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How Much Do You Get for Pain and Suffering in a Car Accident?

There is no exact formula or method of calculation to determine amounts recoverable for pain and suffering.  Insurance carriers and defense lawyers, as discussed below, try to utilize approaches that “crunch” numbers based upon specific computations.  We reject their minimizing “one size fits all” view of pain and suffering. We see each one of our accident injury clients as a unique individual, and we fight to win the best possible outcome for every client accordingly.

Because of the indefinite nature of expressing pain and suffering as a dollar amount, ultimately, the amount recovered for these damages may be closely tied to the experience and ability of the attorneys you choose to represent you. Knowing where to look for and how to find and gather evidence, and then how to analyze and present evidence in the strongest manner, are critically important traits of an effective car accident lawyer.  The car accident lawyers of Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. are proud of our track record in this regard. We invite you to call us now to review your car accident case for free: 516-932-0400.

Pain and suffering are experienced as the result of car accidents by millions of people every year. Car accident victims experience pain and suffering in addition to and, in large part, as a result of the physical injuries that leave fractures, herniations, burns, bruises, scars, or other visible deformities on the body. In part, what makes determining pain and suffering so challenging is that these are a form of injury that do not leave any visible signs on the body. With that being said, how much do you get for pain and suffering in a New York car accident? Aside from lost wages, medical expenses, and property damage; you can also make a claim for compensation for pain and suffering after being involved in a car accident, but what is the value of such a claim?

Car Insurance Company Will Pay the Least Amount Possible

Be prepared to fight with the car insurance company involved in the accident claim, whether it is your own or the insurance company of the other driver. Insurance companies will attempt to pay the least amount of money possible in a claim. Insurance companies will reach out to you with a settlement offer sometimes just days following the accident, and it will be for significantly less than what you truly should be paid for your pain and suffering. By offering a quick settlement right away, the insurance company is attempting to pay you in an effort to avoid paying for added expenses, or for the true value of your claim down the road.

Calculating Pain and Suffering

The easiest damage from a car accident to calculate is the expenses paid for your medical treatment. All you need to do is review the bills you’ve received from the doctor, the hospital, the ambulance company and the rehabilitation center. For you to be compensated for pain and suffering you will need to demonstrate that you suffered a physical injury in your New York car accident case. That is one reason why it’s extremely important for you to seek medical treatment following the accident.

Many people, even though they have been badly hurt and are in a great deal of pain, try to ignore the discomfort or even misery by simply carrying on with their lives. Perhaps they will give themselves a bit of rest in the hope that their pain will simply, “go away.” While this strong will may be admirable in some respects, in almost all cases the insurance carrier will try to use this against a claimant who, after seeing they were not getting better or, worse still, were feeling much worse, finally had treatment later rather than sooner.

Insurance carriers and defense lawyers will twist the claimant’s good faith reluctance to treat injuries to argue that the claimant was really not that badly injured initially and, after having time to consider a claim, concocted an exaggerated injury. In this way, good-faith claimants truly injured by the someone else’s negligence, are victimized again when their honesty is attacked so that the insurance carriers can avoid paying or save as much as possible on a claim.  For these reasons, thorough documentation of medical treatment can make all the difference when seeking damages for pain and suffering.

Using a Multiplier Method

It is widely believed that almost all car insurance companies use what’s known as the multiplier method when determining the pain and suffering amount for car accident victims in New York. While the exact formula used by individual insurance companies is proprietary information that they do not make publicly available, the multiplier method is generally understood as follows.  If you are injured in an accident and add up all of the bills you’ve incurred from the crash, including medical expenses, repair costs, and your lost wages. You then multiply that number by the “multiplier.”

Traditionally, many have thought the multiplier as being three times the sum of the damages mentioned. Car insurance companies believe that by multiplying (by three, if that is in fact the multiplier being utilized) it properly accounts for any pain and suffering you might have suffered as a result of the crash. The added money is supposed to cover your emotional distress from the crash and any future expenses, medical or other, that you might not know about right now. Of course, the multiplier method does recognize that settlements should be higher for severe injuries and lower for minor injuries.

The car accident lawyers at Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. reject the dogmatic, overly simplistic “Multiplier Method” as a fair method to calculate damages. Our vast experience has shown us that each case must be carefully considered and thoroughly understood to appreciate the experience of pain and suffering unique to any particular client.

For these reasons, we work to build the most compelling and persuasive arguments based upon the special circumstances of each client’s case.   

Daily Compensation

There are a few car insurance companies that compensate car accident victims using a daily rate. For example, if you were prescribed pain medication, you will receive a set amount of compensation for each day you are required to take the medication. The compensation will end once you have completed the prescription. You might also be compensated for each time you visit the doctor after the accident. So, if you visit once per week, you could receive weekly compensation from the insurance company for these visits.

As with the multiplier method, Friedman &Simon, L.L.P. also sees this approach as cold, insensitive, robotic and unfair.  While insurance carriers seek to settle for low amounts based upon algorithms that utilize methods such as the Multiplier Method or the Daily Compensation Method, we will never stop working to powerfully present the full scope and depth of human suffering, to obtain the best possible outcome for our clients.

Speak with an Attorney

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a car accident it’s important for you to speak with an experienced Long Island personal injury attorney at Friedman & Simon, L.L.P.  An attorney will be able to examine your accident, review your expenses, and advise as to how you can go about recovering compensation in a no-obligation case review and free consultation.  Call today at 516-932-0400.

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