How to Determine Pain and Suffering in a Car Accident Case
When car accidents happen, the first thing that comes to mind is damage to the vehicle and physical damage to people. Is there any? There are accidents of varying levels, with some of them being seemingly minor and others including a totaled car as a result. When somebody is filing an auto insurance claim, the claim often consists of a component for “pain and suffering.”
This part of the process is used to determine the value to pay out on a claim for a car accident. With numerous factors to consider, the automobile insurance adjuster will plug information into a formula to get a rough estimate of what a person’s total claim could be worth. This includes physical pain, mental pain, and other sufferings.
How To Calculate Pain And Suffering
Calculating pain-and-suffering is something that auto insurance adjusters do as part of their process. It is essential to keep in mind that your automobile insurance company wants to pay out the least amount they can, from a legal perspective. Your automobile insurance provider is a business that is looking to profit. Due to this, they are dedicated to maximizing the amount of money they can make. Many insurance companies want to get a quick settlement accomplished.
Following an automobile crash, your insurance provider may look to offer you a large check to cover medical bills. There may even be some money left over as well. While these checks can be pretty large, and very tempting, the car insurance providers have motivation for getting the claim paid off quickly. If they are able to pay and close the claim before additional expenses are added, they can save money overall.
When people are involved in a serious car crash the injuries might not be noticeable for weeks or months. Long-term back damage, long-term neck damage, and long-term pain-and-suffering are all examples of things that can come up after some time. Emotional damage can also be included in this list. The best way to make sure that you are fully compensated for your pain-and-suffering, as well as for other potential long-term factors is to hire a car accident attorney.
Calculating medical bills that result from an accident is easy to do. Simply look at the statements from the hospital, doctors, specialists, pharmacists, and clinics, and you will get an amount. Each insurance company has a formula they use to calculate pain-and-suffering, but your car accident attorney may come up with a different amount. While the insurance companies do not have an exact formula for calculating the average amount of this type of settlement, by hiring a person who knows the system, you can benefit immensely.
Take a visit to the doctor’s office if you have been in a car accident, and get a physical. This increases the likelihood that your claim will be accepted and give you documentation of potential injuries that could bring you more money. Even if you do not think that you have been seriously injured, it is still essential to visit a doctor. Things like whiplash might not start to appear until a few days after an automobile accident. If you have already settled with your insurance company, you might not be able to get the additional compensation you need or deserve.
The average car accident settlement is around $21,000. In order to get a rough estimate on your settlement, you will use a multiplier. This is what automobile insurance companies use as well.
The Multiplier Method
There are a few different multipliers that are used, and which one is used is dependent upon the circumstances surrounding your automobile accident. The situations involved with different automobile accidents can vary quite a bit, making it hard to pin down which multiplier will be used. When you contact a personal injury lawyer, they multiply a client’s actual damages by three, perhaps 4 or 5, to determine what reasonable damages are for their demand letter. This can give a good starting point for people who have been in an accident as well. If your medical bills were $3,000, and your lost wages were $2,000, you would multiply those numbers by three, add them together, and get an estimate for your claim.
Just because this is what personal injury lawyers tend to use in their demand letter does not mean that the insurance companies agree to it automatically. Insurance companies use complex programs that will sometimes undervalue a person’s claim. The seriousness of a person’s injuries can come up over time, so making sure that your automobile insurance claim is reasonable is important. This is why hiring a professional car accident attorney can be so vital.
The Daily Rate Method
Another method that can be used is a daily rate method. A specific amount of money is assigned to each day a person suffers the effects of an automobile accident. By selecting a per day number, such as the wages a person has lost combined with average anticipated medical bills, a per-day evaluation is made. This number should be able to be presented logically and not just a number that is tossed out there. Coming up with reasons for that number is essential for when you make your case to a judge or jury. There needs to be a reasonable basis for the chosen number.
What Happens If You Exceed The Other Driver’s Maximum Liability Coverage?
There is a possibility that the other driver’s maximum liability coverage limit is not enough to pay for the total cost of your injuries. Some people choose only to purchase minimum liability insurance. If someone’s coverage they have purchased is $30,000, and your bills add up to $40,000, there is an additional $10,000 that the driver could still owe you. In order to recoup this money, you will need to sue the other driver for the remaining amount. For people who have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, these policies are in place to help cover the difference.
Pain-and-suffering can vary widely between cases, even in very similar accidents. Scheduling an appointment with a car accident attorney before accepting what your car insurance provider offers can have a considerable impact on the amount of money received in your claim. This puts you on a better financial footing for potential aftereffects of an automobile accident.