When a careless driver causes you to suffer from injuries and much more, you may be owed several forms of damages. Almost everyone can grasp how the insurer for the at-fault driver pays for their medical bills and their wrecked car. However, pain and suffering is not likely to come up when speaking about your damages with the other insurer. Pain and suffering can be a confusing issue because putting a monetary value on something like mental distress cannot be pictured. However, this form of damage after an accident is not only something that may be valued but may also comprise the largest part of a settlement.
Pain and Suffering Factors
Pain and suffering comprise the way an accident has affected you personally and emotionally. Victims may suffer in many ways after an accident. For example, some victims are so shaken up about an accident that it takes therapy and time to pass before they get behind the wheel again. The way an accident affects your life varies greatly. No one can place a numeric value on pain and suffering. However, the insurance industry and legal experts may use a calculation method based on the victim's medical bills.
Medical Treatment Costs
The cost of medical treatment is expensive and those with severe injuries may experience medical costs of several hundred thousand dollars after an accident. While this way of figuring out pain and suffering is not always accurate and fair, many victims with high medical bills have more severe injuries. Thus, this way of calculating pain and suffering assumes that severe injuries equal high medical bills.
Understanding the Factors
To estimate pain and suffering payments, add up the medical expenses accumulated at the time the settlement is agreed upon. That sum is then multiplied by a factor between 1 and 5. The number chosen depends on specific issues with the case. For example, a minor accident that left the victim with $100,000 in medical bills but no lingering injuries may be a factor of 1 or 2. Victims with permanent injuries are more likely to be assigned a factor of 4, 5, or more. The higher the factor, the greater the payment for pain and suffering.
Factors can be influenced not just by the severity of injuries but also issues like the way an accident affected a victim and their family. For example, the below issues could cause the factor to be higher:
- Victims who missed important family events because of the injuries.
- Victims with disfiguring injuries.
- Victims need ongoing mental health therapy to deal with the accident.
Speak to a personal injury lawyer for more info.