How are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated after a Personal Injury?
If your injuries resulted from another’s negligent conduct, you have the right to pursue financial compensation for medical bills, property damage costs, and pain and suffering. Most accident victims know how much economic damages they should receive based on hospital bills and vehicle repair costs. However, you might not understand how insurance companies calculate pain and suffering, and how their calculations may result in you not receiving a fair offer.
Insurers often rely on accident victims not understanding how to calculate a pain and suffering settlement, so you should have a personal injury attorney on your side to protect your interests, since these companies employ lawyers to protect their bottom line. Your personal injury lawyer can advise you throughout a personal injury claim and negotiate with insurers to obtain maximum compensation.
What is Pain and Suffering?
Pain and suffering refer to various injuries that victims may suffer as a result of an accident caused by negligence. The term “pain and suffering” encompasses not just physical pain, but also emotional and mental injuries, such as:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Loss of the enjoyment of life
In most injury cases, plaintiffs may recover some portion of pain and suffering damages, but it all depends on their injuries. However, how much compensation victims can receive is more complicated since there are no receipts or bills for these damages.
How To Calculate Pain and Suffering Costs?
Your attorney will typically use one of two ways to determine your pain and suffering costs. The first is the multiplier method. An attorney will multiply your actual economic damages, such as lost wages and medical bills, by a number between one and five. They choose the number based on the severity of your suffering. For example, five is the most severe while one is the least severe. The number they use will depend on your injuries’ severity. For example, if a plaintiff has $3,000 in medical bills from a broken arm, an attorney might multiply that by three. They would then seek $9,000 in pain and suffering from the insurer.
The other method attorneys may use to calculate pain and suffering is the per diem approach. Under this method, an injury attorney will assign a monetary value to each day you spend recovering from the accident. For example, they may assign $100 a day. If it takes you 100 days to reach maximum recovery, they will seek $10,000 in pain and suffering.
Remember, insurance companies are under no obligation to consider these two methods for pain and suffering costs. Many companies use computer programs to determine the amount. The programs often take into account both the injury type and the medical care the victim received. Additionally, insurers might take into account how long the claimant sought treatment.
What’s a Fair Offer for Pain and Suffering Damages?
If the insurance company makes an offer for pain and suffering damages, how do you know what is fair? One way to determine if the offer is appropriate is to use one of the above methods to determine an approximate figure. Then consider whether there were additional circumstances that could increase that amount.
For example, you might have a permanent scar on your face, and it would be reasonable to increase the amount of pain and suffering you deem fair. Conversely, a minor bump on the head that healed quickly may not be worth as much. Keep these factors in mind when an insurance company is presenting a settlement amount. Remember to have your attorney review the offer before accepting it.
Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney in Orlando Today
The aftermath of an accident can be overwhelming and stressful. Let the personal injury attorneys at The Umansky Law Firm take that stress off you. We can handle all aspects of your case so that you can focus on recovery. Our client-focus approach allows our attorneys to help address the specific needs of your case with quick and effective resolutions. To schedule a free consultation, call our office or complete our contact form.