If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you probably have several pressing questions running through your mind, including "Who is going to pay for the damage that was done to my car?" or "How will I be able to afford my medical bills?" In addition to these out-of-pocket expenses, in nearly every car accident case where an injured driver or passenger makes an insurance claim or files a lawsuit, the claimant or plaintiff seeks to recover out-of-pocket expenses and “pain and suffering.”
What is Pain and Suffering?
Pain and suffering refers to the physical and/or emotional stress associated with an accident and the injuries caused by it. For example, if a driver suffered a brain injury, the driver would probably recover money for the agony of enduring the injury itself, the associated treatment, the discomfort it caused, and any limitations imposed on the claimant's lifestyle. The driver would also likely recover money for the stress and limitations associated with being permanently injured.
How Is “Pain and Suffering” Calculated in a Claim?
There are no specific rules around how pain and suffering is calculated in a claim. Insurance companies look at the severity and permanency of your bodily injuries. In other words, you will be entitled to more money for pain and suffering if you suffered a serious burn than if you bruised your leg. The more severe and permanent your injury is, the more pain and suffering you will experience.
Insurance companies typically multiply the cost of medical bills by a number between one and five to calculate “pain and suffering.” The more severe and permanent the injury, the higher the multiplier. Because of the complexity and judgment required to estimate pain and suffering, a skilled car accident attorney is imperative to get the compensation you deserve. Their experience will help to be prepared to explain and justify your calculation.