscious, and they awake not knowing what happened to them. They may learn that other occupants of their vehicle have died. Their doctors may tell them they’ll never walk again.

Crash survivors may experience long-term mental and emotional difficulties, such as:

  • Nightmares
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Guilt
  • Poor impulse control
  • Mood swings.

When these symptoms are persistent and severe, the injury victim may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition known to disrupt family relationships.

Impact of Pain and Suffering as You Recover from a Crash

Coping with the psychological impact of a crash might require ongoing counseling and medications. Some people may also be unable to return to work, either because their injury is physically disabling or because their psychological difficulties prevent them from working.

People who can work again may find they don’t have the abilities they once did. Their injury may limit the type of work they can do or the hours they can work. It’s a difficult adjustment, especially because so many people take such pride in their work. Having to abandon one’s occupation because of crash-related injuries can worsen conditions like depression.

Many crash survivors require extensive physical rehabilitation, and some never fully recover from their injuries. Traumatic brain injuries and spinal injuries, for example, typically result in lifelong disability. In such cases, families must adapt to a new way of life. Family members may have to quit working to care for their loved one, or the injury victim may spend the rest of their life in a nursing facility.

Getting Help Determining Pain and Suffering in Car Accident Cases

If a vehicle accident has seriously injured you or your immediate family member, don’t wait to get help. In personal injury cases, the victims have only a certain length of time in which to pursue damages.

At the law office of John R. Colvin, we understand the uncertainty, fear, and confusion families may face in the aftermath of an accident. We help minimize financial stress by working on a contingency basis, meaning we don’t charge you up front for legal representation; our fee comes from your settlement.

Our legal team has helped families throughout the Tennessee Valley get the compensation they deserve for their actual damages and for their noneconomic damages. If you or a loved one needs help recovering losses associated with pain and suffering when somebody else’s negligence caused a crash, contact us. You can reach out online or call us at 1-931-962-1044 to request your no-obligation case consultation.

Licensed to Practice in Tennessee & Alabama