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Can I Collect Damages After a Minor Auto Accident?

Automobile accidents are jarring and stressful, no matter the severity. However, in cases where drivers feel their injuries are minor, they may choose not to file a claim. In these instances, though, drivers can pursue cases for “pain and suffering.”

There are many different instances of “pain and suffering,” both physical and mental, that deserve attention. If you were injured in a car accident physically, it is likely you are now also suffering from mental effects like depression, anger, or even PTSD. Sometimes, the mental “pain and suffering” affects victims even more than the physical implications—leading to lack of motivation, difficulty sleeping, or loss of appetite.

The mental “pain and suffering” can account for the most dangerous effects of an accident. Not only do victims suffer in the moment, but they also can not help but think of the emotional stress to come.

In whatever circumstance, these cases should not go unheard. Learn more about “pain and suffering” and how to seek compensation for your automobile accident.

What is “pain and suffering”?

“Pain and suffering,” in the most basic definition, is physical or emotional distress resulting from an accident.

Calculating “pain and suffering”

When calculating “pain and suffering,” insurance companies often examine the severity and permanence of the injuries, as well as any medical bills. They use what is referred to as a “multiplier” to determine the value of the victims “pain and suffering.” To put it simply, “pain and suffering” is calculated as equal to between 1.5 and 4 times the injured person's total medical expenses and lost income.

If taken to court, there are no guidelines for a jury to calculate “pain and suffering.” There are no charts, no graphs, no figures to help them. A judge will usually advise juries to use their better judgement, experience, and background to make a fair decision.

Is it worth it?

Many drivers of minor automobile accidents question if their emotional or physical “pain and suffering” is even worth pursuing a claim. In the event you have medical bills or loss of income, even if it seems small, it is worth pursuing. Do not feel trapped when it comes to a “minor” accident. There may be other effects that arise in the future that do not appear at first.

Always remember to take note of the other party’s insurance and contact information when involved in an accident. You may feel fine in the moment, but many victims do not experience the effects until days or weeks after the impact.

Filing a claim

Once you determine you would like to move forward, file a claim with your insurance company. Make sure to note all the details you can remember from the accident and any initial effects you experience. Do not be afraid to be honest with them and share your concerns.

Negotiating a car accident settlement

After you have filed the claim, the insurance company will then conduct its investigation and determine how much to award. However, it could take a lot of back-and-forth and result in a denial, which means you may have to go to court.

Going to court

Heading to court can be an overwhelming experience, but you do not have to do it alone. Consult with an experienced automobile accident attorney, who will fight for you to win your deserved reimbursement.

No automobile accident is “minor” to the attorneys at Ginnis & Krathen. At Ginnis & Krathen, P.A., we are experts in car accident cases and will represent you with professionalism and compassion. Contact us for a free consultation and to learn if you have a case.

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