How Much Will I Get For Pain And Suffering After A Bicycle Accident?
Because of the nature of bicycle accidents, cyclists who are hit by cars or other vehicles frequently suffer severe, catastrophic, or even life-threatening injuries. Any bicyclist who was injured in an accident that wasn’t their fault deserves full and fair compensation to make up for all of the costs they incurred as a result of the crash! This includes compensation for non-economic damages, such as those relating to pain and suffering (which can’t be measured by an invoice or receipt but that are just as debilitating to a person’s life). However, how much injured cyclists can recover in pain and suffering after a bicycle accident can depend on many factors.
Most accident victims don’t know that they can get non-economic damages from the insurance copmany of the other driver, or their own. While only an experienced bicycle accident injury lawyer can help you understand how much you specifically may be able to recover based on your unique circumstances, here’s a brief overview of what pain and suffering is and what you need to know about it before filing a claim!
What Is Pain And Suffering?
Pain and suffering includes the physical, emotional, and mental anguish that a bicycle accident victim may endure after being seriously injured.
Physical Pain And Suffering
Injuries resulting from bicycle accidents might be extremely painful and may not heal for weeks, months, or years. Sometimes, injuries may be permanent. You deserve to be compensated for the physical toll of your injuries, which could include:
- Back and neck pain
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Broken or fractured bones
- Internal organ damage or bleeding
- Nerve damage
- Pulled or sprained muscles
- Dislocated joints
- Loss of a bodily function
- And more.
Emotional Pain And Suffering
Pain is never just physical; being hurt in a bicycle accident could cause you severe mental and psychological distress that could last as long as your physical injuries take to heal or even longer. You may require mental health counseling to recover, which could be expensive and may need to be ongoing. Examples of emotional pain and suffering that you should also be compensated for include:
- Cognitive changes after a head or brain injury
- Psychological trauma
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Perceived or real isolation due to injuries
- Embarassment (from disfigurement)
- Loss of enjoyment in cycling
- Loss or decreased quality of life
Factors That Impact The Amount Of Pain And Suffering Damages
No two bicycle accidents are exactly the same because everyone’s life is completely unique. How much you will be able to recover for pain and suffering after a bicycle accident will depend on:
- The scope and extent of your physical injuries
- If you’ll be able to return to work and return to regular physical functioning
- Any lasting psychological injuries you might have
- Who was at fault for the bicycle accident
- The insurance policies involved and policy limits
- If the at-fault party is a government entity
- How much evidence exists in support of your claim
- Whether or not you are working with an attorney
- How soon you filed a claim
- The level of quality representation you have on your side
How Insurers Value Pain And Suffering
Insurers use two common methods to assign a monetary value to a plaintiff’s pain and suffering after a bicycle accident: the per diem method or the multiplier method. However, it’s extremely important for all bicycle accident victims to realize that insurance companies are not their friends, despite how friendly and caring they may seem on the phone. Insurers lose money when they pay out claims to accident victims. They will do everything in their power to award you less than the amount that you truly deserve so they can protect their bottom line. It’s harder for them to deny tangible costs, like your medical bills to treat your injuries, or wages that you lost while you were out of work due to the accident; it’s much easier to deny the existence and extent of your pain and suffering, because they are subjective.
Adjusters often deny high pain and suffering demands for claims involving:
- Soft tissue injuries: Strains, sprains, and whiplash injuries are difficult to diagnose with an X-ray or CT scan, making adjusters doubtful of claims of pain or mental anguish.
- Low-impact and low-speed bicycle accidents: Adjusters typically argue that you couldn’t have suffered much more than a minor injury in a minor collision that occurred at low speeds and that you were able to walk away from. If you didn’t suffer a severe physical injury, they won’t be as willing to pay out pain and suffering damages.
- Pre-existing injuries: Adjusters often use prior injuries to further that your pain and suffering weren’t caused by the recent bicycle accident. Instead, they try to get around responsibility by arguing that your pain could have been caused by your previous injury.
- Inexpensive medical bills: Your claim for pain and suffering won’t go far without actual diagnosed or observable physical injuries that require treatment. The higher the cost of the medical bills you incur, the better your chances of recovering compensation for pain and suffering.
- Shared liability: Your overall settlement, including pain and suffering, might be reduced if the insurance adjuster argues that you share some of the blame for your injuries (such as if you weren’t wearing a helmet at the time of your crash, or if you weren’t following the rules of the road).
Because adjusters won’t typically accept financial losses that aren’t easily demonstrable, you need to have a bicycle accident attorney on your side who can make a strong case for you to receive pain and suffering damages, and who can negotiate on your behalf for a favorable settlement.
The Florida Law Group Can Maximize Your Pain and Suffering After A Bicycle Accident!
If you’ve been injured and want to learn more about what the full value of your injuries is worth, including the pain and suffering you endured as a result of another person’s negligence, call The Florida Law Group today for a free consultation! Our bicycle injury attorneys know how to assess your claim, identify and prove your pain and suffering damages, and secure the settlement you deserve. We’re not afraid to go to trial if that’s what it takes to win! To date, we’ve recovered over $1 billion for our clients. We have been recognized for excellence by multiple prestigious legal organizations, such as the National Trial Lawyers Top 100, Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and more. We have over 100 years of combined experience on our top-notch legal team! You can trust us to take care of you; while you recover, let us focus on recovering compensation. You don’t have to pay us anything unless and until we win your case!