How much insurance companies pay for pain and suffering varies from organization to organization. Some insurance companies have mathematical formulas for calculating this damage, while others use a “per diem” method.
Some elements that could factor into your potential for compensation include:
- The severity of your injuries
- The cost of your economic damages
- Who is responsible for your losses
- How you were injured
- The willingness of the insurance company to settle
Working with a personal injury lawyer can help you calculate the cost of your economic damages, which will be used to estimate the value of your pain and suffering. Additionally, they can negotiate with the insurance company for a fair settlement offer that represents the scope and severity of your losses.
Determining What Insurance Companies Pay for Pain and Suffering
As we mentioned before, each insurance company has a different way of calculating expenses related to pain and suffering.
Here are two methods that could be employed in your case:
The Multiplier Method
In the multiplier method, the insurance company assigns a digit (commonly from one to five) based on the cost of your economic damages. After adding up the cost of your economic damages, they will multiply that amount by the selected digit. The answer will give the insurance company an idea of what your pain and suffering related damages are worth. However, there is no guarantee that you will get that amount nor that your insurance company will even use that formula.
A personal injury lawyer can handle all communications with the insurance company and determine how much they calculate the cost of pain and suffering.
The Per Diem Method
Another approach of valuing your compensation is by use of the “per diem” method. This option uses the concept of maximum medical improvement (MMI), which is based on when you fully recover from your injuries. Let’s look at the following scenario to learn more about the per diem method. Let’s say that somebody got into a car accident and broke their leg. The per diem method would begin running from the date of the collision because that is when the claimant was injured.
The insurance company might say that each day spent in recovery is worth a flat amount of $100. For the claimant to reach MMI, meaning that their injury is completely healed, it could take two months. The insurance company would multiply the days spent in recovery with the $100 amount to reach a value for pain and suffering. Again, not all companies use this strategy, nor is it guaranteed you will recover that full amount.
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Damages Included in Pain and Suffering
According to the Legal Information Institute (LII), pain and suffering is meant to compensate you for the physical or emotional distress stemming from your accident. Pain and suffering is viewed as a noneconomic damage, meaning that its value cannot be calculated with invoices or receipts.
Some examples of damages that constitute pain and suffering include:
- Emotional distress
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of household benefits and parental guidance
Some states have statutory caps, meaning that the state places a limit on what you can recover for noneconomic damages. The Florida Bar notes that Florida only does this in some medical malpractice cases. That means, in your case, there could be no limit to what amount you can pursue for pain and suffering following an accident.
What a Lawyer Can Do for You
Your lawyer is meant to serve as your legal advocate while you are pursuing compensation following an accident. Not only can they give you more detailed information on how insurance companies pay for pain and suffering, but they can also work to promote your case’s success.
A lawyer can:
- File your case to the appropriate offices
- Collect evidence to support your claim
- Interview witnesses and consult with third-party field experts
- Handle all communications with the involved party
- Negotiate for a settlement that compensates you for your losses
- Take your case to court, if necessary
In Florida, under Florida Statute §95.11, you generally have four years from the date of your accident to take your case to court. Your lawyer can examine the details of your claim and share how the state’s statute of limitations applies to your case.
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At Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers, we understand the impact that a personal injury can have on your quality of life. When you call us today, we can answer any questions you have regarding damages for pain and suffering. To get started with a free case review, call us today at (855) 529-0269.
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