Des Moines, IA – Accidents are often a large inconvenience and a source of serious injuries that can affect someone’s career and livelihood. Victims should always contact their insurance company and file a claim related to their losses, however there are limits and conditions on insurance policies paying out based on the specific terms of any form of coverage. One of the most important losses that will require legal help in addition to the insurance process is non-economic damages tied to emotional pain and suffering. These damages can be large when someone has a permanent injury or experiences constant pain due to a motor vehicle collision, but the total amount is often difficult to predict.  

Damages and negligence

The most relevant law for Iowa accident victims concerned about damages for pain and suffering is the state’s negligence statute. Both economic and non-economic damages are always considered as the final element of a negligence case that determines the amount of compensation that a victim will receive. While economic damages are much more tangible because they focus on losses that can be shown through medical bills, property repairs, and lost wages, an attorney for the plaintiff has more room to argue for non-economic damages after an accident

State law regarding non-economic damages

There are a few sections of the Iowa Code that explain how non-economic damages are calculated. They are a listed in the law as a combination of losses related to pain and suffering, loss of consortium, mental anguish, loss of life enjoyment, and loss of functions related to the body and mind. An attorney can attempt to show the gravity of these losses through medical treatment for chronic pain, or permanent disabilities that result in reduced function. However, there is also a lot of room for argument, and a jury can be persuaded to award a broad range of amounts related to non-economic losses. 

Concluding the lawsuit

In a successful negligence action, the attorney may be able to reach a settlement agreement with the defendant that pays the victim for most of the damages that would have been awarded in a lawsuit, without additional time and money spent in court. If the case does go to trial, the jury will have the final say in terms of what damage award is appropriate. In either case, it is imperative for an accident victim to have professional legal representation along the way. The lawyer can give specific advice regarding the potential size of the damage award and other important points while the case is being litigated. 

Finding legal help after a collision is an efficient way for accident victims to find the right kind of legal help in Des Moines and other parts of Iowa. Users can choose a state and relevant practice area to get connected with a local lawyer in their area.