If you have been injured in an accident in North Carolina, you can add up the cost of your medical bills and the income you lost from missing weeks of work. But quantifying the cost of the pain and anguish you experienced is more difficult. Unlike medical bills and lost income, pain and suffering have no definitive dollar value.
That does not make your ordeal any less deserving of compensation. How much can you expect to get for pain and suffering in North Carolina? The answer is it depends on the facts of the case and the severity of your injuries. If you have been seriously injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, contact Hardison & Cochran today for help evaluating your case. The case review is free.
How To Prove Pain and Suffering?
Because there are no receipts or other hard evidence to put a dollar value on pain and suffering, you will have to rely on other evidence like:
- Your medical records
- Testimony from your physician and other health providers
- Testimony from family and close friends about how your pain has affected your life
- Prescriptions for medication like painkillers and anti-depressants
- A journal detailing how your recovery is progressing and how your pain affects your daily life
If you have not started keeping a journal after an accident, it is a good idea. The more proof you have of the pain and suffering you are experiencing, the more persuasive your claim will be for just compensation.
How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated in North Carolina?
A North Carolina jury will take several factors into account when determining what compensation you should receive for your pain and suffering. These factors include:
- The severity of your injuries
- How long your injuries are expected to last
- Your age and general health
- How your pain and suffering affect your mental health
- How your pain and suffering limit your daily activities
- How your pain and suffering alter your relationships with friends and family
When taking these factors into consideration, there are two primary methods to arrive at a figure for pain and suffering compensation. The first is known as the multiplier method, which involves multiplying the value of your economic damages such as the cost of your medical bills and lost wages by a second number, usually a number between 1.5 and 5. The second method is the per diem method, which involves calculating the daily cost of your pain and suffering for any given day and multiplying that number by the number of days your injuries are expected to last.
Damage Caps for North Carolina Pain and Suffering Claims
In most personal injury cases in North Carolina, there is no limit on the amount of non-economic damages you can be awarded. However, there is a cap on pain and suffering damages in medical malpractice cases, which is $500,000. The only exception to this cap is medical malpractice cases in which the health care provider was especially reckless, engaged in fraud, or intentionally or maliciously caused the underlying injuries.
The complexity of determining the fair value of compensation for pain and suffering makes it important to work with an experienced North Carolina personal injury lawyer who knows what is reasonable to expect. If you do not have legal representation, an insurance company is likely to offer you far less than is fair.
Contact Our North Carolina Personal Injury Attorneys
The North Carolina personal injury lawyers at Hardison & Cochran have the experience and knowledge to help you seek fair compensation for your pain and suffering as well as your economic losses after a serious accident caused by someone else. Call us today or visit our online contact form for a free case review.