How is Pain and Suffering Calculated in a Car Accident in Alabama?

Pain and suffering is a large part of your car accident damages. This element of your damages could even be several times more than your actual economic losses. It is essential that you know how much you deserve before you file a claim or lawsuit because the insurance company is surely going to try to underpay you. The Anniston car accident lawyers at Steve Morris Law can estimate your pain and suffering damages and deal with the insurance company to make sure that you are paid for all of them.

Understanding Pain and Suffering After a Car Accident

When your car accident has left you with physical injuries, you must deal with the effects of your injuries for quite some time. There is far more that you are going through than just physical pain. Of course, you may be left in obvious discomfort when you have suffered an injury from a car accident, but physical injuries can have a number of other effects as well.

Pain and suffering is a broad term that can encompass many damages. In any personal injury case, you are not just entitled to the actual economic losses that you have suffered. The responsible party must restore you to the position that you were in at the moment before the accident, which is a pain-free person who is not dealing with any type of emotional distress.

Formulas that Insurance Companies Use to Calculate Pain and Suffering

The insurance companies like to use formulas that they portray as “objective,” based on the scope and extent of your injuries. In reality, personal injury damages should be subjective because they factor in your own situation. There are two primary formulas that insurance companies often use to calculate pain and suffering damages:

  • Multiplier: The insurance company selects a number to apply to your past and future medical bills. The multiplier is based on the severity of your injuries. For example, if you have suffered severe harm, such as a traumatic brain injury or a spinal cord injury, the multiplier could be as high as five. If you have sustained a fracture or soft tissue injury, you can expect the multiplier to be lower.
  • Per Diem: If you have suffered a less serious injury from which you will recover in a shorter amount of time, the insurance company will use the per diem method. They take a dollar value and multiply it by each day that you are dealing with your accident injuries.

Factors that Influence Your Pain and Suffering

Remember that your pain and suffering is unique to you. Two people may suffer the same exact injury, but there can be completely different effects. Some factors that can influence your pain and suffering damages include:

  • The actual physical pain that you have endured
  • Whether you are dealing with anxiety and depression
  • The life that you enjoyed before the accident that you can no longer live
  • Whether you had a pre-existing condition that was aggravated (you can still be compensated because the rule of thumb is that you “take your victim as you find them.”)
  • If there is scarring or disfigurement resulting from your injuries
  • You have suffered emotional distress from what happens

Your lawyer will review your situation and come up with your own estimate of what you are due in pain and suffering. Even if you go along with the multiplier method, your lawyer may come up with a higher number based on the severity of your injuries.

Fighting the Insurance Company for Full Pain and Suffering Damages

While we may discuss calculating pain and suffering damages, the insurance company does not have the right to dictate what you receive. They merely have the ability to propose a valuation that they use in their settlement offer. Nothing says that you have to accept it. You always have a choice to reject the offer and to negotiate for additional compensation.

In the end, you always have the legal right to go to work if the insurance company will not pay you enough compensation. You are the one who has the legal right to full financial compensation, and the insurance company cannot take it away from you, no matter how much they try to tell you otherwise. The only way to fully protect your legal rights is to hire an experienced car accident lawyer to deal with the insurance company.

Contact an Anniston Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident, Steve Morris Law can help you recover your losses. Simply stated, we do not allow insurance companies to push around our clients under any circumstances. We know how to use the full weight of the legal process to work for you to get all the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free initial consultation, you can message us through our website, or you can call us today at 256-357-9211.

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