Insurance companies have their own ways of calculating pain and suffering, but in most cases, they will use one of two methods:
- Method #1: The claimant must have suffered damages or losses that resulted from the accident. Examples of damages are lost wages and medical bills. The insurance company gives your pain a number between one and five with “five” being reserved for the most severe injuries. They add up the amount of money that you lost due to the collision and multiply it by this number.
Example: You broke your arm in a collision, and the medical bills climbed to $3,000. You told the insurer that your pain is equal to a “three.” Multiply $3,000 by 3 and you come up with $9,000 for your pain and suffering.
- Method #2: With the per diem method, the insurance company calculates an amount for your pain and suffering for each day that you experience pain until you have recovered entirely from your injuries. In most cases, the amount is $100 per day.
Example: Your car accident occurred on May 5. You received a cast and physical therapy as treatment. At the end of your treatment on October 20, 169 days had passed. With this method, you would multiply $100 by 169 days, and this equals $16,900.
Your insurance company will not necessarily use the methods described above to calculate your pain and suffering. Some companies leave these calculations to computer algorithms.
The computer knows that the insurance company paid other claimants with similar injuries to yours a sum of money in the past. Sometimes, they will use this amount to determine how much they should offer you for pain and suffering. The major downside of this method is that the system is not flexible and might be rigged in the insurance company’s favor.
So, if compensation for your pain and suffering is too low, you can negotiate it.
How Does Your Attorney Prove to a Court that You Are Experiencing Pain and Suffering?
A personal injury attorney will not be able to ensure that you receive the proper compensation for pain and suffering if he or she doesn’t make a convincing case for the jury. It’s easy for a jury to understand the damages in dollar amounts, but it isn’t as easy for them to assess your physical pain and emotional suffering. Defense attorneys take advantage of this fact.
If you want to make sure that the insurance company’s attorneys cannot obscure the fact that you are in pain, you must be completely honest with your attorney.
You will have your chance to explain to the court the extent of your injuries. During the deposition, your attorney may ask you to explain to the court how the accident changed your life. This is the time when you must give an in-depth account of what happened so that the court knows exactly what happened. Don’t minimize your pain and loss and never admit fault, not even partially.
Hire an Attorney
When dealing with an insurance company, you are not required to hire an attorney, but your chances of obtaining a fair monetary compensation for your pain and suffering will greatly increase if you do. Insurance claims adjusters have an incredible amount of experience negotiating with injured parties, and you might not have any.
Their plan is always to offer you a settlement that is much lower than you would receive if you were to go to court, especially when huge property loss or severe injuries are at stake. Never assume that insurance company’s reps are your friends. They may use everything you tell them against you later on, including an admission that your injuries were not that serious.
Another thing to consider is how much you are going to ask for the insurance company to pay you in compensation. In most cases, an experienced attorney will be able to negotiate for more money than you would be able to get on your own. Insurance companies know that letting your case going to trial might mean extra expenses for them. So, they will be more eager to reach a fair settlement with you when a personal injury attorney has your back.
It is worth hiring an attorney because when people have represented themselves, they received an amount that was thousands and potentially millions of dollars less than they could have gotten had they hired an attorney (Source: https://dmillerlaw.com/areas-we-serve/houston-tx/drunk-driving-accident-and-injury-lawyer/).
An experienced lawyer will help you shape your testimony so that the jury can easily understand that you are unable to do what you used to be able to do. Contact an attorney today.