YOU ASK:

Do automobile insurance companies pay for pain and suffering?

WE ANSWER:

It depends if your policy has bodily injury liability or for personal injury protection. This portion of the car insurance policy will cover compensation for pain and suffering. Bodily injury liability is for third party claims (where you as the insured driver are made liable to other parties for their injuries). Personal injury protection is for your own injuries.

The coverage usually provides for medical expenses, expenses needed towards rehabilitation and replacement services, lost wages and of course, pain and suffering.

You have to remember, though, that the insurance will only pay up to the prescribed limits per individual and also an aggregate limit per accident. If claims exceed the insurance limit, you as the at-fault driver will have to pay for it. The complainants may look at your assets or future income in an effort to get the compensation.

Negotiation for Pain and Suffering Compensation

It can be quite a challenge to claim for pain and suffering, since these are things that are unseen and you need to prove how the accident has affected your quality of life.

Here are the things you should remember if you were injured during a car accident and plan to claim for compensation for pain and suffering:

  • While your injuries are fresh, be sure to take pictures of any bruises, marks, swelling and proof of injury. Take close up pictures as well as pictures taken from a few feet.
  • Keep all medical records and medical bills. Request for detailed notes about your doctor that list down the pain and aches you feel. Include in the documentation your prescriptions or lists of medicines you are taking.
  • If you need to visit other specialists, such as a chiropractor, ask your doctor to provide a recommendation or referral. This way, you have it on record that your visits to these specialists have a direct line to your car injuries.
  • It will be helpful to get a lawyer to help you negotiate with the adjuster. You will need to outline the pain you suffered during the accident and while recovery, as well as the pain you continue to suffer now and in the future. The pain you need to describe is not limited to physical pain but also psychological pain (such as your fear of driving).
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