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May 2022

compensation for pain and suffering after a car accident

What is Pain and Suffering in a Car Accident?

By | Car Accidents | No Comments

“Pain and suffering” is a legal term used to describe non-economic damages many people suffer in car accidents. Unlike economic damages, which you can measure using a bill or receipt, non-economic damages are subjective. This means that no two people will value pain and suffering the same way.

Below, our Seattle car accident lawyers take another look at what types of losses are included in pain and suffering and offer tips for maximizing the amount of compensation you receive.

Physical Pain

Bodily injuries first and foremost cause pain. Fractures, burns, strains, and organ damage can cause intense, sometimes blinding pain. The same is true of whiplash, compressed nerves, and concussions. Even on good days, a chronic dull ache can make a person feel sluggish and uncomfortable.

Physical pain like this is part of the category “pain and suffering”—even if you are taking painkillers to blunt the agony. Related conditions, such as sleeplessness caused by pain, are also included in pain and suffering.

Mental Anguish

Many people experience emotional distress or anguish following a car accident. There are usually two causes:

  • Physical injuries. Having a serious bodily injury causes emotional distress. For example, being paralyzed is a particularly severe limitation, and it is natural to experience negative emotions as a result.
  • Emotional trauma. For example, you might have seen your child suffer serious injuries in a car crash. This experience causes post-traumatic stress disorder and other negative emotions. Other accident victims have “flashbacks,” particularly at night, where they re-live the accident.

You might start going to therapy or take antidepressants or other prescription drugs to treat your emotional distress. Accident victims can receive compensation for their emotional pain. The question is how much money “makes up” for the distress you feel after an accident.

Disfigurement or Disability

These are also subjective losses that many accident victims experience. For example, if your car catches on fire, you could receive disfiguring burns on your face or hands. Some accidents also cause amputation or crush injuries which permanently disable a person.

We include disfigurement and disability in “pain and suffering.” As with physical pain and emotional distress, the value of your loss is subjective.

How to Increase Your Pain & Suffering Compensation

Because these losses are subjective, some juries might disbelieve you are really feeling pain or distress. For this reason, we work closely with our clients to fully document the pain and suffering they experience. Although keeping painkiller bottles helps, we might need to interview your family and friends to better understand how the accident has affected you.

You can also offer graphic testimony of the pain or depression you have experienced. Indeed, we often recommend victims keep a pain journal where they record daily how they feel.

Contact Khan Injury Law, PLLC

Pain and suffering damages represent a large portion of most settlements. We will always keep your suffering in mind when negotiating a fair settlement following a car accident. To get started, or to learn more, please contact our firm to schedule a free consultation.

how much compensation can you get for a whiplash injury claim

How Much Compensation Can I Get for a Whiplash Injury After a Car Accident?

By | Car Accidents | No Comments

Whiplash is one of the most painful injuries car accident victims suffer. Symptoms include neck stiffness, intense headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Someone suffering from whiplash might also have blurred vision or ringing in their ears, and it can be difficult to return to normal sleeping or living patterns.

Fortunately, Khan Injury Law, PLLC can step in and seek compensation for your whiplash injury. Below, our car accident lawyers look at the key factors which will determine how much compensation you might take home.

You Should Receive Money for Medical Care

Whiplash stretches muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the neck and upper shoulders—sometimes to the point where this soft tissue tears in two. These injuries cause intense pain. In severe whiplash, you might even fracture the vertebrae in your neck.

The main focus of whiplash treatment is to manage pain so you are comfortable while your body heals itself. Most pain management consists of painkillers and ice or heat. Over time, you will probably participate in physical therapy to reintroduce movement into your neck. In only the most extreme cases do you need surgery.

Add up all medical bills to treat your injury. Unless you were partially responsible for the accident, you should receive 100% of your medical care in compensation.

You Should Request Compensation for Lost Wages

It’s hard to work with whiplash. Most people need to move their heads in practically any job. Instead of working, you might rest and go to physical therapy for weeks or months. Headaches or dizziness can prevent you from standing for extended periods of time, so you might not even be able to work part-time.

You should receive compensation for your lost income. To calculate, multiply the numbers of weeks you missed by your weekly wage. If you missed 4 weeks and make $500 a week, you should receive $2,000.

You Can Receive Compensation for Pain and Suffering

Whiplash is painful and debilitating. Many people struggle to sleep at night, and they can fall into a funk because they can’t participate in their favorite hobbies. These types of harms also deserve compensation. In Washington, pain and suffering damages make up for the physical pain and emotional distress our clients feel.

How much can you receive? This will depend on several factors. First, the longer you feel pain, the more compensation you should receive. Second, the more disabling the whiplash, the more pain, and suffering. Unless your whiplash was truly minor, you should receive some funds to compensate for the pain.

Reduce Your Compensation by Your Fault

Under Washington law, your compensation is reduced by your degree of fault for the crash. If you were 0% at fault, you should receive full compensation for all losses—medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, if you were 20% at fault, your compensation is cut by 20%.

We can analyze whether you bear any fault for the crash. For example, you might have pulled directly in front of someone. Even though they were speeding, you are partially to blame as well. We always minimize our client’s responsibility as best we can to increase a settlement.

Call Us

Our Seattle car accident lawyers have helped many whiplash victims get what they are entitled to. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.