The severity of the car accident and injuries you have suffered will impact the amount you can ask for in terms of pain and suffering. Before you make a claim, you should consult an injury lawyer and work on their advice regarding this figure. While knowing the amount is important, there are other factors of these claims to consider and you need to know what to expect from them. A personal injury recovery amount can vary based on the claim, but our personal injury lawyers have the knowledge to assist you in the legal process and help recover the most money possible.
Who Can Claim Pain And Suffering?
Pain and suffering is an umbrella term and is legally called general damages. General damages are all the non-financial losses you have suffered due to the accident. This can cover physical pain from injuries or emotional anguish. An inability to work, permanent injuries and disability will also fall under this category of damages.
A good rule of thumb for these damages is that they are anything that goes beyond your medical bills and lost work time. If you have any losses beyond this, you will be able to claim pain and suffering.
How Much Should You Ask For?
As pain and suffering is not based on actual costs, it can be hard to determine the exact amount that should be paid. Insurance companies have overcome this by using a formula to calculate this. There are 3 parts to the formula:
- The insurance company will start with the amount that you are already owed. This will be the medical costs, vehicle repairs and other quantitative costs. This is the easy section of the calculation and the fastest to complete.
- The company will then rate the severity of your situation which is as hard as it sounds. It is also extremely subjective, but certain logic points are applied. An example of this will be living with pain for a few months which is bad, but it is worse if you have to live with the pain for the rest of your life. If you are no longer able to walk, this will be considered even worse. A number between 1 and 5 will be assigned to your case based on the severity of your suffering.
- The last part is to multiply the starting cost by this rating. This means that someone who has hard costs of $20,000 and a suffering rate of 3 will receive $60,000 for pain and suffering. This is $20,000 multiplied by 3.
While this system is not perfect, it does generally work because people who have suffered more will get paid more for this. However, you will still need to prove your case to the insurance company. The problem is that insurance companies are known to undervalue pain and suffering damages. This is one of the reasons why you need to have a good lawyer representing you.
A good lawyer will make a big difference when it comes to the amount you will get for pain and suffering. This matters because this settlement will help you rebuild your life after an accident that has devastating consequences. Pain and suffering will generally be the bulk of the money you get and could exceed $1 million which means you should not allow yourself to be short-changed. A personal injury recovery amount will change depending on the particular claim.
If you have been injured, you need to hire a good lawyer. They will help you determine the amount of pain and suffering as well as represent you during negotiations with the insurance company.