Making an injury claim after a car accident? A key issue is to determine how much pain and suffering compensation should you ask from the defendant. It is not an easy task and there are many things that you will need to take into account when you are figuring out the amount. There are many methods used by insurance companies in determining the amount of damages. These generally include the compensation for the medical bills incurred as a result of the accident, lost wages, and some amount for pain and suffering. If you are in a situation where you need to calculate the amount of pain and suffering in a car accident and the damages to be paid by the defendant, this blog will serve as a guide.
Calculating Pain and Suffering - The Methods
There are two main methods that are used in calculating the amount of pain and suffering in a car accident case. These methods are:
· The multiplier method
· The per diem method
These methods will help you in deciding on the final claim value in a car accident case. You can use any of these methods or get help from experienced personal injury attorneys at Christopher Jackson Law to do it for you. Let's talk about these methods in detail.
The Multiplier Method
One of the most commonly used methods of determining the amount of pain and suffering in a car accident case is the multiplier method. This method involves multiplying the actual damages, such as lost wages and medical bills, by a certain number. Most of the personal injury lawyers will multiply the actual damages by 3. This gives them a reasonable amount that they can use as a base to claim for damages in the car accident. Thus, if the medical bills after your car accident amounted to $2,000 and the amount of lost wages was $1,000, you will have to multiply $3,000 by 3, which will result in a total amount of $9,000.
However, insurance companies these days do not automatically concede using a multiple of three as a reasonable way of calculating pain and suffering in a car accident case. What they do today is calculate the actual damages and then multiply it by an amount that is determined using complex software programs. The result usually undervalues your claim. The amount of the multiplier depends on how serious an injury have you suffered as a result of the car accident. It also depends on the length of your recovery and also any related aggravating circumstances.
Thus, in a more serious accident, the multiplier may be more than 3. On the other hand, for a minor injury, it may be 1 or 2. Any aggravated circumstances, such as intoxicated driver, the multiplier used can be higher. If the accident also involved some of your fault, the multiplier will be lower.
The Per Diem Method
Another method to determine pain and suffering in a car accident is the per diem method. This daily rate method involves assigning a fixed amount of money for each day or week you suffer after getting injured in a car accident. For instance, if your lost income due to the injury is $1,000 and the medical bills amount to $5,000, leaving you with a total amount of $6,000. You took pain relief medications and saw a physician regularly for three months. The pain relieved completely after three months and you were able to resume your normal activities. If you assign a daily value at $200, then under the per diem method, multiply $200 by 90 days, which gives you an amount of $18,000.
Determining the daily rate is usually dependent on the income you would have made each day if you weren't injured. In short, it is the amount of your daily wage. Thus, if you used to make $200 each day before you were injured and are not able to go to work now, $200 will be an appropriate amount as per the daily rate method.
Whatever per diem amount you choose, there should be a legitimate reason that you can articulate to the judge and jury.
The Final Value
The most systematic and efficient way of determining pain and suffering in a car accident is to use both these methods and get a rough estimate. You can then adjust your expectations based on factors such as the severity of your injury, permanence of the injury, etc. Also, add to it the amount of time you had to stay out of work because of the injury. Applying all these factors will allow you to get a reasonable figure for the pain and suffering in a car accident case.
Now that you have determined the final value, the next step is to craft your demand letter and start with the settlement negotiations. We, at Christopher Jackson Law, have seasoned personal injury attorneys who can help you in your car accident claims. Having years of experience working on these cases, we will take care of it all. In addition to car accident cases, we also cover a number of other personal injury cases, helping the victims get the compensation they deserve.
We offer free consultation services that you can use to determine whether or not you require a personal injury lawyer in Kentucky. If you are looking for a seasoned personal injury attorney for your car accident case, we can help you out. Get in touch with us today and we will work together on your case. Call us at 859-261-1111 today for free consultation.