If you get into a truck accident in New Mexico, you may be able to recover financial compensation from the at-fault party. This includes compensation for your physical injuries and property damage, as well as intangible losses known as pain and suffering. Knowing how to pursue fair financial compensation for pain and suffering can help you obtain the settlement or judgment award that you deserve after a serious truck accident.
What Is Pain and Suffering?
There are two types of damages (compensation) available in a personal injury lawsuit: economic and noneconomic. Economic damages refer to the financial burden placed on a victim of a truck accident, such as the costs of medical care and property repairs. Noneconomic damages are the personal losses suffered by a victim. They are not tangible; they are invisible and known only to the victim. However, they are just as real and devastating. These damages are known as “pain and suffering in personal injury law. They can include:
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Psychological damage
- Depression or anxiety
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Lost quality or enjoyment of life
- Grief over the loss of a loved one
- Loss of consortium
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Permanent disability
The exact losses and experiences listed as pain and suffering in your truck accident lawsuit will depend on your particular case. It is important to work with a personal injury lawyer to create your list of damages before submitting a demand letter to an insurance company. Otherwise, you may leave out an important loss and receive less than you require in financial compensation.
How Do You Prove Pain and Suffering?
The pain and suffering associated with a serious truck accident can be just as real to you and your family as tangible losses. However, this type of loss is more difficult to prove to an insurance company or jury. There is no hard evidence, such as an x-ray or receipt, that can prove pain and suffering.
Instead, you or your attorney must depend on proof in the form of expert opinions, witness testimony and your own description of how you feel. It can help, however, to obtain an official diagnosis for a mental health condition, such as PTSD, after a truck accident. Medical evidence can go a long way toward proving pain and suffering damages.
How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated in a Truck Accident Case?
It is also more difficult to calculate pain and suffering compared to an economic damage award. Unlike medical bills, there is no specific dollar amount on a truck accident survivor’s physical pain and emotional suffering. Instead, the amount that a truck accident victim receives in pain and suffering will be decided by the jury that hears the case. The value is typically based on factors such as the severity of the victim’s physical injuries and how seriously the accident impacted the victim.
Although a jury does not have to use an equation, if desired, one of the most common methods is the multiplier method. This multiplies the victim’s total amount of economic damages by a number that represents how much the victim has suffered. For a serious injury, for example, the jury may use a multiplier of three or four out of five. If the economic damage award was $100,000, a multiplier of three would lead to $300,000 in pain and suffering damages awarded to the victim.
When to Contact a Truck Accident Attorney
It is important to work with a truck accident attorney in New Mexico if you get injured in this type of crash. A truck accident lawyer can help you fight for the compensation that you deserve for significant pain and suffering after a devastating crash. Although no amount of money can make up for the losses you suffered, a fair and just award can help you and your family move on.