This post discusses pain and suffering damages in NC Personal Injury Cases. The Bishop Law Firm represents personal injury clients in North Carolina and we do not get paid unless you win!
Pain & Suffering In NC Personal Injury Cases
In NC, if you have been injured through no fault of your own due to another’s negligence, you can recover the costs of your medical expenses, missed time from work and be compensated for your pain and suffering. Punitive damages are seldom awarded. If you are at fault for the motor vehicle accident, you generally can not recover due to contributory negligence (but see Last Clear Chance Doctrine ).
You can recover pain and suffering from a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall, dog bite/attack or any other personal injury that you did not cause in which you were injured. In order for you to recover from NC Personal Injury Litigation, you must file your case in court before the statute of limitations runs out.
If you suffered an injury at work, you more than likely have a workers’ comp claim not a personal injury claim (or you could have both). Pain and suffering is not available in NC workers’ compensation cases. In addition, while workers’ comp is no fault, a personal injury claim can easily be destroyed by the fault of the victim.
A NC pain and suffering settlement covers the physical pain and mental suffering that a victim has to endure due to the injury they have sustained. If you break your leg, you will experience not only physical pain but also mental and emotional distress. Unfortunately, injuries can leave us with scars that affect our self-esteem.
You could develop depression, vehophobia, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder after your injury. This is what pain and suffering damages attempt to compensate you for. Since all of us have different pain tolerance levels and mental dispositions, how do you determine the damages in individual cases?
Some personal injury lawyers use medical bills as part of an equation to arrive at a suitable amount for pain & suffering. The equation is medical expenses + lost wages and accident related expenses x a multiplier (usually 1.5 – 5). For example, Minnie Mouse has $15,000 in medical bills and $5,000 in lost wages which results in losses of $20,000. You then multiple $20,000 X 3 which would result in a request of $60,000 for pain and suffering. The multiplier increases from 1.5 to 5 based on the severity, longevity, treatment and residuals of the injury, among other issues.
It naturally follows that the greater the injuries, the greater the medical expenses, and thus the greater the damages, but there are always exceptions. In our firm’s experience the insurance adjuster and insurance company will want to pay as little or nothing for pain and suffering in an injury claim.
Images of the injured party before, immediately after the injury and while healing help to demonstrate the emotional distress suffered. Details of the medical procedures underwent after the injury, a discussion of any complications you had while trying to heal and how long you had to convalesce are all topics that need to be addressed with the insurance company.
A NC Personal Injury Lawyer can help you determine if going to trial is the move to recover all your losses/damages for you injury case or if settling out of court would give you the best personal injury settlement.
The Bishop Law Firm represents car accident and personal injury victims in Raleigh, Durham, Rocky Mount, Wilson, Smithfield, Louisburg, Chapel Hill, Roanoke Rapids, and surrounding areas in North Carolina . Our personal injury attorney does not get paid unless we win your case, (919) 615-3095. Call us today!