Recovering after an accident is probably new territory for you. An important question is how much you will need from the insurance settlement to cover your losses.
Having your bills reimbursed makes sense, but you might need more. This is especially the case if you are missing work, need future treatment, and feel pain and trauma from the accident. You deserve to know the value of your injury claim.
What Makes Up My Claim?
A personal injury claim should restore you to how you were before the accident. Money doesn’t make everything right, but it is the way our system compensates you. The legal term for monetary compensation is “damages.” Damages are further categorized as “economic” and “non-economic.”
Economic damages have precise dollar values, which include your medical bills, your lost wages, and your repair costs for any property damage.
Non-economic damages are less precise and are more subjective. You may have heard of pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and compensation for disfigurement. How are these figures calculated?
The “Pain and Suffering Calculator”
Many people believe insurance companies use a “pain and suffering calculator” to arrive at a settlement figure. This calculation multiplies your medical bills, lost wages, and any other monetary loss by a certain number, also known as a “multiplier.”
This approach relates your pain and suffering to your treatment and other financial inconveniences. Therefore, the calculation multiplies your economic damages to arrive at a figure for your non-economic damages.
What Multiplier Applies to My Case
The multiplier an insurance company uses usually depends on the length and nature of your treatment.
- Less treatment suggests that your pain and suffering wasn’t severe or didn’t last long. That could mean using a lower multiplier.
- High medical bills account for a lot of treatment and a longer recovery. That implies you experienced a great deal of pain. Therefore, a higher multiplier should be used.
- Insurance companies assign a higher multiplier for more traditional or complicated treatments such as surgery.
- They consider chiropractic and pain management to be less burdensome, so you can expect insurance companies to use a lower multiplier.
How Reliable Is This Calculation?
Pain and suffering calculators are actually a crude way to figure out your settlement. It may be a helpful starting point, but it does not necessarily apply to all claims.
If you lost your big toe in an accident, your medical bills may be relatively low. However, the quality of your life moving forward will be dramatically different. Your settlement should make up for that.
How Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Help?
The insurance company has lots of experience in this area. Because it is a for-profit business, it will fight hard to pay less.
Don’t accept a loss. Talk to a personal injury lawyer to find out your options.
Claims adjusters for insurance companies are not the only people who are familiar with the value of an injury claim.
Personal injury lawyers are just as familiar, but instead of working against you, they work for you. And because they often offer their services on a contingency fee basis, they are motivated to win you the best settlement possible.
Sam & Ash, LLP are experienced lawyers who want you to get What’s Right after an accident. We know the full value of injury claims and we know the insurance company can pay. That’s why our clients trust us.