Minnesota is considered a no-fault insurance state. This means that if you are injured in a car accident, you receive coverage for medical costs up to your insurance policy limits without having to file a lawsuit or prove that someone else was to blame.
Due to how no-fault insurance states work, you may wonder – can you sue for pain and suffering after a car accident?
This is a good question, and the answer is yes. You can pursue a legal settlement for your accident-related losses, which includes compensation for pain and suffering if you meet the law’s required criteria. Keep reading to find out more about this and your rights.
If you wonder, “how much do you get for pain and suffering,” the answer varies based on the severity and type of injuries you sustained. Hiring a car accident attorney will also help you better understand your rights.
How Much Can You Recover for Pain and Suffering from a Car Accident?
The amount of compensation you receive for pain and suffering will cover all types of injuries, including mental anguish and physical pain. This may also include fright and suffering you experience from trauma and other emotional or mental problems that may last long-term, like depression, anxiety, shock, and nervousness. In some cases, the compensation can be used to cover things like embarrassment, indignity, and humiliation that your accident-related injuries may cause.
In a successful lawsuit, it may also be possible for you to recover compensation for monetary costs. This includes things like damaged property, lost wages if you can’t work, and rehabilitation or medical costs. Since these types of damages will have a specific value, you will receive compensation based on this amount.
Receiving compensation for pain and suffering is different, though. They don’t have a set dollar amount and are more challenging to calculate. Hiring a car accident lawyer to help with this will ensure you receive a fair amount of compensation for your pain and suffering. In many cases, the awards you receive will exceed the total amount of economic damages and could range from a few thousand dollars to several million.
The amount you ultimately receive depends on the circumstances of your case. Because of this, there’s no set or general standard to determine pain and suffering. Even though this is the case, certain factors will be considered when determining your compensation for pain and suffering. Some of these factors include:
- The severity, permanence, and extent of the injuries
- Whether you need long-term care for your injuries
- Your family responsibilities, earning capacity, and age
- The impact on your social life, hobbies, marital relationship, enjoyment of life, and more
- Disfigurement, like the loss of a limb or scarring
- Whether your pain impacts your ability to work or earn money
- Indignity or embarrassment you experienced because of the injuries
- Limitations on your ability to handle daily tasks, such as cooking, sleeping, cleaning, doing housework, and getting dressed
- Emotional problems or mental anguish and whether they are likely to continue down the road.
There are no caps or limits on what you can receive for pain and suffering in Minnesota. That means you can get what is fair based on negotiations by your lawyer.
Since the pain and suffering you experience will be unique from anyone else’s, the attorney for the other party may attempt to minimize yours. You need to keep track of your pain and the emotional distress you experience, take videos and photos of your injuries, and even keep a journal to record information about:
- Pain levels, location of pain, and frequency of pain
- Negative emotions or thoughts and mental anguish
- Concerns about your family, finances, and health
- Impact on your relationships, social life, family, or work
- Indignity and embarrassment you were caused because of the injury
- Effects on your general health and sleep.
The more pain and suffering you experience and the more permanent your symptoms are, the higher the value of your case will be. Having a car accident attorney helping you with your claim means you have someone who will go beyond your medical records and reach out to doctors to talk about whether you are going to have long-term issues due to the accident and injuries. This type of evidence will help to increase what you receive for the pain and suffering you experience because of your accident-related injury.
Why Hiring an Attorney to Help You Recover Compensation for Accident-Related Pain and Suffering Is a Smart Move
With no fixed dollar amounts for pain and suffering, your attorney’s skill is important in ensuring you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible. Hiring an experienced attorney is essential to prove the other party was at fault and that they should be held responsible for your injuries and damages.
The attorney you hire will also interview witnesses and seek expert testimony when necessary. They can also negotiate with the insurance companies to help ensure you receive the maximum compensation possible.
Most accident cases are settled without going to court; however, a quality attorney will have no problem taking your case to trial if needed.
An attorney can help your case in the following ways:
- Determine the worth of your damages, including pain and suffering
- Prepare a “demand letter” to help you recover compensation
- Gather evidence
- Interview witnesses
- Obtain related medical records
- Fill out needed paperwork
- Consult with expert witnesses to prove your pain and suffering
- Take your case to trial.
Receiving the maximum amount of compensation for pain and suffering after an accident can be challenging. While this is true, you can get what you need with the right attorney and feel confident that your rights are being protected.
If you would like to discuss your situation, contact our legal team at Tyroler Leonard Injury Law by calling (651) 259-1113.