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What Factors Affect Pain and Suffering Calculations?

What-Factors-Affect-Pain-and-Suffering-Calculations
When it comes to receiving compensation for an accident, one of the most important considerations is how much your pain and suffering is worth.

Pain and suffering is the generalized term for the non-economic impact of an accident. Any physical pain, emotional anguish, or mental struggles that you endure contribute toward this.

Because pain and suffering are non-economical, it can be tricky to assign a value to how much your trauma is worth. To simplify this, many insurance companies use specific methods for determining pain and suffering.

This begins with evaluating the factors surrounding your accident and injury. To give you a rough idea of what to expect, we’ll take a look at the most significant influencers when it comes to calculating pain and suffering below.

Accident Severity:

Likely the most important factor in pain and suffering is the severity of the injury and accident.

To figure out the total you’ll be rewarded for an accident insurance claim, the severity of the accident must be determined.

Certain factors will yield greater accident insurance claims. For example, if you sustain life-changing injuries stemming from an accident, this will significantly increase the payout you receive.

Not all accidents cause life-changing injuries. Some accidents lead to minor injuries and physical pain, but it may not necessarily be life-changing.

On the other hand, situations involving amputations, spinal cord injuries, facial disfigurements, paralyzation, and traumatic brain damage would all qualify as life-changing injuries. Death is inarguably the most extreme example of a life-changing injury.

Accident severity impacts pain and suffering calculations because it makes up a majority of the equation. Without a life-changing injury, your settlement is likely to be smaller.

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Medical History:

Something you might not think is relevant is your medical history. If you have a history of medical issues, it will likely be brought up during the process of filing an accident claim.

Say that you already have trouble walking on your left leg due to a motorcycle injury from your past. If you sustain a major injury in an accident that impacts your left leg, insurance companies will argue that you already had problems with that leg.

Even though your leg didn’t cause you to be immobile before the incident, insurance companies will push the narrative that your pre-existing leg problems contributed to the injury. This narrative is spun to minimize the blame attributed to the driver that hit you to reduce how much they are required to pay.

Insurance companies do not want to provide more compensation than they are required, so they work hard to discredit claims made by the other party. A medical history gives insurance companies more to work with because they will say your injury is the result of a pre-existing condition.

A history of medical complications also makes it harder for you to argue against insurance companies. It doesn’t mean you will never be compensated, but consider your medical history and have thorough explanations for any questionable coincidences.

Factors-Affect-Pain-and-Suffering-Calculations

Having Proof:

Another frustrating factor is the need to have proof of your injury and how serious it is. This is why it’s important to make an appointment with a doctor immediately after your accident.

Your first concern is ensuring your well-being, but you should also receive documentation of this.

If you plan to sue the other driver, then you will need to be able to verify that the injury happened and was a result of the accident. Not only that, but insurance companies will also need proof to verify the extent of your injury.

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The official proof will need to come from a hospital or doctor’s office. The medical professionals that treat you will document the occasion and add them to your medical records. You’ll also receive receipts that you can save for insurance companies.

While it may seem like a slap in the face, you will need to prove that your injuries are real. Be prepared for this by collecting as much documentation as possible to limit any chance of being invalidated.

Special Damages:

A critical element of determining pain and suffering involves your special damages, which are the economic costs of your injury. This primarily includes the costs of your medical treatment and any income you missed out on while healing from your injury.

Special damages are not the same as pain and suffering, but they play into the overall pain and suffering calculation. Special damages add up to a value that can be quantified.

On the other hand, pain and suffering are known as general damages. This cannot be quantified, so the value of your special damages is used as a reference point for what your general damages should be worth.

You can think of special damages as an essential variable in the pain and suffering equation. The same is true for accident severity. These two factors play the biggest role in affecting how much you receive from an accident settlement.

Multiplier Method:

Finally, you’ll need to understand how the multiplier method works because this is probably how your compensation figure will be calculated. The multiplier method is the most commonly used equation amongst insurance companies.

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The way this technique works is by multiplying the total amount of your special damages by a multiplier. The multiplier that will be used in your case is affected by the factors mentioned above; accident severity, having proof, and your medical history.

Generally, this multiplier is between 3 and 7. To get a multiplier of 7, deaths will almost surely need to be involved. Most other accidents will likely payout with multipliers between 2 and 4.

The criteria used to determine the multiplier may vary by insurance companies, but most follow similar guidelines. So, if your special damages amount to $50,000 and your multiplier is assessed at a 3, then you should be offered somewhere in the range of $150,000.

While the multiplier method is not a factor in pain and suffering, it’s what is used to determine pain and suffering.

Closing Thoughts:

Many factors affect the calculation of pain and suffering after an accident. This is hard to put into a monetary value because it has no cost and it’s worth is subjective depending on who is viewing it.

To receive compensation for your accident, four specific details must be taken into consideration for pain and suffering. This includes accident severity, your medical history, having proof of the injury, and the total of your special damages.

This will all be put into a formula known as the multiplier method. From this, you’ll receive an estimated figure that an insurance company is likely to offer you.

It can be difficult to get what you fairly deserve after an accident. Don’t let anyone take advantage of you! Seek out a reputable lawyer to ensure that you get the best representation and greatest chances of a favorable result for your injury lawsuit.

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