When you get injured in an accident, securing just compensation for your pain and suffering is an important part of the recovery process. The lasting traumatic effects of an accident can impact your life in many different ways, and ensuring that you have the financial resources to cope with – and overcome – these impacts can be essential for your long-term wellbeing.
However, while you can add up your medical bills and lost wages (although calculating your future costs is more challenging), you cannot simply add up your pain and suffering. These are non-financial losses, and there is no precise dollar value that can be applied. Quantifying pain and suffering after an accident requires consideration of various factors, and you need evidence in order to convince the insurance companies to pay what you are owed.
Bakersfield personal injury attorney Mickey Fine has seen the devastation that an accident can have on a person’s life. The pain and suffering incurred in a serious wreck or workplace accident can affect every aspect of your life and keep you from earning a living. If someone else’s negligence caused your injuries, the Law Offices of Mickey Fine can help. We are committed to helping injury victims pursue the full and fair compensation they deserve for their injuries, and pain and suffering.
Factors for Quantifying Pain and Suffering
The factors used to quantify pain and suffering after an accident focus on the severity of the accident, the extent of your injuries, and the impacts on your day-to-day life. While there is not a precise formula, some of the key questions that will determine how much you deserve to recover include:
- How severe was the accident?
- How egregious was the other party’s fault?
- Do you share any responsibility for the accident?
- What types of injuries did you sustain in the accident?
- How severe are your injuries?
- Are you unable to work?
- Are you unable to perform activities of daily living or household chores?
- Are you unable to enjoy your hobbies or spending time with your family?
The length of time you will experience pain and suffering is an important factor as well. Generally speaking, the longer you are likely to experience pain and suffering, the more you will be entitled to recover.
Evidence You Can Use to Prove Your Pain and Suffering
Since you cannot use bills, receipts, and paystubs to prove your pain and suffering, you need other forms of evidence in order to prove your claim. The insurance companies are not simply going to take you at your word; and, if you do not have evidence to prove your pain and suffering, you are not going to recover any financial compensation for these losses.
Just as there are many different factors that are relevant to quantifying pain and suffering, there are many different forms of evidence that can be used to prove pain and suffering as well. These include forms of evidence such as:
- Medical records (including reports from your psychologist or psychiatrist)
- Expert testimony from a psychologist or psychiatrist
- Photos of the accident and your injuries
- Sworn statements or testimony from friends and family
- Records of events you were unable to attend
- Records of tasks you were unable to perform
As you move on from your accident, it can be helpful to keep a calendar or journal where you record the daily impacts of your accident. Record all of your doctor’s visits, your trips to the pharmacy, days you miss from work, events you are unable to attend, your daily pain levels, and any other consequences of your injuries.
Two Methods of Calculating Pain and Suffering Damages
Taking into account the factors listed above and the evidence that is available, it will be possible to calculate a reasonable compensation award for your pain and suffering. In California, there are two primary methods for calculating pain and suffering damages:
- Multiplier Method – With this method, once you know your financial losses (i.e. medical bills, prescription costs, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses), this amount is then multiplied by a number between 1.5 and 5 (the “multiplier”). The more severe your pain and suffering, the higher the multiplier that will be applied.
- Per Diem Method – With this method, a daily (or “per diem”) rate is determined based on the severity of your pain and suffering, and then this rate is multiplied by the number of days that you are reasonably expected to experience pain and suffering over your lifetime.
As you might expect, the insurance companies will argue for the lowest possible multipliers and per diem rates. As a result, when pursuing a claim, it is up to you and your personal injury lawyer to prove how much you are entitled to recover. While you may be able to secure a settlement, if the insurance companies refuse to pay a fair amount, your lawyer might need to take your case to court and ask a jury to award just compensation.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Bakersfield Personal Injury Lawyer Mickey Fine
Were you seriously injured in an accident? If so, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your pain and suffering.
To find out how much you may be able to recover, call the Law Offices of Mickey Fine today at 661-333-3333 or contact us online for a free consultation with Bakersfield personal injury lawyer Mickey Fine.