Physical injuries can be debilitating, affecting not just your health but also your ability to work and enjoy life as you once did. Beyond the physical pain, the emotional and psychological impact of such injuries can be intense, leading to distress that quickly translates to depression and helplessness.
In these difficult times, it’s important to remember that your suffering is not just a personal burden, but something for which you can seek legal redress. Oklahoma law acknowledges the hardships that come with personal injuries and allows you to claim damages for both physical pain and emotional suffering. This means that, in addition to compensation for medical expenses and lost wages, you have the right to seek financial relief for the intangible yet very real pain and suffering you have experienced.
At Carr & Carr, our experienced personal injury attorneys will fight to ensure that you are fairly compensated for all aspects of your suffering. Reach out to us for a consultation, and take the first step towards reclaiming your life and peace of mind.
Why Hire Carr & Carr for Your Pain and Suffering Claim?
- Experienced Legal Representation: At Carr & Carr, we bring years of experience in handling personal injury cases. Our lawyers know how Oklahoma law treats claims for pain and suffering, ensuring that your case is handled with the expertise it deserves.
- Personalized Attention: We offer personalized attention to each of our clients. You’re not just another case number; your story matters, and we listen carefully to provide tailored legal solutions.
- Commitment to Your Wellbeing: Our primary focus is on serving the best interests of our clients. We will demand fair compensation for your pain and suffering and firmly reject any lowball offers.
- Skilled Negotiators: Negotiating with insurance companies can be challenging. Our experienced attorneys are skilled negotiators who know how to deal with insurance adjusters and will strive to secure the best possible settlement for you.
- No Fee Unless We Win: We operate on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay us unless we win your case. This policy reflects our confidence in our ability to help you and ensures that our services are accessible to those who need them.
When you choose Carr & Carr, it means you’re selecting a law firm that is experienced, client-focused, and determined to fight for the financial compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering. Our commitment to personalized service, combined with our decades of experience, makes us a reliable choice for your legal needs.
What is Pain and Suffering?
In legal terms, “pain and suffering” refers to the physical discomfort and emotional distress a person may experience as a result of severe injuries. This concept is an integral part of personal injury claims and serves to compensate the injured party for the non-monetary aspects of the harm suffered, such as loss of quality of life and loss of consortium.
There are two primary types of pain and suffering:
- Physical Pain and Suffering: This is the actual physical discomfort and pain a person experiences due to an injury. It includes not just the discomfort felt immediately after the accident, but also any ongoing pain that may persist. For example, if someone breaks a leg in a motor vehicle collision, the physical pain and suffering would encompass the initial pain, the discomfort during recovery, and any chronic pain or complications that arise later.
- Emotional Pain and Suffering: Emotional pain and suffering go beyond the physical injuries. This aspect covers the psychological impact of an injury, such as stress, anxiety, depression, loss of enjoyment in life, trauma, and other mental injuries. For instance, if an accident victim develops anxiety or depression as a result of their injury or the trauma of the accident, this would be considered emotional pain and suffering.
The law recognizes that these non-tangible types of damages can be just as debilitating as the physical injuries themselves. Therefore, pain and suffering damages are often sought in personal injury cases to acknowledge and compensate for these significant, yet less visible, impacts of an injury.
How is Pain and Suffering Calculated in Oklahoma?
In Oklahoma, calculating pain and suffering in personal injury cases involves two main methods: the Multiplier Method and the Per Diem Calculation. Both methods are used to quantify the less tangible, non-economic damages like pain and suffering, which don’t have a straightforward monetary value like medical bills or vehicle replacement costs.
The Per Diem Method
The per diem approach involves assigning a daily value to the pain and suffering an individual experiences following an injury. The term “per diem” means “each day” in Latin, and the calculation is based on the estimated period the victim will suffer due to the injury.
For example, consider a scenario where you’re involved in a truck accident resulting in a broken leg. You undergo surgery, wear a cast for two months, and continue to experience pain while standing and walking for an additional three months. Medical experts predict a one-year recovery period. If the jury determines a per diem value of $200 per day for your pain and suffering, the total calculation would be 365 days multiplied by $200, equating to $73,000 in pain and suffering damages.
The Multiplier Method
This widely used approach starts by totaling your economic losses, such as medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. This total is then multiplied by a number, typically ranging from 1.5 to 5, reflecting the severity and impact of your injuries on your life. The more severe and life-altering the injury, the higher the multiplier.
For instance, suppose your economic damages (medical bills, lost wages, etc.) amount to $300,000. If the jury applies a multiplier of 3.5 to account for your pain and suffering, your total compensation would be $1,050,000.
When using either method, the specifics of the case, the nature of the injuries, and the effect on the individual’s life are all carefully considered to reach a reasonable and fair valuation of pain and suffering.
