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Understanding Pain & Suffering After a Car Accident

Maximizing Compensation with a Nevada Personal Injury Lawyer After an Auto Accident

Being involved in a car accident in Nevada can be traumatizing and sometimes life-altering. What happens to you is often not your fault and you should be compensated not only for property damages but also pain and suffering. By hiring a licensed Nevada personal injury attorney, you can get the best possible outcome.

Read below to learn more about pain and suffering after a car accident.

What is Pain & Suffering?

A person's hand is shown gripping the wheel of a manual wheelchair, symbolizing the physical challenges and pain that can follow a car accident Pain and suffering is the term used to describe the physical pain and agony associated with an injury. It includes any effect like physical discomfort, aches, and affliction, among others.

Damages from a car accident are grouped into two groups: economic and non-economic. Economic damages include expenses and medical costs. Medical bills have defined costs that are easy for insurance companies and jurors to understand. Non-economic costs are more difficult to explain and often include intangible objects; an example of this is mental trauma.

An important aspect of assessing pain and suffering is viewing how one’s standard of life has changed as a result of the accident, including identifying depression or anxiety that has developed as a result of the accident.

For example, the most common stress disorder developed by accident victims is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This disorder causes a patient to undergo bouts of panic attacks and often requires medication and counseling.

Assessing and further understanding of “pain and suffering” is best done by a Las Vegas personal injury attorney in conjunction with specialized medical experts who can help sort through and identify the long-term damages the accident may have caused.

What Can Be Considered Pain and Suffering?

There are many examples of pain and suffering, especially those related to motor vehicle accidents.

To give you a better idea, imagine you’re hurt in a park when someone transporting a heavy box acts carelessly and drops the heavy box on your foot. Naturally, your foot will hurt a lot, and you might not be able to function as usual.

Now, let’s add another layer to the example, and imagine you’re a ballet dancer. That damage to the foot might be life-changing as it could affect your next dance demonstration.

You might develop depression, and depending on the severity of the damage, you may never dance again.

Your pain, depression, and lack of sleep fall into the category of pain and suffering.

Common Injuries Due to Motor Vehicle Accidents

Now let’s focus on the most common pain and suffering cases: those regarding motor vehicle accidents.

Being involved in a motor vehicle accident can cause serious injuries that can result in a lifetime of pain and expenses, hence the importance of finding the right Las Vegas car accident lawyer.

Here are a few examples of common injuries due to motor vehicle accidents:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI): The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines a brain injury as a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that disrupts normal brain function. A severe TBI can require one to be placed in a qualified medical facility, such as a nursing home. The need for 24-hour care is costly. Most nursing homes cost an average of $9,000 a month.
  • Spinal Cord Injury: This type of injury can paralyze victims, requiring the use of a power chair and home modifications. The costs associated with a spinal cord injury can reach millions of dollars throughout the patient’s lifetime. It can also cause chronic pain and sometimes includes the prolonged use of strong pain medication.
  • Broken bones: The chance of breaking more than one in a serious accident is very real. The type of break can greatly impact the recovery time. A severely broken bone can require multiple surgeries, and extensive physical therapy, cause chronic pain, and force you to miss time at work.
  • Internal injuries: Internal injuries are very dangerous due to the lack of obvious symptoms soon after the accident. Your injury lawyer might be quite strict regarding your case if you have suffered internal injuries as these injuries are very painful and can have long-term impacts on one’s quality of life. These injuries can be chronic and take a toll on your mental health, making it difficult to go to work or live your day-to-day life to the fullest. Getting financial compensation can ensure you have the support you need, even if your life cannot return to normal.

Is It Possible To Calculate Pain & Suffering?

Yes, it’s possible to calculate pain and suffering, although it requires careful analysis.

Valuing pain and suffering in injury cases usually involves methods that go beyond the complex software programs insurance companies use.

There are two popular methods used to calculate pain and suffering: Multiplier and Per Diem method.

Multiplier Method

With the Multiplier Method, economic damages like medical bills are multiplied to estimate pain and suffering. For example, $10,000 in economic damages with a multiplier of two suggests $20,000 for pain and suffering, plus the original $10,000. Multipliers typically range from 1.5 to 5, depending on the injury’s severity.

Per Diem Method

Another method is the Per Diem approach, assigning a daily value to pain and suffering. If one’s daily pain is valued at $100 and the recovery period is 180 days, the pain and suffering compensation would be $18,000.

Remember that a Nevada car accident attorney is usually the best option to understand pain and suffering, so you don’t necessarily need to know how to calculate these cases if you don’t understand them. It’s always best to hire the experts.

