Suffering an injury at the hands of a reckless, inattentive, or negligent driver can be devastating. As you cope with your physical recovery, it’s natural to worry about how the medical bills, lost wages, and other unanticipated expenses will impact your finances. On top of these concerns, you may develop anxiety, insomnia, or symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of the accident. Accident victims in Oregon and Washington have the right to recover compensation from the at-fault party (or the insurance companies) to assist with these costs. While calculating the economic damages of an accident injury is relatively straightforward, determining the non-economic damages (often called “pain and suffering”) can be less clear. Enlisting the assistance of a trusted and caring personal injury attorney to support you during this stressful time is the best way to ensure you secure the compensation you need to get your life back on track.
Defining Pain and Suffering Damages
Car accident victims can suffer physical, mental, and emotional injuries. The mental and emotional impact of an accident can be difficult to quantify, which is why it takes time to assess these aspects when pursuing a personal injury claim. Essentially, “pain and suffering” refers to the discomfort and hardship the victim experiences as a result of the accident, both physically and emotionally. For instance, an accident causing permanent nerve damage may limit the victim’s ability to perform their job, which impacts their current and future employment prospects. However, coping with this new reality can cause mental and emotional distress along with symptoms of depression and anxiety. Your attorney can help you capture these non-economic impacts and determine an appropriate amount of compensation you may be entitled to recover due to these losses.
Factors to Consider When Addressing Pain and Suffering
Despite dubious claims to the contrary, there is no magical formula that can be used to calculate the exact amount of pain and suffering damages you may pursue. Every situation is different—instead of focusing on finding a one-size-fits-all calculation, it’s more helpful to look at the factors that can help you assess your situation and determine the best course of action. Your lawyer will help you explore the circumstances and effects of the accident to arrive at a reasonable estimate. For instance, if the accident caused injuries requiring ongoing, long-term, or permanent care, these costs should be taken into consideration. If you developed insomnia or symptoms of PTSD, these are important factors that should be included when calculating the damages you’re seeking.
How Oregon Navigates Pain and Suffering Damages
It’s important to recognize that Oregon has some limits on recovering pain and suffering damages. First, victims must not share more than fifty percent of fault in causing the accident. If the investigation determines the other party only played a forty percent role in causing the accident, and you were sixty percent at fault, you will not be allowed to seek non-economic damages. Accident victims found to have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident also forfeit their right to pursue pain and suffering damages. Enlist the guidance of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who can assess the details of your case and provide you with a customized evaluation.
Trusted Legal Guidance When You Most Need It
The days, weeks, and months after a car accident can be chaotic and overwhelming. As you attend doctor appointments, manage your physical pain, and cope with the medical bills that are quickly adding up, don’t be alarmed if these stressful events take an emotional or mental toll on your well-being. If you are feeling isolated or powerless in this vulnerable state, reach out to an empathetic and skilled personal injury attorney who can help you identify the most strategic path forward to recovering the compensation you deserve. Your lawyer will review the specifics of your situation and determine which parties to hold accountable for your injuries.
Advocating for Your Recovery—Body, Mind, and Spirit
An accident can harm much more than the physical body. Many victims feel scared, overwhelmed, depressed, and even hopeless after suffering an injury at the hands of someone else. Working with a dedicated attorney is the best way to ensure you receive the compensation you need to support more than one aspect of your recovery. Your lawyer will step in to handle tense conversations with the insurance adjuster and negotiate a favorable settlement offer on your behalf, giving you the much-needed space to focus on your physical, mental, and emotional health. If you are struggling with an auto accident injury, now’s the time to reach out to a compassionate legal professional who will work hard to keep your future bright.
Henderson Taylor Law Firm provides personal injury attorney services to clients in Vancouver and Portland. Call (360) 737-1478 to speak with a trusted and compassionate attorney today.