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How is Pain and Suffering Evaluated After an Accident?

pain-845x321.jpgWhen does it make sense to call a Lawyer?

Deciding whether or not to file a personal injury claim after your car accident is only the first of many decisions you'll have to make. You also have the right to pursue damages to compensate yourself for pain and suffering related to the accident. A frequent question in personal injury cases is how to assign an appropriate monetary value to something that is hard to prove. Even if there is no question that you've experienced pain as a result of the accident, it can be difficult to quantify the extent of that pain. This is what makes a personal injury case so challenging and why it's important to understand how lawyers can help.

How Hurt Should I Be Before I Visit A Doctor?

First, recognize that the insurance company is looking for something to substantiate and support your claim for pain and suffering. If you didn't go to the doctor, the insurance company may presume you did not experience any pain and may not attach much value to your claim. If you think you may have an injury, go to a doctor or a med-check.

Any insurance company that handles your claim will begin by examining your medical records. It's harder to establish pain and suffering for an injury to soft muscles, ligaments and tendons then it is for an injury that resulted in cuts and bruising, or a broken bone, for which there are x-rays. Your doctor will have a record of your ailments, the prescribed treatment and even the length of time you've been experiencing the pain. Those documents will help to substantiate your claim with the insurance company. A claims adjustor goes by a formula to assess what your damages are worth.

What is considered a fair payment?

Second, insurance companies employ in-house attorneys to help determine what they consider to be a fair payment; and, to help prevent the company from paying out claims they believe are unnecessary. In an interview published by Lawdragon, a legal media company that provides online news and features the nation's leading lawyers, Roy Tabor, explains "It has become increasingly challenging for people to defend themselves against large trucking companies and insurance carriers due to the lengths these companies go to avoid civil liabilities...Frequently, insurance firms have counsel on their staff purely to serve the interest of the insurance carrier, rather than the insured. There is almost no way for the average person to guard against the vigorous defense opposing counsel will use to deny fair payment." You can read the interview in its entirety at Lawdragon.com.

An injured party may have difficulty establishing their level of pain, suffering and mental anguish. Pain and suffering affects all of us differently. What is debilitating to you may not be for someone else. Only you know the severity; but, you'll need and want help to prove it.

Why documenting your accident is key to your case.

Third, insurance companies typically assume that injuries requiring more medical treatment involve more pain than injuries that require only minimal levels of treatment. Therefore, cases involving catastrophic injuries, brain injuries and other injuries with long-lasting effects are likely to yield more in damages than cases involving soft tissue injuries.

What should I do after an auto accident?

You, or your attorney, can help your case by getting testimony and records from your doctor to back up the nature and severity of your injury. If insurance companies receive medical corroboration of your injury, they may be more likely to accept your claim for pain and suffering damages. Other records, such as those indicating the amount of time you took off from work or school after your injury, can also be of assistance in this process.

By the end of your case, you can expect the insurance company to have reviewed medical records and bills, prescription records, photos taken of your injuries, any receipts available for medication you took and documentation from your employer about time you needed off from work for recovery. To read more about how to document auto accident damage.

For dedicated, reliable assistance understanding and pursuing damages for pain and suffering after your auto accident, call an attorney at Tabor Law Firm, LLP. Your free consultation can make all the difference in your personal injury claim.

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