Infographic that shows if it is possible to calculate pain and suffering

What To Do If Both Methods Fail?

In some situations, the multiplier and per diem methods can’t assess the value of pain and suffering accurately. This is particularly true when an injury doesn’t demand extensive treatment but results in lasting damage.

For example, injuries like small burns or scarring may not incur significant medical expenses. However, the enduring effects of these injuries can last a lifetime. In these cases, relying solely on the multiplier and per diem methods may not adequately reflect the situation, so you might need other valuation methods.

Nevada Law Leaves Pain & Suffering Calculations to the Jury

In Nevada, juries don’t have specific guidelines to calculate pain and suffering. Instead, they’re typically instructed to award compensation fairly for current and future physical and mental pain.

This instruction doesn’t provide jurors with a clear method for determining what’s fair and reasonable. As a result, jurors may have varying opinions on how to assess the value of pain. That’s why your attorney must help guide the jury in evaluating your damages.

Proving Pain & Suffering to the Jury

You might need to describe and illustrate how your injuries have impacted your daily life and routines to prove pain and suffering to the jury. You can present photos of your injuries or explain how these injuries have altered your lifestyle, such as preventing you from enjoying certain activities or hobbies.

It’s also important that friends and family testify about your condition before the injury can provide valuable insight. Additionally, a doctor’s testimony can be influential too.

The jury will seek clear and consistent evidence of your physical suffering due to the personal injury. Therefore, you and your attorney must devise an effective strategy to communicate the extent of your pain and suffering to the jury.

What is Assumption of Risk?

Assumption of risk is a legal defense used by defendants to potentially avoid being held negligent for the injuries, pain, and suffering of the plaintiff. To employ this defense successfully, the defendant must prove, with a preponderance of evidence, that the plaintiff was fully aware of the potential risks of injury.

This can be demonstrated by showcasing that the plaintiff voluntarily accepted the risks of injury or had actual knowledge of them. The goal of an assumption of risk defense is to convince the jury that the plaintiff was aware of these risks. If successful, the defendant is not deemed negligent and thus is not obligated to compensate the plaintiff.

Comparative Negligence & Assumption of Risk

The principle of comparative negligence appears when a plaintiff shares some responsibility for the accident causing their injuries. In Nevada, the law allows plaintiffs to pursue compensation for their injuries as long as their fault doesn’t exceed 49%.

Sometimes, a plaintiff might have been aware of certain risks but unaware of the specific dangers leading to their injuries. In those cases, comparative negligence may be applied to the lawsuit, potentially reducing the compensation the plaintiff receives.

Benefits of an Injury Attorney

An individual is using crutches to walk, with one leg in a cast visible, suggesting recovery from an injury that may have resulted from an accident. Many may consider taking the settlement the insurance company offers rather than hiring an injury attorney to assess the situation. However, insurance companies are in the business of minimizing claims and often do not completely understand the extent of your true pain and suffering.

The amount they offer is most likely not enough to cover your future care or to fairly compensate you for your suffering.

An injury lawyer can help evaluate your case for free and direct you to the best specialized medical care to help make you whole again. If you do decide to employ an injury attorney, they will represent your best interests from start to finish, including negotiations with the insurance company and ensuring all avenues of rightful compensation are pursued.

Insurance companies try a variety of tactics to delay, deny, or underpay accident victims what they deserve. Injury lawyers are well aware of this, and they negotiate and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.

Your traumatic incident leaves you in the wrong mental state to deal with compensation, insurance companies, time off from work, and medical care by yourself. If an insurance company contacts you directly, don’t discuss the merits of the accident, but refer them to your lawyer.

Their pressuring tactics to get you to accept less than you deserve only add to your stress and confusion about the situation. Trying to negotiate with them on your own can leave you without the funds you need for your medical care or future needs. An injury attorney will sort through the details of the settlement and deal with the insurance companies so you can take the time to heal and get your life back in order.

Reach Out to Our Nevada Car Accident Injury Attorneys Today

Have you experienced pain and suffering due to a car accident in Nevada? It’s crucial to have a proficient Nevada car accident law firm by your side. Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC, possesses the expertise and resources needed to navigate the complexities of car accident injury claims. We’re committed to assessing your situation, advocating for your rights, and ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.

Don’t navigate this challenging time alone. Contact us today for your complimentary case evaluation. Let us help you on your path to recovery and justice.


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Nevada Personal Injury Attorney

Joseph L. Benson II, and Ben J. Bingham, Personal Injury Attorneys

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