How Long Do I Have to File a Pain and Suffering Claim in Oklahoma?
In Oklahoma, the time limit to file a pain and suffering claim, also known as the statute of limitations, is generally two years from the date of the injury. This means if you’ve suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you have two years to initiate legal proceedings for your pain and suffering claim. If you fail to file your claim within this two-year window, you’re likely to lose your right to seek compensation.
It’s important to note that this time frame can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case. For instance, if the injury was not discovered right away, the clock might start ticking from the date the injury was or should have been discovered. However, these are exceptions and don’t apply to every case.
Given the strict nature of this deadline, it’s advisable to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible after your injury. A lawyer can provide guidance on the specific deadlines applicable to your case and help ensure that your claim is filed in a timely manner.
Pain and Suffering Claims in Oklahoma
Oklahoma law allows individuals who have suffered personal injuries to seek compensation for pain and suffering as part of their overall damages. However, to qualify for such compensation, certain criteria need to be met:
- Proof of Injury: The injured party must provide evidence of a physical or emotional injury. This proof typically comes in the form of medical records, psychological evaluations, and expert testimony.
- Negligence or Fault: It must be demonstrated that the injury was caused by the negligence or fault of another party. This means showing that the injury occurred due to someone else’s action or failure to act appropriately.
- Direct Connection: There needs to be a direct connection between the injury and the pain and suffering claimed. In other words, the pain and suffering must be a direct result of the injury sustained in the incident.
Pain and suffering damages are applicable in various types of cases, including but not limited to:
- Car Accidents: If someone is injured in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence, they can claim pain and suffering for physical injuries (like whiplash or broken bones) and emotional distress (such as anxiety or PTSD following the accident).
- Slip and Fall Accidents: In cases where a person slips and falls due to another party’s failure to maintain safe premises, they can seek maximum compensation for both the physical injury and any resultant emotional trauma.
- Medical Malpractice: Patients who suffer additional injuries or illnesses due to a healthcare professional’s negligence can claim pain and suffering. An example would be a surgical error leading to chronic pain or psychological distress.
- Product Liability Cases: If a person is injured due to a defective or dangerous product, they can seek compensation for the physical and emotional suffering caused by the injury.
In all these scenarios, the emphasis is on demonstrating how the injury has impacted the individual’s life, both physically and emotionally. The aim of awarding pain and suffering damages in Oklahoma is to provide a form of monetary relief that acknowledges these often significant and lasting impacts.
The Role of a Pain and Suffering Lawyer
A pain and suffering lawyer has a multifaceted role that starts with a thorough evaluation of your case. They determine its validity, assess the extent of your injuries and their impact on your life, and review the evidence available to support your damages claim. To build a strong case, experienced lawyers are adept at gathering necessary evidence, such as medical records, expert testimonies, and documentation of how the injury affects your daily life.
When it comes to dealing with insurance companies, which often try to minimize payouts, a skilled lawyer’s negotiation skills are invaluable. They advocate on your behalf to secure a settlement that truly compensates for your pain and suffering. Should your case proceed to trial, your lawyer will aggressively litigate for a favorable outcome.
From the moment you retain the lawyer until the second your case concludes, they will provide you with guidance and support. They help you understand your rights and offer advice on the best course of action, making them an important ally in your personal injury claim.
When selecting a pain and suffering lawyer in Oklahoma, consider the following factors:
- Experience: Look for a lawyer with experience in handling similar cases. Experienced lawyers are more likely to understand the best strategies to employ.
- Track Record: Consider their track record in handling pain and suffering claims. A lawyer with a history of successful settlements or court victories is likely a good choice.
- Communication: Choose a lawyer who communicates clearly and informs you about your case. Regular updates and easy accessibility are signs of a good lawyer-client relationship.
- Client Reviews: Check reviews or testimonials from previous clients to gauge the lawyer’s effectiveness and client satisfaction.
Finally, choose a lawyer you feel comfortable with. Trust and comfort are essential for a successful lawyer-client relationship. A pain and suffering lawyer not only increases your chances of receiving fair compensation but also eases the burden of the legal process, allowing you to focus on recovery.
Injured? Get a Free Consultation From an Oklahoma Pain and Suffering Lawyer
If you’re dealing with the aftermath of an injury and believe you have a pain and suffering claim, don’t hesitate to reach out to Carr & Carr. Our experienced personal injury lawyers are ready to listen to your story, evaluate your case, and help you obtain the compensation you deserve. We understand the challenges you’re facing and are committed to helping you every step of the way.
Remember, time is a critical factor in these cases. Contacting us as soon as possible ensures that we can start working on your claim within the necessary time frames. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you won’t pay any fees unless we win. To learn more or schedule a free initial consultation, contact us today.