Pain and suffering after a bicycle accident
If you or someone you care about has been injured in a bicycle accident that was caused by another person’s negligent or careless actions, you will have questions about compensation. Most people know that there is compensation available for a bicycle accident in Georgia, but they may not know that they could be entitled to receive pain and suffering damages as well.
When you get injured in a crash that was not your fault, there are various types of compensation you can receive through an insurance settlement. Generally, the at-fault driver is responsible for paying your pain and suffering damages. But, defining “pain and suffering” can be complicated.
What does “pain and suffering” mean?
‘Pain and suffering’ is a term used to describe various types of distress a person can experience after a crash. Typically, this involves both physical and mental components.
Physical pain and suffering deals with the pain a person experiences from their injuries. This type of pain typically involved both the pain a person experiences right after a crash and while recovering as well as the pain a crash victim is expected to experience in the future.
Mental pain and suffering has to do with the physical injuries as well as the event itself causing the following:
- mental anguish
- emotional distress
- loss of enjoyment of life
When discussing pain and suffering, we want to understand that it is any negative reaction, pain, emotion or anguish a person endures as a result of the physical trauma of the initial incident. Studies have show that up to 9% of all car accident victims suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Significant mental suffering can lead to depression, mood swings, loss of appetite, and more.
Bicycle accidents tend to be much more traumatic for a bicyclist than a regular accident is for traditional vehicle passengers. A bicyclist has very little protection from the force of a vehicle slamming into them and they often suffer severe traumatic injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Bone fractures
- Loss of or damage to a bodily organ
- Dismemberment or amputation
- Significant disfigurement
Injuries of this magnitude are more likely to cause significant pain and suffering.
Is it easy to calculate pain and suffering?
Pain and suffering is harder to calculate than other types of damages after a bicycle accident. For the injuries listed above, economic damages can be calculated by gathering hospital bills and documenting lost wages. There are no bills associated with pain and suffering. When a case goes to trial, the judge will instruct the jurors to use good judgement when determining a fair and reasonable amount.
However, many cases do not go to trial, but are settled out of court with the insurance carriers. A skilled Georgia bicycle accident attorney will be ready to present testimony from medical and economic expert witnesses who can attest to the victim’s pain and suffering.
In Georgia, there is no limit to how much compensation a person can receive for pain and suffering damages. Sometimes a “multiplier” is used to help with calculations, meaning that the damages are calculated using a person’s total economic damages and multiplying them by a certain amount to get a number for pain and suffering.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that there were 783 bicyclists killed in the US during the latest reporting year and thousands were left dealing with serious injuries. Georgia bicycle accidents are going to happen. If you or a loved one are injured, speak to a Georgia bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.