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What Is Pain and Suffering Worth in a Car Accident?

If you are seriously injured in an auto accident and can prove that another person is responsible, you are entitled to compensation, known in legal terms as damages. There are two types of damages: specific (also called economic) and general (also called noneconomic). You can figure out most of your specific damages on your own. Tally up your medical bills, lost income and other expenses related to the accident, and that is the amount of purely economic compensation you are due. If you have a permanent injury that will need care in the future, or will continue to prevent you from earning a living, you can claim additional economic losses.

But your general damages, which are not based on tangible monetary losses, are more difficult to calculate. General damages are compensation for the negative impact the injury has had on your life and include:

  • The toll from physical pain
  • The burden of your mental suffering
  • The loss in the general quality of your life
  • The loss of specific enjoyment of life
  • The loss of consortium (if you are unable to make love to a spouse)

These items, often mentioned collectively as “pain and suffering,” are very hard to place a price on. But factors that increase the amount of a potential award include:

  • Credibility — Is the plaintiff’s claim believable and supported by credible evidence? Some injuries, such as a lost limb or paralysis, are readily apparent. Other injuries, such as back pain, mood swings or night terrors, cannot be proven diagnostically and often depend on the credible testimony of qualified experts.
  • Severity — Simply put, the worse the injury, the higher the potential award. A severed hand is worthy of greater compensation than a broken hand.
  • Disparity — The greater the difference between a victim’s life before the accident and life after, the higher the potential award. A ballet dancer who loses a foot has a greater claim than a sedentary individual with no active pursuits.
  • Sympathy — There are certain human qualities that naturally elicit sympathy from a jury, which can lead to a more generous award. A young honor student whose life was full of hope, a devoted parent with small children, or a solid citizen who has risen from poverty are examples of sympathetic plaintiffs.

Without knowing the specifics of your case, it’s impossible to offer an estimate of pain and suffering damages. However, an experienced personal injury attorney can assess every aspect of your case and apply his or her knowledge about settlements in similar cases to suggest a range of possible results.

If you’re wondering what your personal injury case might be worth, speak with a car accident lawyer at Seigel Law. Call us at 201.444.4000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We assist injured clients in Bergen County and throughout New Jersey.

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  • $7,900,000

    Recovery on behalf of the 16-year-old girl injured by electrical malfunction

  • $8,000,000

    Jury verdict in a catastrophic injury case

  • $1,100,000

    Settlement for a fractured arm in Passaic County

  • $4,775,000

    Settlement for a woman in Bergen County injured in a trucking accident

Meet Our Attorneys

  • (95 Reviews)

    By Teresa R Perez - January, 2018

    I have had a great experience thus far. The personal injury process is stressful and they have been helpful and courteous in getting me the right referrals. I was injured while visiting NJ and live in another state, my case is not an easy one but they are working diligently to help. I appreciate the personalized attention and highly recommend this firm.

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  • (95 Reviews)

    By Miriam Smith-Leone - December, 2017

    The law office was great with my back and neck injury. They directed me to the right doctors and got me a huge settlement. Being a single mom, it help pay off all my debt and bills. Me and my kids can have a bill free christmas, with plenty of food and happiness, stress free. They are the best ever and I would highly recommend them to anyone rich or poor, who has been in an accident and need legal help...

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  • (95 Reviews)

    By L C - October, 2017

    After the misfortune of suffering an injury, I had the good fortune to choose Seigel Law to represent me. During my initial meeting with Jan Seigel, I found him to be extremely confident and reassuring---he totally put me at ease. I was represented by Mark Mc Bratney---an EXCELLENT attorney. He was supportive and professional through the entire process, and provided an excellent outcome for my case.

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  • (95 Reviews)

    By Liliana Paredes - October, 2017

    Honest, trustworthy and very straight forward. In unvarnished truth Jonas Siegel will tell you exactly where you stand and what direction you should go. Jonas has tenacity coupled with a degree of tenderness, but never losing site of the end goal, which is to protect, defend and have the best outcome for his clients. I defenetly recoment this law firm. Thanks for helping me out in my case.

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  • (95 Reviews)

    By Oren Goldshmidt - September, 2017

    I'd like to thank everyone at segal law for the amazing experience they provided me. From the moment I stepped in to the end of the case , segal and his team delivered exactly what they promised. I couldn't have received any better treatment from a law firm. Any concerns, questions or problems I had were addressed and dealt with accordingly...

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What we offer our clients


Personal injury and medical knowledge

Our knowledgeable team of personal injury lawyers includes a medical doctor who advises on complex medical topics


One-on-one attorney attention

By maintaining a limited number of cases, our attorneys can provide personalized attention to each client we serve


Results-oriented strategies

Our lawyers have won numerous high verdicts and settlements, many in the high six- and seven-figure range, for our injured clients


Trial experience

Every trial attorney in our firm is a certified trial attorney by the New Jersey Supreme Court


Communication as a priority

We understand how important communication is to a successful attorney-client relationship, we return calls within 24 hours


Community involvement

Our lawyers and staff are active in community outreach and community service programs

  • "The lawyers at Seigel Law know how to get you the results you want. Jan Seigel and His team returned every one of my phone calls, listened to me and worked with me to a desirable outcome. Seigel Law definitely goes above and beyond to protect the injured." - B.M.

  • "After my car accident, my life turned into a disaster. Dealing with everything became impossible. Jan Seigel and his people helped me with every aspect of my injuries and the insurance companies so I could focus on healing. They helped me through everything and they got me what I was due." - M.P.

  • "I found the personnel to be very efficient, and work very quickly. I'm happy that I was referred to this firm, because I found that I was very comfortable working with them." - F.V.

  • "Amazing. I have to say they were very supportive and were able to give me tons of information. I didn't feel rushed and felt they truly cared about my well-being. Their website is also extremely helpful and well setup." - T.D.

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