How to File a Pain and Suffering Claim

An injured persons pain and suffering is often difficult to quantify, but there is no doubt that these pose real and valid damages after a devastating car crash.  If you’ve been in a car accident recently and are experiencing physical pain and mental suffering, you will want to file a pain and suffering claim.

Filing these claims can be challenging because it is a subjective discussion, where the evidence is mostly based on the injured parties’ subjective complaints and testimony. Before making a pain and sufferings claim, it is important to understand how the process works.

Filing a Pain and Suffering Claim in Arizona

Each state is different in how it handles pain and suffering claims.  Some states have a “damages cap” that limits the amount you can claim.  Unfortunately, these limits are placed solely to control how much money someone can recover for their injuries.  In Arizona, there is no limit to how much you can recover.  

Gathering Proof for Your Pain and Suffering claim

The reason pain and suffering claims are difficult to prove are that you have to (a) show proof that you’re experiencing pain, and (b) show proof that the pain is a direct result of the accident.

Gathering the proof for your case is frustrating, and often includes, but is not limited to:

  • Obtaining the accident report to show the severity of the accident 
  • Medical records
  • Mental health records
  • X-rays and other imaging
  • Photos of injuries 
  • Photos of damage to the vehicles

One key point when gathering proof of pain and suffering is to remember that you will likely need opinions from medical professionals.  Make copies of everything for your legal team and the insurance company. Once you provide this information, along with proof of any economic damages, you are ready to file a pain and suffering claim.

Filing a Pain and Suffering Claim in Arizona

If you are not using a legal team to file your pain and suffering claim, this is the time that you would submit a demand letter.

It includes all the proof you’ve gathered, which is sent to the insurance company. The more thorough you were in your collection, the easier this stage will be to handle.

Your demand letter should be a thorough justification of the amount you are requesting in the claim. A convincing demand letter is:

  1. Accurate: Write or voice record the details of the accident as soon as you can following the accident. It will help you remember the facts accurately. You should also have a copy of the accident report.
  2. Detailed: Every claim in your demand letter should come with a piece of evidence to support it—don’t leave out any details.
  3. Focused: While you are telling a story of pain and suffering, the letter should remain professional. Don’t use slang, and proofread it before submitting the final draft.

Even though the process for proving pain and suffering may be long, it is important to keep in mind that Arizona has a time limit on filing these claims (also referred to as the “statute of limitations.”).  In Arizona, claimants must file within two years of the accident.

After You Submit a Pain and Suffering Claim in Arizona

The only thing left to do after submitting a pain and suffering claim is to wait until the insurance company sends a settlement offer.

If you’re settling out of court, we recommend having a legal team look over the offer. They can assist you with what to do next, especially when a claim is denied, or you receive lower-than-expected settlement offers.

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