A car accident can be devastating in any number of ways. The physical arm is not the only damage to the individual and, perhaps, his or her family. While your insurance company is usually willing to pay for “special damages” such as medical bills, lost wages and prescription drugs, it may not want to address the issue of “general damages” – specifically pain and suffering. If you live in a no-fault state, it will be up to you to address the issue and calculate the pain suffering a car accident leaves behind.
Pain and Suffering – A Quandary
General damages such as pain and suffering are a subjective category making calculating their worth difficult. This is in direct contrast to special damages. It is easy to put a figure to a medical bill. It is much more difficult to determine the value of such things as embarrassment from a scar or disability, the pain involved in a treatment, a loss of promotion, and the inability to perform simple chores, play a sport or enjoy some of the basic things in life.
Pain and suffering is an abstract. It refers to the loss of quality in life. Do not forget, however, the decrease in your ability to enjoy life must be the result of the injury you suffer in the car accident. The pain and suffering must directly co-relate to the injury suffered.
Basic Approaches To Calculating Pain And Suffering
It is never easy to calculate the monetary cost of pain and suffering. The factors affecting pain and suffering award for an accident injury may vary. There are different approaches to arriving at a figure. Two basic possibilities are:
- Multiple of Specials – Figure out your expenses in this category. Take the figure and then proceed to multiply it by 2, 3 or 4. This is a favorite method. It will arrive at a base figure.
- Take a base value for the medical issues. Add to it what you believe your pain and suffering is worth.
Another way to calculate pain and suffering is to consider the following:
- Type of pain and suffering together with its degree of severity and percentage of life affected.
- Length of treatment and the pain involved in undergoing it, daily, weekly and/or monthly.
Add them and any other pertinent factors together to reach an amount.
Should I Bring In An Attorney
The complexities of any case involving pain and suffering requires expert help. Insurance companies may be difficult in reaching a settlement or you may need to go after the other driver. This will go more smoothly if you have a skilled attorney on your side.