How Do Insurance Companies Calculate Pain and Suffering?

Personal Injury

Understanding Pain and Suffering

Come to think of it, how can you determine a monetary value for pain and suffering after an accident? While there are no set standards for establishing pain and suffering in an injury claim, there are some factors that an insurance company puts into consideration when calculating the settlement amount.

Pain and suffering entail a broad range of damages ranging from physical pain to emotional turmoil, fear, worry, inability to sleep and loss of enjoyment of life as well as other inconveniences. You can recover some damages for pain and suffering in almost every personal injury case.  That said, how does an insurance provider determine the value of pain and suffering?  As stated, there is no particular formula to calculate the value of pain and suffering after an accident. However, most often, lawyers either multiply the value of actual damages (medical expenses and lost income) by a number between 1 and 5 based on the intensity of the injury.

Thus, if your actual damages have a value of $5,000, the attorney may triple that, so you end up getting $15,000 as the value for pain and suffering.   Alternatively, the lawyer may use the per diem method, also known as the per day approach. The attorney will assign a particular daily amount, say $500 from the day you sustained injuries up to the date of maximum recovery. Consequently, if it takes 90 days before you can achieve maximum recovery, the pain and suffering amount will be $45,000.  In the advent of technology, most insurance companies are now using sophisticated computer programs to determine the value of pain and suffering following an accident. These programs are designed to consider factors such as the type of injury and the treatment regimen.

How Do You Prove Pain and Suffering?

You can recover damages for pain and suffering, but how can you show the said damages? Proof of these type of damages can take many forms and the more evidence you collect, the higher the odds of getting a compensation amount that is equivalent to your damages.  You can show pain and suffering through pictures and personal journals that document your emotional and physical feelings. Additionally, video recordings from friends and family can be used as evidence of how the injury has negatively impacted on your way of life. Evidence of visits to a mental medical facility can prove helpful when claiming for damages such as depression and lack of sleep as well as anxiety.

How Do You Know That the Settlement Amount is Reasonable?

The insurance company will pay for damages caused by pain and suffering alright, but how do you know if the offer made is fair? The best way is to use either of the methods mentioned above to calculate an approximate value of your claim.  Engage a personal injury attorney to help you determine a reasonable value for your pain and suffering and get the ball rolling on your personal injury claim. The lawyer will advise if there is a need to increase the amount if the proposed figure is not reasonable. Additionally, he or she will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf with the aim of protecting your interests.

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