Indianapolis Pain and Suffering Attorney

If you have endured physical pain and suffering because of the negligence of others, the experienced legal team at Fountain Law Firm, P.C. wants to help. You should not have to endure any more pain or discomfort. You can talk to a pain and suffering attorney in Indianapolis when you contact us for a free case review.

Many truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, and other types of incidents caused by the negligence of others can cause serious injuries that result in debilitating pain and suffering for the victim. Unfortunately, that pain and suffering cannot be undone. The only way the court has to try to make things right is to award you a certain amount of money. This money provides compensation for the full extent of losses you have suffered, including pain and suffering.

What Is Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering is the term that is often used to describe the physical discomfort and pain that accident victims experience in an accident.

Most people think that pain and suffering in personal injury settlements refer only to physical pain. While it does refer to physical pain which is essential to your claim, it can in some cases also include the effect the injury had on a person’s quality of life.

Therefore, pain and suffering damages can provide you with compensation for negative consequences you suffer as a result of the accident and your injuries, including:

  • Physical pain and discomfort
  • Inconvenience
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Worsening a pre-existing condition

Contact us today to learn more about your claim for pain and suffering.

Examples of Pain and Suffering

Here are some real-world examples of pain and suffering:

  • Abigail suffers a long-term disability because of a car accident someone else caused.
  • Barry has a shortened life expectancy because of a spinal cord injury he suffered in a truck accident.
  • Carla can no longer lift her child and needs assistance with activities of daily living due to a severe back injury she suffered in a slip and fall.
  • David was burned during an explosion and has scarring and disfigurement because of the incident.
  • Henry can no longer play tennis due to a broken arm he suffered in a motorcycle accident.

Pain is subjective, so it is important that you work with an experienced Indianapolis pain and suffering attorney who can help establish your claim for pain, suffering, and emotional and psychological injuries.

Damages in Indiana Personal Injury Cases

Before you can recover any compensation for a personal injury case like a car accident or premises liability accident, you must be able to show that you suffered damages. Damages are the losses you experienced in the accident for which the court can compensate you.

Types of Damages in Indiana Personal Injury Cases

In Indiana, the types of damages that personal injury victims usually claim are economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are the losses you suffer that can be quantified into a certain dollar amount. Common examples of economic damages include the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Costs for treatment and rehabilitation
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Loss of productivity
  • Loss of services
  • Property damage
  • Out-of-pocket expenses

Economic damages can often be proven with evidence such as bills, invoices, or estimates. In some situations, additional evidence such as testimony from an expert witness may be necessary to calculate these damages.

Non-Economic Damages

Courts recognize that accident victims may suffer in other ways that cannot be tied directly to a financial loss. These losses are just as real and the accident victim is entitled to compensation for them, just as they are for economic losses. However, these non-economic losses are often more difficult to quantify. Pain and suffering is an example of non-economic damages.

Other Non-Economic Damages You Can Claim

In addition to pain and suffering, you can seek compensation for other non-economic damages you experience because of the accident. Indiana law specifically provides for motor vehicle accident victims to be able to recover compensation for the following:

  • Physical impairment
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of services
  • Loss of consortium
  • Other non-economic losses caused by the accident

An experienced pain and suffering attorney in Indianapolis can evaluate your particular circumstances and determine the potential damages you can claim.

How Much Is My Pain and Suffering Worth?

You are probably wondering how much your personal injury case is worth. Indiana determines pain and suffering damages on a case-by-case basis. The single most important factor is the value of pain and suffering. While you can find personal injury calculators on the internet, there really isn’t any formula for calculation. The amount is going to be loosely based on the seriousness of your injury, the length and type of your medical treatment, and whether or not you have any permanency. That is why it is so important to get medical treatment until you are either back to your pre-accident condition or as good as you are going to get.

Every person experiences pain and suffering differently. Therefore, how something affects one person may be different than how it affects another. It can be difficult to quantify these losses. Juries are often instructed to award an amount of compensation that they feel is just and fair, given the circumstances.

