Can You Collect for Pain and Suffering Even if an Accident Is Minor?

If you are injured in a car accident, then you are entitled to receive compensation for both your economic and noneconomic damages. In Baltimore, economic damages are meant to compensate someone for any financial loss they suffered due to being injured.

Economic damages include things like medical bills, hospital bills, and lost wages from work. They are typically not disputable if you have the documentation necessary to prove that you had economic losses because you were hurt.

Noneconomic damages are different from economic damages. Noneconomic damages are not meant to compensate you for any economic loss that you suffered. Rather, it seeks to compensate you for the experience of the car accident. Things that are considered non-economic losses are pain and suffering, loss of consortium and emotional distress.

Why are noneconomic damages harder to collect in Baltimore?

If you are in a minor accident and injured, then, yes, you are entitled to be compensated for your pain and suffering or for your other noneconomic damages. Even if it was just a minor collision and you were out of work for two days due to whiplash, then you can ask to be compensated for those two days that you might have been in pain.

It is also possible to sue for post-traumatic stress or any other type of emotional distress that you might have sustained if you can prove that is was the product of an accident.

The reason that noneconomic damages are harder to collect is that they are based on someone’s experience. Unlike economic damages that are concrete, noneconomic damages are much more subjective and individualized.

Since no two people will ever experience pain and suffering in the same way, putting a price on what someone has been through can become somewhat arbitrary at best. That is why it is best to have a car accident attorney help you negotiate your noneconomic damages if you are ever in an accident.


How are pain and suffering calculated?

There are two different methods that can be used to calculate noneconomic damages. They are the multiplier method and the per diem method. The multiplier method is when your injuries are rated on a scale of severity that ranges from one to five, with five being the most severe. Your Baltimore DUI lawyer will look at the extent of your economic damages and, from there, determine the severity of your accident and ascribe your experience a number on the scale.

Once your experience is rated from one to five, your lawyer and the insurance company will then use that number to multiply the total cost of your economic damages. The result is then the total amount of noneconomic damages that you can try to be reimbursed for.

The per diem method is where your noneconomic damages are given a daily rate according to their severity. So, if you were in a minor accident, your lawyer might suggest that you deserve $100 a day. If you were out of work with whiplash for two days and were then sore and in pain for an additional two weeks, your lawyer would multiply the per diem amount determined ($100 in this example) by the number of days (16) and would arrive at your noneconomic damages total ($1600).

When calculating someone’s noneconomic damage amount, it is best to calculate the potential damages both ways using the multiplier and the per diem method to find out which one will give you the greatest and most fair compensation.

Who decides how much your noneconomic damages are?

When you are in a car accident, there will usually be two sides that will calculate the amount you are owed in noneconomic damages. Your lawyer and the opposing lawyer or insurance company will both come to their own conclusions. You might not get exactly what your lawyer is asking during negotiations. Both parties will try to reach a settlement amount that is in their best interest so the case won’t have to go to court.

That is why it is best to have a professional Baltimore car accident lawyer calculate the amount of your noneconomic damages and fight to get you what you deserve. The opposition will have someone protecting their interests, make sure that you do too, by hiring an excellent car accident lawyer if you are in a car accident in Baltimore.