What Can You Recover in a Lawsuit? Pain and Suffering Damages

People often ask me, how much is my case worth?  I am compelled to tell them–“It depends.”

It depends on the injuries. It depends on how long it takes to get better. It depends on how much money is available to recover. It depends on many things, and the answer is not that simple, even to a seasoned lawyer. Over the next few weeks, we will cover several different topics on the subject in this three-part blog series.

There are three basic things that people can recover following an accident:

  1. Pain and Suffering
  2. Medical Bills, past and future
  3. Lost Wages, past and future.

Pain and Suffering is considered General Damages in a legal setting, whereas medical bills and lost wages are considered Special Damages. General Damages can include physical pain, scarring, mental and emotional anguish and suffering, humiliation, embarrassment, loss of enjoyment of life and others.

In many of the cases we see, the injured person has suffered what is commonly called “soft tissue injuries.”  That means that they have suffered a sprain or strain type of injury.  Those are usually treated with a Chiropractor.  The usual chiropractic modalities are hot and cold compress, electrical muscle stimulation, traction, massage and manipulation or adjustment of the joints, usually the neck and back.  The Chiropractor begins work as soon as possible following the accident to make sure that the injuries remain acute and do not become chronic.

Chiropractors will want to see the injured person two or three times a week for the first few weeks following an accident, and work it down to once a week for a period of time, followed by once every two weeks, and finally, once a month for the last month or two.  When the injured person has no more residual tightness or pain associated with the injury, they are ready to be released by the doctor.  At that time, the medical records and bills from the chiropractor are sent to the lawyer, who usually gathers all medical records and bills (including Emergency Room and Ambulance if necessary) and sends them to the Insurance carrier.  Typically, the case will settle for around $2,000 to 2,500 for each month that the injured person went to the chiropractor.

If the injuries require treatment with an Orthopedic or Neurological Surgeon, the injuries were obviously more severe than simple strains/sprains.  If surgery is required because of the injuries, the recovery will more likely cost tens of thousands of dollars, and in some cases, over a million dollars.  In fact, our firm recently brought a case to a jury trial in Lafayette, and won over a million dollars in pain and suffering for an orthopedic knee procedure and lumbar fusion.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident and aren’t sure where to turn, the attorneys at Galloway Jefcoat are here to help. We will be your biggest advocate and represent you with the dignity you deserve.

The circumstances of each case are different. Our firm cannot guarantee that in any situation, including the examples mentioned in this blog, are grounds for legal action until the circumstances surrounding that specific event have been reviewed by an attorney. To find out if an incident is grounds for a personal injury legal claim, please call us today at (337) 984-8020 or contact our office for a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.