If you’ve been injured in a car accident in West Palm Beach, you may be wondering how pain and suffering are calculated in a lawsuit. While the calculation can vary depending on the circumstances of the accident, there are some common factors that are taken into account.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of those factors. Keep in mind that every case is different, so if you have specific questions about your own case, you should speak to an experienced West Palm Beach car accident lawyer.
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What Is Pain and Suffering?
“Pain and suffering” is a phrase that is often used in personal injury cases. It is important to understand the difference between pain and suffering, as they are each compensated differently. “Pain” is the physical hurt that you feel after an accident. This can include aches, pains, and throbbing.
“Suffering” is the mental anguish that you experience. This can include worry, stress, and anxiety. You might suffer even if you don’t physically feel any pain.
When pursuing a personal injury case, it is important to keep track of both your pain and your suffering. Each will be compensated differently, so it is important to document both.
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How Much Is Pain and Suffering Worth?
Every injury is unique, and the amount of money awarded will vary depending on the individual case. In West Palm Beach, several factors will be considered when determining the amount of money awarded for pain and suffering.
- Does the injury prevent you from enjoying life?
- The severity and permanency of the injury
- The physical pain and suffering caused by the injury
- The mental anguish and emotional distress caused by the injury
- The effect of the injury on your relationships
- The lost wages and earning potential caused by the injury
- The medical bills and other economic damages caused by the injury
A car accident victim who suffers a minor injury that heals quickly might be entitled to a few thousand dollars for pain and suffering. A victim who is left with a debilitating injury that requires long-term or lifelong care might be entitled to millions of dollars.
Pain and suffering are only one type of damage to which a car accident victim may be entitled. Other damages may include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
An experienced West Palm Beach car accident lawyer can help you understand all the damages you may be entitled to and fight for the total compensation you deserve.
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How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated?
Pain and suffering are non-economic damage, which means they’re not based on actual costs or financial losses. Instead, it’s based on the victim’s subjective experience of pain and suffering. In other words, it’s based on how the injury has affected the victim’s life.
There are a few different ways that pain and suffering can be calculated. The two main formulas are:
- Per diem, or daily rate, method
- Multiplier method
Per Diem, or Daily Rate Method
The per diem, or daily rate, calculates pain and suffering by considering the victim’s mental and physical anguish.
This method starts with an “amount per day” rate based on the injuries’ severity. For example, a victim who sustained severe burns over a large portion of their body might have a higher per diem rate than someone who suffered a broken arm.
The per diem rate is then multiplied by the number of days the victim suffered from pain and suffering. This can be difficult to estimate, but it is typically based on the length of time it takes for the victim to reach maximum medical improvement.
In some cases, the per diem method may also consider the victim’s lost earnings and future medical expenses. While there is no guarantee that this method will produce a fair result in every case, it can be a useful starting point for determining damages.
The multiplier method is a common way of calculating pain and suffering damages in personal injury cases.
This method considers the victim’s economic and non-economic damages, such as medical bills and lost wages, and the victim’s pain and suffering.
To calculate the pain and suffering multiplier, the victim’s economic damages are added together and then multiplied by a number between 1.5 and 5, depending on the severity of the injuries.
The resulting figure is the victim’s estimated pain and suffering damages. While the Multiplier method is not an exact science, it can give victims and their families a better idea of what to expect regarding compensation.
What Type of Evidence Does the Insurance Company Review to Determine Pain and Suffering?
The insurance company will review all the evidence in your case to determine how much compensation you can offer for pain and suffering. This evidence may include:
- Your medical records
- Your medical bills
- Your lost wage documentation
- Your testimony
- Witness testimony
- Accident reports
- Police reports
The insurance company will also consider the nature and severity of your injuries, the time it took to reach maximum medical improvement, and your prognosis.
Our experienced West Palm Beach car accident lawyers can help you gather and present the evidence needed to maximize your compensation.
Related Article: Can You Sue For Emotional Distress After A Car Accident?
What Factors Affect the Value of My Pain and Suffering Case?
Several factors can affect the value of your pain and suffering case. Some of these factors include:
Severity of Injuries
One of the main factors affecting the value of your pain and suffering claim is the severity of your injuries. The more severe your injuries are, the more you can expect to receive compensation.
The severity of your injuries will be determined by your type of injuries, the length of time it took to reach maximum medical improvement, and your prognosis.
Length of Time to Reach Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)
Generally speaking, people who achieve MMI quickly will receive less compensation than those who take longer to reach MMI. This is because the injuries are not as severe and the prognosis is more favorable. However, there are exceptions to this rule. If your injuries are particularly severe or if you have a pre-existing condition that exacerbates your injuries, you may be entitled to more compensation.
Your prognosis is another critical factor affecting the value of your pain and suffering claim. If you have a good prognosis, you will likely receive less compensation than someone with a poor prognosis.
The prognosis will be determined by the severity of your injuries, the time it took to reach maximum medical improvement, and your doctor’s opinion on your expected recovery.
Amount of Economic Damages
Economic damages are the out-of-pocket expenses you have incurred due to your injuries. These expenses may include medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. The more economic damage you have suffered, the more your pain and suffering are worth.
Impact on Your Life
If your injuries have caused you to miss important life events, such as your child’s birth or your wedding, you can expect to receive more compensation. If your injuries have caused you to suffer a permanent disability, you can also expect to receive more in compensation.
Related Article: Can You Sue For Lost Wages In A Car Accident?
How An Attorney Can Help Prove Pain And Suffering
An experienced car accident attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to make your case.
Medical records are one of the most critical pieces of evidence in a personal injury case. Your attorney will work with your doctors to obtain records documenting the nature and extent of your injuries.
These records include diagnostic test results, medical bills, and progress notes. Your attorney may also seek damages for future medical treatment if your injuries are expected to require long-term care.
In addition to medical records, your attorney may also use deposition testimony, declarations from expert witnesses, and photographs or video footage to establish the extent of your pain and suffering.
If you have been involved in a severe accident, talk to a West palm beach Car accident lawyer who can help you understand all of the available forms of evidence and build the strongest possible case on your behalf.
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When to File a Pain and Suffering Lawsuit After a Car Accident
There are, of course, exceptions to every rule. And when it comes to car accident injuries, there are times when you might need to file a pain and suffering lawsuit to get the compensation you deserve. When might this be the case? Let’s take a look.
- If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident, you might need to file a pain and suffering lawsuit to get the full extent of your damages. This is especially true if you’re facing permanent disability or disfigurement. The insurance company might try to lowball you on your settlement, but a good lawyer can help you get the full amount you’re entitled to.
- If the other driver was clearly at fault for the accident and refused to cooperate with the insurance company, you might need to file suit to get them to pay attention. In these cases, it’s often necessary to go to court to get justice.
- Even if your case does settle out of court, there’s always a possibility the insurance company low balling you on your settlement offer. If this happens, don’t hesitate to ask your lawyer for help negotiating a fair settlement. Sometimes it takes a little extra effort to get what you deserve, but it’s always worth it in the end.
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Get in Touch With our West Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyers!
It is difficult to determine how much money you can receive for pain and suffering after a car accident. Many factors go into the final calculation, from the severity of your injuries to whether or not you contributed to the accident.
Understanding how insurance companies calculate these damages can help you know what to expect. A skillful West Palm Beach car accident lawyer can help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Have you been injured in a car accident? Contact us today for a free consultation.