How do lawyers calculate pain and suffering in insurance company?
When you file a personal injury claim, the insurance company will first consider the actual financial losses you suffered in the accident: property damage, lost wages, and medical bills, for example. However, your claim usually also includes non-economic losses you may have suffered in the accident.
You may have lost more than just money due to the careless actions of the negligent party. You may have suffered a great deal of physical pain or experienced immense emotional distress while dealing with the aftermath of the accident. To claim compensation for these non-economic losses, you can include pain and suffering in your insurance claim. In this way, you will be able to receive compensation for the suffering you suffered after the accident.
However, calculating compensation for damages can be incredibly complex.
How insurance companies calculate pain and suffering
Insurance companies often have a formula for calculating pain and suffering after an accident. They start with a review of your actual medical expenses. Then, in many cases, they use a predetermined formula to establish the compensation that corresponds to you for non-economic losses. The formula varies according to insurance companies. In many cases, however, the insurance company’s approach results in only a small percentage of the compensation you may be entitled to for the losses you suffered during the accident.
You may be missing out on much of the compensation you deserve for your accident if you rely solely on an insurance company’s calculations to determine the amount of pain and suffering compensation you should receive.
How a lawyer calculates pain and suffering
A lawyer tends to analyze your case in a more personal way than an expert from the insurance company. Unlike the insurance company, the attorney works to maximize your interests and ensure that the compensation you receive reflects the actual damages and suffering you have faced due to your accident. An attorney will consider various elements that may contribute to your overall suffering following a serious accident.
In the past, both attorneys and insurance company used one of two methods to determine the amount of compensation a plaintiff could receive for pain and suffering. These methods are called the multiplier method and the diet method.
The multiplier method
Some attorneys use the multiplier method to determine the amount of compensation accident victims should receive for pain and suffering in insurance company. The multiplier method starts from the real economic damages suffered by the injured party. The attorney then multiplies the actual losses by a fixed number. The attorney may use a flat figure ranging from 1.5 times the economic damages suffered by the victim up to a higher amount: infrequently, around four times that damages. The result is the amount that they will help you request in your claim for compensation for damages.
The diet method
Instead of using the multiplier method, some attorneys use the per diem method to calculate the compensation a victim could claim for pain and suffering. With this method, the attorney will multiply a fixed number by the number of days it took for the victim to reach maximum recovery.
What factors does a lawyer take into account?
There is no simple formula for an attorney to calculate pain and suffering. Most attorneys use a mathematical formula to determine the amount of their client’s damage award. However, an attorney may use his or her discretion in determining the amount of the claim. It may take into account factors such as the extent of the client’s suffering and injuries.
#1. What injuries have you suffered?
Many attorneys will take into account the injuries you sustained in the accident. Major injuries carry significantly higher overall medical bills, and can also cause more suffering and complications in your life. For example, if you suffered a traumatic brain injury, you may be in more trouble than if you suffered broken bones in the accident.
#2. How serious are your injuries?
Injuries vary in severity, even of the same type. A victim who sustains a leg fracture that does not require surgery, for example, may have a much shorter road to recovery than a victim who sustains a leg fracture that requires surgery. Similarly, a person who sustains a complete spinal cord injury may be paralyzed for life. In contrast, a victim with an incomplete spinal cord injury may experience only a small decrease in mobility and may be more likely to recover over time.
Your attorney can review your medical history, any notes your doctor may have made about your injury, and review the time you spent recovering. Your medical history can help show how much you have suffered due to the injuries you sustained in your accident.
#3. How much time did you have to spend in recovery?
Even if your attorney does not use the per diem method to calculate the compensation you may deserve for pain and suffering, you may want to know how long you spent in recovery. A long road to recovery can mean considerably more suffering over time than an injury that has a relatively short recovery time.
Suppose, for example, that a person suffered a traumatic brain injury in the accident. They worked diligently on his recovery, including with an occupational therapist. After three months, he made a full recovery and his cognitive ability returned to normal. Another patient, on the other hand, might have worked just as diligently but struggled with TBI symptoms for more than a year after the accident. That patient might deserve more compensation for his long-term pain and suffering, even though, on the surface, the two victims suffered relatively similar injuries.
Because the length of your suffering may be a factor in your claim, your attorney may recommend that you wait until you have a good idea of what your recovery will look like and how long it will likely take before moving forward with a personal injury claim. Working closely with your attorney can help you determine exactly how to handle your claim.
#4. What limitations did you experience as a result of your injuries?
To determine the compensation you should claim for pain and suffering. Your attorney can assess the type of suffering you faced due to the accident. Each patient’s challenges are different because each patient’s lifestyle, hobbies, and levels of independence are different.
For example Jack. Jack runs every morning before work to help improve his overall mental health. He participates in martial arts classes twice a week, every week, and considers the people there like family. When Jack gets into a car accident that leaves him with multiple fractures. He finds that he can’t do his favorite activities for weeks. He feels bored, irritable and notices an increase in general depression due to the forced lack of exercise. In the long term, he finds that he can no longer run due to his injuries. And has to limit his martial arts activities for months or even years after the accident. He may not be able to take care of himself without help.
Roger, on the other hand, leads a relatively sedentary lifestyle. His favorite hobbies are video games and seeing the latest superhero movie in the cinema. You could suffer injuries similar to Jack’s in an accident. However, since he was not involved in sports or high-impact activities prior to the accident. His lifestyle may have changed differently than Jack’s because of the accident. Roger cannot sit for a long time at the movies or play video games. Or he may need help to attend to his daily needs. Thus, Jack and Roger’s injuries affected them differently, even though their injuries were substantially similar.