If you have been a victim of a motor vehicle accident, you may be hurting immensely. You are not alone. Of the 6 million people who are in car crashes every year, 3 million of those people will sustain injuries. You may be in pain and long-term consequences and need to have surgery or intensive physical therapy in order to recover. Your accident may have forced you to miss school or work. You probably have accumulated a lot of medical expenses and lost wages. Additionally, your suffering may have forced you to miss the hobbies and activities that you normally enjoy. It is only fair that you receive financial compensation for the pain and suffering that you are going through.
Online “Pain and Suffering” Calculators Cannot Accurately Determine the Value of Your Case
In addition to financial loss, a car accident victim is legally entitled to make a claim for any “pain and suffering” they withstood from the accident. In a legal case, “pain and suffering” refers to any emotional trauma or loss of life enjoyment one suffers as a result from their injury. There is a wide range of pain and suffering a person may experience. One person may have experienced temporary depression and minor discomfort, while another may have debilitating trauma that leaves them unable to return to their normal activities for years. With that being said, it is hard for an online calculator to make an accurate determination of a fair amount as every person’s pain and suffering vaires.
Every single personal injury law case is unique. Therefore, it is impossible for a computer calculator to determine how much your pain and suffering amount should be. Additionally, a lot of outside factors come into play to determine one’s amount. For instance, your compensation amount will greatly be affected by where you live and your state’s law. The online calculator will simply not know how to apply your state’s law. You will need a personal injury attorney who practices in your jurisdiction to help calculate a fair potential award amount.
The personal injury tort laws are different in every state. For instance, many states cap the amount of damages a person can be awarded. This means that some states will allow greater compensation awards than other states. Thus, a person could be awarded one amount in State A, but would have been awarded a greater amount if they lived in State B.
Each state law also varies on how it deals with the issue of liability and claims. For instance, are you able to pursue a claim even if you were a little bit at fault? Some states follow the contributory negligence law, which states if someone was even 1% at fault for a collision, he is not allowed to collect any compensation from the other motorist who was predominantly at fault. Other states follow the pure comparative fault law, which allows a party to recover even if they were up to 99% responsible for the accident. The compensation amount, however, will be reduced proportionally to their degree of fault. Finally, there is the modified comparative negligence law, which will allow compensation as long as the person was not majorly at fault for the accident. That award amount, however, will be reduced proportionally to the amount the party was negligent. It is important to keep in mind that all of these models are subject to what the fact finder, or jury, believes who is at fault. An online calculator is not able to accurately predict how a jury will think.
An online calculator will not be able to consider and appreciate the degrees in which a person may suffer and how that impacts the amount. As every person’s accident and circumstance is unique, every victim has different amounts of damages and will be awarded based upon those differences. An online calculator simply is not programmed to take all of these factors into account. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to consider all the relevant factors and apply the law to get a realistic estimate. You should contact a local personal injury attorney if you have been injured in an accident and want to get an accurate estimate of your pain and suffering award.
Do I Need a Car Accident Lawyer?
It is not a requirement to have a lawyer to file a lawsuit. Technically, anyone can go to their local courthouse, fill out papers, and pay the fees to file a lawsuit. However, it is always best to seek a knowledgeable and experienced attorney to have guidance. It is also a lot less stressful for an accident victim to be represented by a lawyer than to have to figure out the legal process on their own. Many personal injury lawyers give free initial consultation and most work on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee basis means that the lawyer does not require any form of payment upfront. Instead, they will only be paid if they file your case for you, and then they will take a small percentage out of the settlement or award. As such, there is really nothing to lose in calling a local car accident lawyer and receiving a consultation.