How Do Lawyers Calculate Pain and Suffering?
Defense lawyers, on behalf of insurance carriers as well as some lawyers for accident victims, use formulas that multiply the “hard” damage numbers, referred to as “specials” (special damages) such as medical expenses and lost earnings to arrive at a supposedly “fair” settlement figure for pain and suffering.
The personal injury lawyers at Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. take what we believe is a more realistic and just approach. We carefully study all the ways the accident impacted the life of the individual client. From the young parent who cannot care for or interact with his or her child as they could before the accident, to the retiree who has become a shut-in instead of enjoying the social life they had before they were injured, we look at every detail of how the accident injury changed our client’s life in a harmful way. We gather the evidence, from accident reconstruction evidence to medical treatment evidence to financial impact evidence, to forcefully present the claim for pain & suffering and all other damages, in the strongest way possible.
The dollar value of pain and suffering is difficult to calculate after any type of accident. Pain and suffering occurs after car accidents, slip and fall accidents, construction accidents, workplace accidents and many other types of accidents. This injury is difficult to diagnose and calculate damages because pain and suffering does not leave behind any physical or visible injuries. For example, victims with pain and suffering won’t have bruises, scars, bumps or other visible injuries to examine that indicate pain and suffering is taking place. So, how do lawyers calculate pain and suffering? It’s a question that should be answered in detail.
Encourage You to Seek Medical Care
An experienced personal injury attorney will encourage you to seek medical care following an accident for any symptom of pain, discomfort or lack of function you may be experiencing. If injured in any way, it is always in your best interest to seek medical evaluation. Pain can take days, weeks, or even months to fully express after an accident. Having a record that shows you went to the doctor as soon as practicable after suffering an injury will make the presentation of an injury you suffered more persuasive and effective when filing a claim for your injuries.
Review All Expenses from the Accident
The first thing a New York personal injury lawyer will do in order to calculate pain and suffering is to review all expenses stemming from the accident. Make sure you make copies of all your bills and invoices or save the originals to submit to your attorney. This will make it easier for your attorney to determine how much you have spent following the accident. Submit your doctor bills, hospital bills, insurance bills, ambulatory transport bills, car repair bills, lost wages and any other expense incurred by you from the accident that has left you injured.
Use a Multiplier
The insurance companies use what is called a multiplier when trying to calculate pain and suffering damages after an accident when a claim is filed. The insurance company will tally all of the expenses you’ve incurred from the accident, all of which were mentioned earlier. The insurance company will then multiply the total, often by three. This is what the insurance company believes is good enough to cover any pain and suffering caused by the accident. Since this multiplier is widely known, any personal injury attorney will be able to apply it to your case and come up with an estimate as to how much an insurance carrier may try to can be compensate you for your pain and suffering following an accident.
The Long Island personal injury lawyers at Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. reject this approach. It is a formula that lumps together all accident injury victims as if they are merchandise, failing to appreciate the human quality of the struggles and anguish they face after an accident. This is why we prepare cases thoroughly, arguing for the best possible settlement result or, in the appropriate circumstances, preparing cases to win at trial.
Use a Per Diem Fee
Your attorney might also discuss the possibility of a per diem payment from your insurance company. Some insurers prefer this payment method compared to the multiplier method, especially if you have been prescribed pain medication for your injuries. The insurance company will issue you a daily fee for each day you are taking pain medication. This fee will stop being issued when the medication period is complete. Or, if you have to visit the doctor weekly, the insurance company might issue a weekly payment. This can be difficult to calculate because insurance companies use various formulas to make the determination of value.
Our law firm views this per diem approach as we view the previously discussed multiplier method. It is a way that number crunchers and bean counters at insurance carriers and defense law firms try to transform you, your loved ones, your friends and neighbors – whose lives have been torn apart by someone’s reckless and careless behavior – into so many numbers to be crunched and figurative beans to be counted. We are always mindful of our clients’ humanity, the dignity they are entitled to and the full extent of compensation they deserve for having their lives shattered.
Other Factors to Consider
There are some other factors that must be taken into consideration when your lawyer is calculating your pain and suffering claim. These factors include the following:
- If you have supplemental insurance coverage
- The size of the insurance policy of the negligent person involved
- Any and all unique circumstances related to your injury
- How the injuries you suffered impact your daily activities and life in general
- The severity and the extent of the injuries you suffered
- The medical support for your injuries and pain and suffering
Our dedicated and compassionate Long Island personal injury attorneys will examine the accident that left you injured, evaluate your medical records, and target what our experience and extensive knowledge of New York personal injury law supports as the maximum recoverable pain and suffering settlement or award. Our goal is always to win the best possible money recovery for you.
Contact an Experienced Attorney Today
Were you injured in a car, motorcycle, workplace or slip and fall accident on Long Island or anywhere in New York? If so, it’s important for you to speak with an experienced attorney about your case. The sooner you speak with one of our attorneys, the sooner we can begin constructing a case for compensation against the person who was at-fault for the accident. Don’t try to fight for compensation without the help of an attorney, especially when you are dealing with physical and emotional injuries. Call now for a no-obligation case review and free consultation: 516-510-5566.