If you’ve contacted Colorado Springs motorcycle attorneys like us after an accident, you might have been told you can claim damages for pain and suffering.
But what exactly counts as pain and suffering? There’s a big difference between getting a graze on your knee, like you would get playing in the schoolyard as a kid, and being left paraplegic in a horror crash that makes the news. So where exactly is the line between something you can, and something you can’t claim for? Here’s our brief explanation of what counts, and what doesn’t count, as pain and suffering.
Colorado Springs Motorcycle attorneys: help for physical pain and suffering
Physical pain and suffering is the reason why most people claim damages after an accident. In fact, this is one area of the law with which Colorado Springs motorcycle attorneys must be especially familiar. Motorcycles can be dangerous, after all!
The trauma of being in a motorcycle accident can range from mild, to moderate and through to the most severe possible injuries possible. This means that the amount of money you receive can vary drastically. Here are some examples of what counts as physical pain and suffering, and what you might receive for each. We begin with the least serious, and move on to the most serious injuries.
1. A broken finger
A broken finger doesn’t necessarily stop you from being able to work. But you can still claim for pain and suffering. Your claim will be worth a few thousand dollars. But that being said, you will win more if your fingers must be amputated, or if you injure more than one finger.
2. A broken arm
A broken arm is more serious than a broken finger, especially if you break the upper arm, which takes longer to recover. Because of this, you may be able to claim between $200,000 and $300,000. The exact amount depends on the extent of your injuries. For instance, a hairline fracture would result in a lower payout, whereas an open fracture- where the bone extends through the skin- would allow you to claim more.
3. A neck injury
Neck injuries are an excellent example of the difference between mild and severe injury. As you’re no doubt aware, severe neck injuries can result in permanent paralysis. This is perhaps the most serious possible injury, apart from death. As such, you can receive upwards of $10 million dollars, depending on the severity of your pain- not to mention your loss of earnings. But for a condition such as whiplash, you would be able to claim less. For the simple aggravation of a pre-existing condition, you could receive less than $100,000. Herniated discs can earn between $500,000 and $1 million.
4. Traumatic brain injury
TBI is something that you should never receive from a motorcycle accident- you should always wear a helmet. But if you are injured in this way, the extent of your pain and suffering determines how much you will be owed. TBI can be the cause of headaches and hearing loss, which will generally result in a smaller settlement. Perhaps lower than $100,000. But for more severe TBI, which can cause brain damage, you will be able to claim far upwards of $1 million. The exact extent is determined by the jury at the conclusion of the suit, and would depend on the amount of trauma received. For instance, in the event of complete paralysis due to brain injury, your family would be able to claim perhaps $10 million.
5. Other forms of injury
There are any number of different kinds of injury which can result in a pain and suffering payout. In fact, there are far too many to list here. But these are just a few more examples of what you can claim ‘pain and suffering’ for following a motorcycle accident:
- Leg fractures, foot fractures and knee problems
- Shoulder injuries, which includes fractures and muscle problems, e.g. a torn rotator cuff
- Grade 1, Grade 2 and Grade 3 ankle sprains. These grades indicate the level of muscle damage, e.g.a complete ligament tear
So, in short, you can claim for almost any bodily injury following an accident, in addition to whatever else you might be able to claim for. But, of course, you will be able to claim more damages for a more serious injury. Contact specialist motorcycle attorneys like ourselves for more details.
Colorado Springs Motorcycle attorneys: help with mental pain and suffering
Last, but not least, you will also be able to claim for mental pain and suffering. The physical effects of an accident are immediately obvious. But the mental pain is not- although it’s just as important.
After an accident, you may experience anxiety and stress either because of the pain, or because you are reliving the accident, time and time again- also known as PTSD, or post traumatic stress disorder. This can be a debilitating experience, because it stops you from being able to work, or to live your life. In addition to the difficulty you might have returning to work, you can also claim what are called hedonistic damages. These are damages which are a result of a loss of pleasure in life.
You may also experience depression after an accident. This can be related to having to stay at home because of a broken leg, for instance. But it could also be in response to the death of a loved one or even a stranger, in the accident you were involved in. Psychological trauma can result in similar damages to physical trauma, meaning that you could claim hundreds of thousands of dollars.