23 Nov 2022

By Boris Tadchiev

In Car Accident

If your insurance claim after a car accident in New York City progresses to the point of a personal injury lawsuit, you may seek compensation, or damages, for your pain and suffering after the accident. This could be a considerable amount of money, depending on your injuries. If your case goes to trial, a jury decides whether to award compensation for pain and suffering.

At The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C., we are committed to helping people who have been seriously injured in car accidents in Queens, NY, seek all the compensation available for injuries caused by others’ negligence. We are aggressive advocates for car accident victims in Queens.

For a free review of what your car accident claim may be worth, contact us today.

New York’s No-Fault Car Accident Claims

New York is a no-fault car insurance state. Car owners must maintain a Personal Injury Protection no-fault insurance policy that covers their medical bills after an automobile accident, regardless of who was at fault. If an individual has suffered a serious injury in a car accident, the injured person may be eligible to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s auto liability insurance to recover additional compensation for their medical expenses and vehicle damage.

If an appropriate insurance settlement cannot be reached, the injured person may file a personal injury lawsuit and pursue compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.

To prevail in a personal injury lawsuit, the injured person must provide evidence that the other driver’s negligence or disregard for safety led to the accident. A lawsuit for pain and suffering may be settled through negotiations with the insurance company that provides liability coverage to the at-fault driver or resolved in court with a jury’s verdict.

What Are Pain and Suffering Damages in New York?

When an injured person recovers compensation through a car accident lawsuit, they may be awarded economic and noneconomic damages.

Economic damages are compensation for losses that can be specifically quantified, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and the cost of vehicle repairs. We can make a full accounting of your doctor’s bills and other medical expenses, for example, as part of the evidence submitted to support your claim.

Noneconomic damages are awarded for losses that are not as easily quantified. New York personal injury law recognizes that when someone has harmed you through negligence, recklessness, or criminal intent, they may be compelled by the courts to compensate you for your pain and suffering.

Pain and suffering encompass the physical pain, emotional anguish, inconvenience, and emotional trauma that may accompany a serious injury. In New York, the term “pain and suffering” includes the loss of enjoyment of life. Damages for the loss of enjoyment of life compensate for the frustration and anguish the individual suffers due to their inability to participate in activities that once brought pleasure.

How Can I Prove My Pain and Suffering After a Car Accident?

Because noneconomic damages cannot be quantified, our task as your car accident attorneys is to persuade a jury or insurance adjustor of the pain and suffering you have endured since the accident.

We would look first at your injuries. The more severe your injuries are, the more painful they are likely to be. For example, one accounting includes a broken leg, slipped disk, and third-degree burns among the most painful injuries a person can experience. Some injuries are disabling and life-altering and therefore warrant compensation for permanent loss of enjoyment of life.

We would use your medical records and statements from your doctors to explain the extent of your injuries, your prognosis, and what you will go through to live with permanent injuries.

Second, we would ask you to keep a journal as you go through medical treatment for your injuries. In addition to a record of your physical and mental pain, you could note how your injuries have affected your life, such as activities you can no longer participate in or special family occasions you missed because of your injuries. This record can be part of your statement provided as evidence of the pain and suffering damages you deserve.

Third, we would speak with you, your family, friends, and colleagues to learn how your injuries have changed your life. Some of the cases we deal with involve traumatic brain injuries that change the victim’s personality, effectively taking them away from their spouse and children. Statements or testimony from your loved ones can speak to the losses you – and your family – have suffered because of a car accident.

How To Quantify Pain And Suffering Damages

In the end, how much you deserve for pain and suffering after a car accident is a judgment call.

If we can negotiate a settlement, your pain and suffering damages will be a figure the at-fault driver’s insurance company has agreed to pay and that you, our client, have found acceptable.

A negotiated settlement is possible any time before a jury returns a verdict. We would present to you any settlement offer we receive along with our recommendation as to whether the offer is reasonable. The decision to accept or reject any offer would be yours.

If your lawsuit goes to trial, the jury will render a verdict and state what damages it awards you, if any.

When deciding noneconomic damages, a jury or insurance company typically uses one of two methods:

  • Multiplier method. This involves multiplying all of the claimant’s economic damages by a factor that typically ranges from 1.5 to 5 to calculate an amount of compensation for pain and suffering. The more severe your injuries and/or their lasting repercussions, the higher the multiplier.
  • Per diem method. This involves establishing a daily, monetary rate and multiplying it by the number of days you needed to recover from your injuries and the length of time your injuries will continue to affect your life. The rate would typically be based on your daily earnings.

These are only tools for calculation. There may be several factors we could introduce to include in calculations for the pain and suffering damages you should be awarded. We are skilled negotiators and litigators who know how to build and present a persuasive case.

Contact Our Experienced Queens Car Accident Attorneys

The Queens car accident attorneys of The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C., are available to review your accident and discuss your legal options, including potential damages you may seek for pain and suffering. We can investigate your car accident and help you pursue maximum compensation for your losses.

Let us help you obtain justice for the pain and suffering a negligent driver has caused you and for your loss of enjoyment of life. Our initial consultation about your car accident claim is free. We don’t charge fees unless we recover money for you. Contact us today.