When you’re injured as a result of someone else’s actions, you may be entitled to a personal injury settlement from the at-fault person’s insurance company. When reviewing your settlement claims, you will likely encounter the phrase “pain and suffering.” It is a common topic of discussion in personal injury law, and it’s a topic with which you should become acquainted if you want to achieve the ideal outcome from your settlement case. In this latest post, we’ll explain a little more about the insurance company‘s process for how they calculate pain and suffering.
What is Pain and Suffering?
First, we should define pain and suffering and explain what the phrase refers to within the context of a personal injury claim. In this case, pain and suffering refers to a number of injuries that you might experience as a result of an accident. The physical pain is one aspect of the term. That might be related to the physical pain you have to undergo as a result of broken bones or strained ligaments.
Another element is the mental pain that you have suffered as a result of your injuries. You may find that you have recurring nightmares after the event, or that you’re no longer able to enjoy the activities you once did, as a result of the injuries you’ve suffered. These elements will be taken into consideration by the insurance adjuster when settling a claim related to pain and suffering
What Happens in the Calculation Process
Now we come to the part of the discussion that can confuse people: the calculation process. It’s important to remember that there are no clear rules for how to calculate pain and suffering and taking into account what a person has experienced as a result of their injuries.
Generally, however, there are two methods used in the insurance industry. The first is to multiply the plaintiff’s actual, tangible costs, including medical bills and lost wages, by a number between 1 and 5. The most severe injuries are multiplied by 5 while the least severe are multiplied by 1 or 2. For example, in a case where the plaintiff has their leg broken in an accident and incurs $4,000 in medical costs, the insurance company might multiply the figure by 2 and calculate pain and suffering to be worth $8,000 in the settlement
How Pain and Suffering is Proven
Within personal injury cases, amounts are given to the plaintiff for their pain and suffering, but it’s often difficult to prove the pain and suffering experienced. Evidence used in cases such as these include journals, which highlight the person’s suffering on a daily basis.
The plaintiff can also provide evidence of visits with mental health professionals. That can be an essential part in proving your case to the insurance adjuster and showing that you are committed to finding a resolution to your mental health challenges. The mental health professional can also help back up claims related to insomnia, anxiety, and other health issues that you’ve been experiencing as a result of the accident.
How to Decide on a Fair Amount
Once you have established your pain and suffering levels, your insurance adjuster will provide you with what they consider to be a fair settlement amount. It’s then your decision to either accept or reject the offer. To decide on a fair amount, consider the multiplication method and determine if the amount offered matches the scale of your injuries.
When making this decision, you should also take into consideration any other related factors that now impact your life as a result of the accident. For example, if you have a scar on your face from the accident, then this might increase the amount that you request from the insurance adjuster. While this scar might not be a tangible element in determining your settlement, it will be considered under the category of pain and suffering
Common Myths Related to Pain and Suffering
Now that you know more about the process of calculating pain and suffering, let’s review several myths that many clients continue to believe
Pain and Suffering is Over-Compensated
Insurance companies often take pain and suffering claims extremely seriously and will bring in private investigators if they believe a person is overstating their claims. It’s essential you take your claims equally as seriously when consulting with your lawyer.
You Must Contest Your Case in Court
The data shows that 95% of personal injury cases are settled before they go to court. And so, it’s vital that you’re not overly concerned about the process ending up in the courtroom. A skilled Greenville Personal Injury lawyer can help you to settle the case well before the case goes to court while ensuring you receive fair compensation for your injury
Those Indirectly Impacted Can Seek Compensation
If the accident didn’t directly impact you, and you’re not the plaintiff in the case, then it can be very difficult to reach a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company. The ability to seek compensation as someone who was not directly impacted by the event varies on a state-by-state basis.
The Claims Process Can Be Completed Quickly
In most cases, personal injury claims take several months to process, from the initial claim to negotiating with the insurance adjuster and through to final settlement. And so it’s crucial that you don’t go into the process believing it can be completed quickly and without much work on your part. You will be required to take notes and to work with your lawyer to present a clear case for your settlement. Ensure that you’re ready to take on this process when speaking with your lawyer about the range of options available to you.
Our team of legal experts is here now to answer your questions and help you receive the compensation due to you as a result of your pain and suffering. To discover more about personal injury law as it relates to your case, call our team at The Clardy Law Firm today.