Each insurance company has its own way of determining pain and suffering in a car accident. In general, most insurers determine this expense by evaluating a claimant’s injuries, losses, and coverage options.
The state caps how much injured claimants can request for pain and suffering. Yet, this number sometimes changes from year to year. When you work with a car accident lawyer, they can review your case and explain how much you can seek for pain and suffering.
An Attorney Can Determine Your Pain and Suffering After a Car Accident
After filing a claim, the insurance company may offer compensation for your damages, including pain and suffering. However, this figure may not account for the full scope of your accident-related hardships. That’s because many insurance companies care more about selling policies rather than paying claims.
A car accident attorney may determine what you’re owed by:
Using a Mathematical Formula
Some attorneys (and insurance companies) use formulas to determine a claimant’s pain and suffering. There are two main formulas:
- The multiplier method. This formula considers your financial losses (such as your medical bills) and calculates them by a number between 1.5 and five. The multiplier your attorney chooses depends on your situation.
- The per diem method. Your attorney may use the basis of your recovery period to determine your pain and suffering. Here, they assign a dollar value per day that you’re injured. So, if your attorney assigns $60 per day that you’re injured, and you recover in the hospital for 60 days, you could get $3,600 for pain and suffering.
An insurance company may employ different measures than those listed above.
Accounting for Certain Factors
Your attorney may ask (and find answers to) these questions to determine what you’re owed for pain and suffering:
- How much pain did the injury cause?
- Have you lost loved ones in the accident?
- Has the accident affected your career?
- Can you live independently, or do you need daily assistance?
- How has the accident impacted your mental health?
Your lawyer may consider other questions when determining what you need.
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A Lawyer Can Recoup Your Damages Through Negotiations
Many car accident claimants wonder whether they can pursue pain and suffering via an insurance claim. The answer is yes; you could request pain and suffering either through an insurance claim or a civil lawsuit.
Pursuing pain and suffering requires your lawyer to follow all state-mandated deadlines, present compelling evidence, and fight for what you need. While you can pursue pain and suffering on your own, you may miscalculate its cost by forgoing legal help.
You Could Recover More than Pain and Suffering in a Car Accident Case
You can generally pursue these damages through a claim or lawsuit:
Economic damages are your financial losses, such as:
- Hospital bills
- Prescription costs
- Lost wages
- Ambulance fees
- Property damage expenses
Non-economic damages include intangible losses, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of society
The most recent information under Md. Cts. & Jud. Proc. Code § 11-108 caps non-economic damages to $920,000. This sets a limit on what you can recover for the losses listed above. The limit does not apply to financial losses, like healthcare.
How Can I Maximize My Settlement’s Value?
You reasonably want as much money as possible following your car accident. That way, you can take time off work, pay for medical care, and finance other obligations without problems. A car accident lawyer can do everything possible to secure the compensation you need. However, there are some steps you could take to promote a fair outcome.
Some of these considerations include:
- Refusing to give a recorded statement. The claims adjuster may ask for a recorded statement. They hope that you’ll say something they can use to downplay your pain and suffering. Limiting what you share on the record limits how much information the insurer has to work with.
- Keeping all documentation related to the collision. From invoices to receipts, any financial documents help your lawyer calculate fair compensation.
- Referring all settlement offers to your lawyer. Receiving a settlement offer may tempt you into quickly resolving your case. However, the first offer could actually be an insurer’s ploy, hoping you’ll resolve your case for less than it’s actually worth.
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Where Can I Find Help Determining the Next Steps in My Car Accident Claim?
When unsure what to do next after a car accident, contact the Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow. Our attorneys stand ready to exp[lain your legal options and fight for the financial recovery you need.
When you have been injured, pain and suffering can be a substantial part of your claim. We can help you negotiate a settlement that suits your unique case. Our clients are our top priority; we can help get you through your claim and onto a better tomorrow. Call us today.