Special Damages vs. Pain and Suffering

Insurers are much more likely to compensate you in your personal injury claim for special damages such as medical bills and lost wages than they are for pain, suffering, inconvenience, and mental anguish.

To maximize your personal injury recovery, your Lakeland personal injury attorney will advise you to gather thorough documentation of your concrete damages. Evidence about your pain, suffering, and mental anguish are not sufficient on their own. Insurers rely on specific evidence and complete documentation, such as actual medical bills, in order to settle a case.

For example, assume two automobile passengers suffer the same injuries in an accident. The first passenger visits a physician who orders eight weeks of physical therapy. This passenger takes approximately twelve weeks to recuperate from his serious injuries and misses ten days of work. His medical and physical therapy bills are approximately $3,000 and his lost income is approximately $6,000. He doesn’t have much in the way of residual injuries, and he is almost completely improved in six months.

The other passenger goes to the local emergency room that refers him to a specialist; however, he goes instead to a chiropractor six times. He doesn’t want to miss work, so he loses only three days of pay. However, he is in significant pain, is unable to socialize with his friends, has difficulty doing his job, and cannot participate in his recreational activities for a year. His medical bills total approximately $600, and his lost wages are approximately $400. His friends, relatives, and co-workers write letters to the insurance company about his severe pain and anguish.

The insurer will likely offer the first passenger about $14,000 or more. It will probably offer the second passenger about $3,000. So, the lesson learned here is that insurance companies will act on facts and figures much more than they will act on letters from friends and relatives about pain and suffering.

If you’ve suffered a personal injury, contact Lakeland personal injury attorneys Smith, Feddeler & Smith, P.A. at 800-200-7546.