How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated in Car Accident Claims?

Pain and Suffering in Car Accident Claims:

If you were injured in a car accident, you would be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages encompass medical bills, lost wages, and other objectively verifiable losses. Non-economic damages are subjective in nature. They include emotional distress, loss of enjoyment in life, and pain and suffering.

Non-economic damages cannot be calculated using tangible documentation. Because of this attorneys have to take a different approach to prove their value. The two most widely used methods for calculating pain and suffering are the “Per Diem” and the “Multiplier” method.

Multiplier Method for Calculating Pain and Suffering

The multiplier method involves multiplying the total past and future medical bills by a factor between 1.5 and 5. The more severe the injuries, the higher the multiplier. For example, let’s assume a pedestrian was hit by a negligent driver and suffered a spinal cord injury. In this case, the multiplier might be 4 or 5. But if the victim had only suffered a broken arm, the multiplier might be 1.5 or 2.

Per Diem Method for Calculating Pain and Suffering

There is a specific dollar value assigned to each day until you reach the Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)in Per-Diem method. That amount is usually $100 or one day’s wages. If, for example, it takes you 90 days to heal and your attorney uses a daily value of $100, your total pain and suffering would be $9,000.

Evidence to Prove Pain and Suffering

Just because your attorney uses an accepted formula to calculate pain and suffering doesn’t mean the insurance company or opposing party will cooperate. Ultimately, the success of your claim and the compensation you recover will hinge on the strength of the evidence used to prove liability and damages.

While proving medical bills, lost wages, and other objectively verifiable losses is fairly straightforward, demonstrating that non-economic damages are warranted can be challenging. Here are a few types of evidence your attorney might use to strengthen your claim:

Your daily journal that details how the injuries are affecting your life;
Photos and medical documentation that show the severity of your injuries;
Testimony from family and friends detailing the effects of the injuries on your life; and
Testimony from medical experts regarding the severity of your injuries.

The importance of hiring a skilled attorney to represent you cannot be overstated. Your lawyer can calculate your damages and compile evidence to prove their value.If your case goes to trial, your attorney will use proven litigation strategies to compel the jury into sympathizing for your condition.

Also, hiring a seasoned personal injury lawyer will tell the insurance company that you are ready to take your case to court if necessary. This could actually lead to a fair payout without having to go through the stress and hassle of trial.

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