After an accident, it is not uncommon for a person who is seriously injured to experience life altering pain. The pain experienced can keep a person from working or enjoying leisure activities that were once a part of that person’s life. This can be devastating to the injured person, who has to adjust his life in many ways in order to deal with the pain. Because pain affects a person’s quality of life in this and many other ways, a person who is seriously injured, suffers a loss of bodily function, or permanently disfigured in a Florida car accident can seek compensation for pain and suffering from the negligent party responsible for the accident.
Pain and suffering is considered a noneconomic damage when it comes to seeking compensation. This means that the loss cannot be exactly calculated to the dollar as with economic damages such as medical costs. Nevertheless, pain and suffering damages are calculated in what may be considered more of an estimate of how much the person’s pain and suffering is worth.
When a personal injury case is tried in court and the jury decides how much to give to the plaintiff, pain and suffering is determined differently than when the case is settled out of court with an insurance company. Juries are not instructed on a particular formula to use when deciding how much to award in pain and suffering damages. Juries are instructed to be reasonable in their determination and award an amount that will be fair and adequately compensate the person for their pain and suffering.
Insurance companies utilize different methods for calculating pain and suffering in terms of offering a settlement amount. There are two common formulas used by the insurance companies, the multiplier method and the per diem method. With the per diem method, the insurance companies determines an amount that represents the pain and suffering a person experienced on a daily basis based on his injuries, and then multiplies this with the number of days it took the person to recover from his injuries. This method is difficult to use in cases of permanent injuries.
Under the multiplier method, the compensation amount is calculated by multiplying the amount of economic damages to be awarded for things like medical costs and lost wages with a multiplier. The multiplier is a number that is used to signify the level of pain the injured person is suffering. For example, if the person is not experiencing significant pain, the multiplier used could be one, while for a person experiencing significant pain, the multiplier could be five. Once the multiplier and the award for economic damages are multiplied, the insurance company has an estimate of what a pain and suffering case is worth.
Insurance companies also rely on other methods to make the necessary estimates as to the worth of a person’s case before making a settlement offer, including using proprietary computer algorithms to make the calculations. However, just because they use these methods, it does not guarantee that the offer they make is the best offer for the injured person.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
Before accepting an offer from an insurance company, it is important to speak to an experienced accident lawyer who can advise you on the value of your claim, and whether you should accept the offer. If you were seriously injured in a Florida car accident, contact Vocelle & Berg, LLP, in Vero Beach, Florida for a free consultation with an experienced car accident injury lawyer.