How is Pain and Suffering Valued in a Car Accident Case ?

How is Pain and Suffering Valued in a Car Accident Case ?

If you find yourself in a car accident the costs can go beyond just repairing or replacing a vehicle. If injuries are involved there are the medical treatment costs, and other losses of income that could fall into pain and suffering categories.

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Pain and Suffering Explained

Pain and suffering is the legal term for bodily injury and mental or emotional anguish resulting from the actions of another. Sometimes that can be hard to quantify, while doctor’s bills and diagnoses show what kind of injury was caused and how much they charged to treat it that doesn’t adequately describe the pain you feel. Pain is invisible when looking at a person, as only they can feel the consequences of an injury. Mental suffering is even harder to accurately describe because the stress one individual feels or suffers from is different from others in similar situations. This makes proving pain and suffering challenging, but in most cases there are two ways of estimating the cost incurred from the injuries.


Daily Rate Method

One way to calculate the pain and suffering is to use a daily rate method, or what is commonly referred to as the Per Diem Method. Basically this is a way to break down the cost incurred for each day of recovery, though sometimes the calculation can be based on a weekly rate instead. As a general baseline, the daily rate might be what you would usually earn in that day. If the injuries prevented you from working and you normally received $100 a day, then you could claim that because you could make $100 a day then that is what you are owed on top of any covered medical treatments.


Multiplier Method

Insurance companies often use this method by assigning a multiplier to the actual damages. Say the damages were $10,000, the multiplier could be a 3, so the pain and suffering would be $30,000. The multiplier is created based on the severity of the injury, 1 being minimal and normally only going up to a 5 for serious harm. For more debilitating injuries exceptions can be made to use a multiplier greater than 5.


When making a final decision on what cost the pain and suffering incurred, using a combination of both methods above can be the most effective way of arriving at an appropriate value. Contacting an experienced attorney can help you determine what you’re most likely going to be able to receive and begin the settlement process to make yourself whole again, reducing the stress of having to take the case on alone.

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