The best explanation is to put yourself in the shoes of someone injured because of someone else’s carelessness: a quickly complicated and expensive situation. In addition to the medical bills, you have incurred and lost income (defined as “economic damage “) you are experiencing pain and injuries that limit you from living the life you want.
Who knows the long-term implications of your injury? Who knows how long the pain will last? These thoughts and that pain are all pain and suffering.
The trouble with pain and suffering cases is that everything can be abstract. I put together this quick guide to help break it down based on experience in the courtroom.
What is “Pain and Suffering?”
Pain and suffering is a legal term referring to all the “non-economic” injuries you may have suffered due to the accident.
It includes physical pain and emotional and mental injuries such as fear, grief, insomnia, and worry. Pain and suffering include the loss of enjoyment of life and your inability to carry on your normal activities. In almost every case, the injured person should be able to recover compensation for their pain and suffering, and how much that depends entirely on the case itself.
There are two methods to calculate pain and suffering.
The first method is multiplying your actual damages (medical bills and lost wages) by a specific number, generally between 1 and 5. That number depends on the severity of the injury and the ongoing problems that you’re experiencing from the injury.
The second method is the per diem (Latin for per day) approach. For this, a certain dollar amount is assigned every day from the day of the accident until recovery is reached.
Insurance companies are not obligated to use either of these methods and usually do not. Insurance companies face no strict rules for calculating pain and suffering. They often employ computer programs to determine how much settlement covers pain and suffering. These programs consider the type of injury and the kind of medical treatment sought.
For example, insurance companies frequently consider medical treatment by a physician to signify a more serious injury than treatment by a chiropractor. Remember that if the insurance company deems the treatment excessive for your type of injury, it will not include all of the treatment in its calculation.
Proving Pain and Suffering
Damages for pain and suffering are recoverable – but it depends on how well the injured party’s attorney can prove your case. You’ll need to prepare the best documentation possible to improve your chances of a satisfactory outcome.
Keep documentation such as photos, medical records, and personal journals recording your physical and emotional feelings. Keep and hold onto all evidence. Friends and family also provide additional evidence. Proof of treatment by a mental health professional is also mandatory if you are claiming injuries like anxiety, insomnia, or depression.
The best defense against an insurance company unwilling to bend in their assessment of your injuries is having a lot of documentation.
What is Fair?
When an insurance company makes a settlement offer, how do you know what’s fair? You must remember that to them, your claim is business. They want to resolve it efficiently, effectively, and in a cost-saving way. The insurance company will be quick about settling and push for you to accept their initial offer.
Remember, you do not have to accept it, and here is where working closely with your attorney makes a big difference.
With our knowledge of the facts, proper documentation, and calculation with the multiplier or per Diem methods, we have a good idea of the appropriate settlement amount. Another factor that will help us judge the settlement’s fairness is the permanence of your injury.
Experiencing pain and suffering? Call the personal injury experts at Bashore Green today. Our attorneys want to make the legal process as stress-free as possible. We focus on recovering compensation for you – while you concentrate on your physical and emotional recovery.
If you or a loved one are injured in an auto accident or from any event that is another individual’s fault, call Bashore Green Law Group at 248-487-1887. We will let you know if you have a case and what the possibilities are for recovering compensation.