Seeking compensation for tangible expenses like medical bills and property damage that have clear receipts may seem simple enough after a car accident. But what about compensation for pain, emotional trauma, your reduced quality of life, or the general loss of enjoyment you must deal with after a life-altering accident?
Understanding how compensation and insurance for pain and suffering in Oklahoma works can help you seek maximum compensation for your claim. Read on from our experienced car accident attorneys at Bryan Garrett, PLLC, to learn everything you need to know about pain and suffering damages.
What Are Pain and Suffering Damages After a Car Accident?
Severe injuries from a car accident can negatively affect your life in many ways. Your recovery may hinder your ability to spend time with friends and family, progress in your career, experience monumental moments in your children’s lives, and much more.
Pain and suffering after an accident might include the physical pain you experience, your mental anguish and trauma from the accident, and emotional distress. If you suffer permanent injuries (mental or physical), you may deal with pain and suffering from your accident for many years to come.
Can you automatically recover funds via insurance for pain and suffering in Oklahoma? Simply put, no.
Insurers do not have a legal obligation to pay for non-economic damages. While your settlement may cover your medical bills and property damage, you are not likely to automatically collect compensation for everything you went through.
Economic vs. Non-economic Damages
Oklahoma breaks damages up into two categories: economic and non-economic. Seeking compensation for calculable economic funds is much simpler than non-economic damages.
Economic damages might include treatment costs, lost wages while recovering, lost earning capacities, and rehabilitation expenses. Such damages come with exact receipts showing how much compensation you need.
Non-economic damages are harder to quantify but can help you recover from the stress of the accident. A few examples include the following:
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Permanent disfigurement or scarring
- Loss of care, intimacy, companionship, education, training, protection, assistance, etc.
- Other intangible losses
Calculating the Value of Pain and Suffering
Seeking compensation for pain and suffering requires placing a number on your non-economic damages. Calculating the value of your pain and suffering is more complex than gathering simple receipts and requires help from an experienced accident attorney. The primary two methods for quantifying non-economic damages are the multiplier method and the per diem method.
The Multiplier Method
The multiplier method adds up your economic damages, like medical bills, and multiplies the total by a number between 1.5 and 5. The average multiplier is 3. For example, if you incurred $25,000 in medical bills, your pain and suffering damages using this method with a multiplier of 3 might be $75,000.
The Per Diem Method
The per diem method places a specific dollar amount on the pain and suffering you experience daily, then multiplies that amount by the number of days. The daily rate typically derives from your daily earnings, though this method often comes with drawbacks from the opposing defense.
Proving Pain and Suffering
To prove pain and suffering damages, your attorney might use the following tactics:
- Medical bills that prove your injury severity
- Photographs reflecting alterations in your life
- Job statements showing your inability to return to work
- Witness statements reporting your reduced quality of life
Were You In a Car Accident? Contact an Experienced Oklahoma Accident Attorney
A settlement from insurance for pain and suffering in Oklahoma can help you improve your settlement. Call Bryan Garrett, PLLC, in Oklahoma City at (405) 972-6960 to speak with an attorney about your case.