Car accidents often leave significant damage in their wake. Cars are totaled and drivers and passengers suffer a range of injuries. Most accident victims know that if the crash was not their fault, they can get compensation for their losses. However, most people only focus on the repair or replacement cost of their vehicle and their doctor’s bills. Still, not all the losses caused by a car accident are tangible.
You can also claim non-economic damages like pain and suffering. This refers to the physical pain and discomfort caused by your injuries as well as the mental trauma resulting from the pain. Some people may think that seeking such compensation is just an attempt to get more money. However, it is a category of damages allowed under the law.
As you can imagine, it is not easy to add a dollar value to pain and suffering. This can make such claims complicated. However, if you’ve suffered physically and mentally as a result of an accident, an Ellicott City car accident lawyers can help you to get compensation.
If you’re not familiar with Maryland’s laws, now is a good time to learn about the state’s contributory negligence doctrine. If you contributed in any way to the accident or your injuries, you won’t be able to get compensation. That’s because Maryland is one of a few states that only allows individuals to get compensation if they are completely blameless.
Most other jurisdictions practice some form of comparative negligence. Even if someone is partly responsible for their injuries, they can get compensation. However, it would be reduced by their share of fault. Since this is not the case in Maryland, your lawyer will have to prove that you had nothing to do with the incident. Otherwise, you won’t be able to recover damages, no matter how serious your injuries are.
Proving that You’re Entitled to Damages for Pain and Suffering
Even if you were involved in an accident that resulted in only minor injuries, you may experience some level of emotional trauma. However, if you were seriously injured, you’re likely to be in severe pain and this can lead to anxiety, depression, and increased stress. In Maryland, you can only claim compensation for mental suffering that’s linked to physical injuries. Each case has its own peculiarities but generally, you can recover damages based on:
- The severity of your injuries
- The pain and discomfort usually associated with those types of injuries
- The amount of treatment those injuries require and how much pain and discomfort is usually associated with the treatment
- How long the injuries will take to heal
Your medical records will be a crucial piece of evidence. Therefore, you need to share all your symptoms with your doctor and ensure that they make a note of it. If they recommend a particular procedure or drug, you need to make sure you follow through. You should also keep all your appointments. Since damages for pain and suffering must be linked to a physical injury, you must have clear proof of that injury.
You’re unlikely to be able to claim damages if there’s no record of you suffering a painful injury. Similarly, if you don’t take the medication the doctor prescribes or get any other treatment they recommend, it will appear that your injuries aren’t as bad as you claim. Notably, if you suffer a few scratches and bruises that will largely heal on their own, you probably won’t be able to claim you experiences significant mental suffering. However, if you suffered a catastrophic injury and you’ve been left disfigured or disabled, you’ll have a case for compensation.
The Cap on Non-Economic Damages
Your Ellicott City car accident lawyer is likely to rely on medical experts to give their opinion on your condition. This will help to inform the amount of compensation you ask for. However, it’s important to know that you won’t be entitled to unlimited damages for your intangible losses. That’s because there is a cap on non-economic damages in Maryland. In 2020, the cap in personal injury cases is $875,000. The upper limit increases by around $15,000 every year to account for inflation. It covers all intangible losses including pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Let Pinder Plotkin Help You Recover All Your Losses
If you’ve endured immense pain and suffering because of someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation. Reach out to the Ellicott City car accident lawyers at Pinder Plotkin LLC and get the help you need. We’ll assist you in quantifying your economic and non-economic losses and we’ll work hard to ensure you’re treated fairly. Contact us today to book a free case review.