Factors that Affect Pain and Suffering Damages

Factors that impact the potential value of the pain and suffering damages of your claim for compensation may include:

  • The type of injuries you suffered
  • The severity of the injuries
  • Your age and health
  • Whether the injuries resulted in a permanent physical or mental impairment
  • Whether the injuries resulted in disfigurement or permanent scarring
  • The duration of the medical treatment the injuries require
  • The pain the victim experiences and will likely experience in the future
  • Severity and duration of the pain
  • The invasiveness of necessary medical treatment
  • How the injuries affect your ability to work, pursue hobbies, and interact with others
  • Whether the injuries aggravated any pre-existing conditions

Different Methods to Determine Pain and Suffering Damages

Indiana law does not include any particular formula to calculate pain and suffering damages. Nonetheless, insurance adjusters like to use a multiplier method.

The Multiplier Method

Claims adjuster usually use a multiplier method, multiplying your medical bills by a number that their insurance company uses.  Also, insurance companies don’t even allow the full amount of your medical bills as a basis for their calculation.

Merry Fountain at the Fountain Law Firm will not use the multiplier method.  Instead, she will look at your case individually and factor in the effect on your quality of life, the time you were in pain, and any permanent impairment.

Pain and Suffering FAQs

How Can I Prove Pain and Suffering?

It is important to keep a list from the beginning of your case of all the different ways your life is affected by your injury. The list can include everything from being totally unable to do something that you enjoy to still being able to do something, such as getting dressed, but with more pain.

At the Fountain Law Firm I encourage all my clients to keep these lists. As you begin to feel better, you probably won’t want to dwell on your limitations, and that is why it is important to start keeping your list from day one.

I like these lists because they quantify everything my client has gone through because of the accident. They also help differentiate my client from all the other personal injury claimants an adjuster is evaluating. One person may be unable to pick their young child up, another unable to complete work on their house, and a third unable to walk their dog. Just as everyone’s life is different, so are the limitations caused by an injury.

In addition to creating these lists, you can also help prove your pain and suffering damages with evidence such as:

  • Medical records that indicate your pain and diagnose you with injuries that are likely to result in pain
  • Statements from witnesses such as family members, friends, neighbors, and colleagues who have seen you struggle since the accident
  • Pain journal entries
  • Pictures of your injuries
  • Treatment notes from your mental health provider
  • Your own testimony about your struggles

What Is a Pain Journal?

If you are hurt in a car accident or other type of personal injury, your lawyer may advise you to start keeping a pain journal. This journal can help you keep track of details regarding your injuries, including:

  • Medical appointments
  • Doctor notes
  • Activity restrictions
  • Details about your daily pain level
  • Complications the injuries have caused
  • Side effects of medication
  • Family events you missed
  • Details about your mental and emotional state

It may be some time after your accident before you are able to reach a settlement or receive an award for your case. A pain journal can keep these important details in one place in case you need to refresh your memory with them or provide testimony about how the injuries affected you.

Are Online Pain and Suffering Calculators Accurate?

No. Online pain and suffering calculators are not accurate. They often use basic calculations that you can do yourself. Additionally, there is no guarantee that the number the calculator estimates for your claim will be what an insurance adjuster or jury will award.

Rather than relying on these calculators, turn to an experienced car wreck lawyer in Indianapolis who is familiar with the types of settlements and awards that are more typical for the type of injury you suffered. Also, keep in mind that every case is unique, so there is no 100% accurate way of predicting how much your case might be worth.

Why Do I Need an Indianapolis Pain and Suffering Attorney?

Suing for pain and suffering after a car accident or other personal injury incident can be complex. It’s hard to quantify your own pain and suffering. You may forget to include any value at all for your pain and suffering when trying to negotiate a settlement with the insurance adjuster, or you may drastically overestimate this portion of your claim. It’s in your best interest to work with an experienced pain and suffering attorney in Indianapolis who can develop your claim by:

  • Gathering evidence to support it
  • Accurately calculating your damages
  • Speaking with witnesses on your behalf
  • Retaining expert witnesses for further support, when necessary
  • Justifying the amount of your pain and suffering claim
  • Handling communication with the insurance adjuster, defendant, or their legal representative
  • Negotiating for fair compensation for your claim

What Is the Deadline to File a Pain and Suffering Claim in Indiana?

Under Indiana law you will only two years from the accident case to file a lawsuit against the negligent party. This is known as the statute of limitations. If this statute has passed and you did not file a lawsuit, the court can bar you from filing any subsequent lawsuit, and your opportunity to recover any compensation through the court system can be lost.

Contact Us to Learn More

Learn more about the potential value of your claim and your options for recovering fair compensation when you contact our Indianapolis pain and suffering attorney for a free case review.

Also see: How to Sue After an Indiana Car Accident