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Recovering damages for pain and suffering

For some residents in West Virginia, the closest encounter to a car accident is when they drive by an accident site. While motorists are aware that accidents can happen at any time on any roadway, they never believe that it will be them harmed by a negligent, reckless or intoxicated driver. Unfortunately, numerous automobile collisions occur on a daily basis throughout the country, leaving victims overwhelmed by the aftermath of the crash.

The negligent acts of another can leave an accident victim dealing with physical, emotional, mental and financial harms. It can be challenging to deal with these damages, especially when medical bills accumulate and the victim is unable to work while he or she recovers. In these matters, it is important to consider legal recourses and the items for which a victim can recover compensation.

A personal injury action could help a victim recover for damages, such as pain and suffering. This is considered a noneconomic damage and, unlike lost wages, medical bills and other specific economic damages, these damages are based on the personal and unique experiences by the victim. Noneconomic damages frequently include pain and suffering, physical disfigurement or impairment, potentially shortened lifespan, mental anguish, loss of reputation, loss of companionship, loss of enjoyment of life and emotional distress.

When calculating the amount that could be compensated for in regards to noneconomic damages, certain factors are looked at. This includes the severity of the injury, the location and nature of any scarring or disfigurement, recovery time needed, potential for ongoing consequences, amount claimed in special damages, socioeconomic and political factors, personality and charisma of the injured party and the damages cap in the state.

It is hard to put a number to the pain and suffering an accident victim has endured. However, a personal injury action is a great starting point. A victim should not continually suffer for the wrongdoings of a driver. Thus, holding that driver accountable and collecting compensation could help the victim move on and overcome the challenge caused by the accident.

Source: Findlaw.com, "Car Accident Pain and Suffering Damages," accessed Jan. 21, 2018

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