Pain and Suffering: What Are Your Recovery Options?
If you have been injured in an accident that was the result of someone’s negligence, not only are you entitled to seek damages for your actual bills – like doctors visits and hospital costs – and lost wages, but you may also be able to recover for your “pain and suffering.”
What Is Pain and Suffering?
The state of Colorado allows victims of personal injury accidents to seek damages for the pain and suffering they experience after an accident. There are basically two types of pain and suffering-- physical and mental.
Physical pain and suffering includes the pain experienced from the injury, during the recovery period, and any future physical pain you are likely to experience. Mental pain and suffering are emotions and fears experienced because of the injury. For example, if the quality of your life has diminished because of the accident, you may be able to recover damages for this. After an accident, it is not uncommon to experience increased anxiety, shock, depression, or the inability to sleep. All of these are all examples of pain and suffering.
How Much Can You Recover?
There is no limit to how much a person can recover for actual out-of-pocket expenses that result from an injury. As long as the expenses can be factually substantiated and are incurred as the result of the accident, the injured party can seek compensation.
Pain and suffering, on the other hand, is much more subjective. How do you put a dollar amount on the pain you experienced during your rehabilitation sessions or the fact that you can’t get a good nights’ sleep?
In 1986, the Colorado legislature limited these types of damages at $250,000 unless a person can show by “clear and convincing evidence” that an increase is justified; then they may be able to recover as much as $500.000. But the law also allows for adjustments for inflation so actual amounts you can recover could be increased.
Document Your Claim
It is important that you document your claim for pain and suffering. A Colorado Springs personal injury attorney might encourage you to keep a journal and track your day-to-day experiences of pain and the limitations that now exist in your life because of the accident.
If applicable, make note of:
- Any changes to sleep patterns you are experiencing
- To what extent your ability to enjoy usual activities has been impacted
- To what extent you have had to limit or cease participation in sports or hobbies
- Whether you are able to exercise in the same manner as you could before the accident
- How your relationship with your family members has been impacted
- Any other ways that your life has been negatively impacted
Colorado Springs Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
A Colorado Springs personal injury attorney can help you seek compensation for all of your injuries, including the pain and suffering you experienced after an accident. For a free consultation about your case, call Levine Law at 719-471-3000 or contact us online.