With an average of 6 million car accidents in the US each year, if you need a pain and suffering settlement — you are not alone. Many people are hurt each year but not everyone goes after or gets the compensation they deserve.
If you’re thinking about holding off on your claim or letting it go altogether, you should reconsider. The accident took a part of your life and your ability to function for a short or even an extended period of time and you should receive retribution.
Continue reading this article to learn how to calculate your pain and suffering settlement as well as how to best prepare to get the payment you deserve.
The 411 on a Pain and Suffering Settlement
If you’ve had an accident with a drunk driver or another type of careless driver, don’t let it go. Get the money you need and make the other party think twice before they hit the roads in an unsafe manner again.
You Have to Back Up Your Number
Before we get any deeper in this article, you should know that you have to back up your number. You can’t just decide that you want a certain amount of compensation. You have to show why you deserve to have it or the lawyer won’t settle and the jury isn’t going to give you the settlement amount that you want.
Know What Pain and Suffering You Can Count
Without knowing all of the things considered pain and suffering, you might miss some potential compensation. Pain and suffering go beyond your physical body when it comes to getting money out of a settlement.
Physical pain and suffering is the natural place to start but you also have to think about depression, anxiety, memory loss, and other mental issues. Think about physical limitations you now have that you wouldn’t have had otherwise. You can also get compensation for loss of consortium with your family members.
Methods of Calculating Pain and Suffering
There are two basic methods you can use to calculate pain and suffering. The two methods of calculating pain and suffering are called Per Diem and Multiple.
Per Diem means “by the day” and this method assigns a dollar value to each day then multiples it by the number of days you dealt with the injury. This method isn’t the most common method used but it is possible.
If you’re going against an insurance company, you’ll most likely find yourself face-to-face with the multiple method. This method works by calculating your economic damages and applying a multiple between 1 and 5.
Your economic damages are easy to determine because you have proof of them. Economic damages are things like lost wages, medical bills, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
The severity of the pain and suffering determines whether these damages are multiplied by 1,2,3,4 or 5.
The less severe injuries and losses are, the less the multiple is going to be. When you have injuries like soft tissue injuries, you likely won’t get a big settlement. On the other hand, settlements where deaths occurred, spinal injuries happened or accidents that resulted in amputations are likely to get a larger settlement amount.
How to Prove Your Pain & Suffering
Not all injuries are the same from person to person. While the injury might technically be the same, it isn’t going to affect all people the same way. Think about the amount of emotional trauma you went through and how it affected your life.
You also need to take into account that you aren’t only looking at your past pain and suffering but you need to think about your current and future pain and suffering.
If you’ve already healed from your injuries or expect to heal from your injuries soon, you should be able to ask for a multiple of 1 or 2 and get a settlement for it. On the other hand, if you’re still dealing with ongoing effects from your injuries and you don’t foresee and end in these challenges, you may be able to ask for 3, 4 or even 5.
As you can see, there is no clear way to say that injury XYZ = $123. You have to come to an agreement with the other side or you go to court and let the jury decide how much of a settlement you deserve.
Keep Important Evidence
You need to have as much evidence as possible. The opposing party isn’t going to be excited about paying out big amounts of money in the settlement, so you need to have everything documented properly.
Keep all of your medical records so you can prove when you went to get help for your injuries. You also need to make sure that you know exactly how much money you paid out of pocket for medical treatment or anything else related to your case.
If you took pictures at the scene of the accident, you need to make sure you keep them saved so you can show them if there is any confusion about what happened during the accident. You should also keep police reports and the names and phone numbers of any witnesses that saw what happened.
Learn More Tips to Help You Through Life
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