The first step to winning a personal injury case requires proving that the other party was at fault. The second part is demonstrating a price for the “pain and suffering” from the accident or negligence.
This part may be tricky as insurance companies have specific methods to determining how much should be awarded or how much is your case worth.
What is Pain and Suffering from an Accident?
Pain refers to any discomfort and physical consequences from the accident. Broken bones, recovering from surgery, etc. fall under this category.
The suffering portion is broader and covers effects such as emotional disorders (i.e. depression, anxiety, etc.), physical limitations and loss of consortium with your spouse or partner.
Pain and suffering is also separated into two categories: current and current/future. This is helpful for people who go through a traumatic experience.
The injuries may heal in a reasonably short time, but mental effects like nightmares and depression could last for an unknown period.
So, why is rehabilitation and treatment after an accident so important? Read More on Why Rehabilitation Costs Make Settlement Expensive.
How to Calculate Pain and Suffering
Damages are not just the cost of the medical bills. Insurance companies have two ways to calculate your total pain and suffering damages.
The Per Diem Method
The per diem method uses a somewhat confusing approach to calculating pain and suffering. Here, the insurance company gives a daily or weekly rate for how long you were in pain.
For example, if you had a concussion and had to miss 5 days of work, you could receive 5 days’ worth of your salary from the insurance company.
Your daily rate increases by factors such as how much pain you were in during those 5 days. This method is a bit arbitrary, and may not be easy to calculate for children and adults who do not work
The Multiplier Method
The multiplier method is easy to understand. Insurance companies look at your bills and multiply the amount by a number between 1 and 5, usually. Let’s say you have a broken foot and the medical bills totaled $4,000. Using a multiplier of 3, you could receive $12,000 for your injury.
The same multiplier is not used for everyone. The average person may get a multiplier of 3 for a broken foot, for example, but a dancer may receive a 4 or 5. The multiplier varies in every case, but key criteria for pain and suffering are:
- The type of pain/injury
- How severe the pain/injury is
- How long the pain/injury lasts
- If there were permanent effects from the injury
- How clearly your doctor observes your injury
- How much documentation you have supporting your injury
The Role of Your Attorney
Benjamin Drake is a critical factor in how much of a multiplier or per diem rate you receive. Our attorneys will explain how your situation is unique and why the insurance company needs to consider additional information.
The Drake Law Firm are experts in Personal Injury and Accident cases, and are a major contributing factor so that you are awarded all you deserve for your pain and suffering.
Remember that after an accident or a car crash seek immediate medical attention and contact an attorney specializing in recovering compensation you deserve