What You Need to Know About a Pain and Suffering Claim
If you are injured because of someone else’s negligence, actions, inactions, or intent, you can file a personal injury claim – or lawsuit – against that person, or entity if it’s a business. Your expenses for medical treatment and other economic losses you suffer, such as time missed from work, should be compensated, but in addition, noneconomic damages should also be covered. This includes what falls under the category of pain and suffering.
For instance, following an automobile accident that left you injured, you feel too much anxiety to even get behind the wheel of a car again -- that can fall under the compensable category of pain and suffering. If the trauma or emotional distress from your injuries diminishes your relationship with your loved one, you can have a claim for loss of consortium, or companionship.
If you have been injured in an accident resulting in pain and suffering, as well as economic losses for medical expenses and wages lost, in or around Durango, Colorado, contact the personal injury attorneys at Downs, McDonough, Cowan & Foley, LLC.
We will negotiate with the insurance company to seek the just compensation due you, and if necessary, file a personal injury lawsuit to hold the responsible party accountable. We also proudly serve clients in Telluride, Pagosa Springs, Cortez, and The Four Corners, Colorado.
What Are Noneconomic Damages in an Injury Claim?
Economic damages resulting from an accident due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness are fairly straightforward. You slip and fall in a restaurant or retail establishment because of a wet floor or loose carpet, and you end up with neck and back injuries that require medical treatment. Those expenses should be covered by the responsible party, whether through their insurance or through a personal injury lawsuit.
Economic damages include compensation for any lost wages if you have to miss time from work. If physical therapy is needed on an ongoing basis, that is compensable.
But what if your injuries also cause psychological damage or ongoing suffering? If you’re too anxiety-prone to drive again following a devastating car accident, should that be compensable? What if you can no longer fully provide the emotional support to your spouse or loved ones? Your life has been forever or at least temporarily changed for the worse because of the accident you were in. Can you be compensated?
The answer is yes. In a personal injury claim or lawsuit in Colorado, you can definitely seek compensation for your pain and suffering. There are, however, monetary caps to pain and suffering claims, so you need to consult with our team on the limits.
Even with legal caps in place, though, your condition may warrant a higher amount. If you have suffered permanent damage, the caps are lifted entirely. With clear and convincing evidence, you can also double the caps in place.
If your claim is for medical malpractice, the total cap is $1 million, of which $300,000 can be for pain and suffering, but even in medical malpractice lawsuits, the cap can be breached if it is shown to be unfairly low. Dram shop claims against a tavern that served a patron too many drinks who went on to cause an accident resulting in injuries are capped at $150,000 per injured person, including pain and suffering.
How an Attorney Can Help
Proving pain and suffering can be challenging. Insurance companies will seek to show that you’re not as injured as you say, or that you were partially or fully at fault for the accident that resulted in your injuries. If matters go to trial, you have to convince a jury that your pain and suffering are real and are causing you compensable losses in the enjoyment of your life.
You definitely need to rely on an attorney for a court trial, but even in an insurance claim, an attorney can counter the tactics – and tricks – used by insurance company claims adjusters to pin the fault on you or diminish the suffering you’re undergoing. An attorney negotiating with an insurer generally can double or triple any settlement that you can get on your own.
Discover Your Options for Fair Compensation
If you’ve been injured in an auto or other accident in or around Durango, Colorado, you don’t have to face challenges alone and try to beat the odds against an insurance company. They have trained professionals lined up to challenge you and get you to say or admit to something they can use to lower or even deny your claim.
Contact us immediately at Downs, McDonough, Cowan & Foley, LLC, and let us handle the claims adjusters, and if necessary, file a personal injury lawsuit. We will fight for the just compensation due yo