But often, the victim sustains more than just economic losses after being carelessly injured in a negligent accident that was no fault of their own. This is referred to as “pain and suffering” and includes non-economic losses such as actual pain, prolonged pain, prolonged physical therapy, emotional anguish, mental trauma, permanent disfigurement, loss of limb, loss of companionship, loss of professional licensing, loss of ability to work, reduced quality of life, and much more. You see, an injury causes much more grief and struggle than just financial loss.
Determining “How Much” for Pain and Suffering
Because every case has its own unique merits and circumstances, they all differ in terms of negotiating and settling on an amount for all losses and damages. Sometimes the recovery for the pain and suffering portion of a victim’s compensation is small, and sometimes it is significant. It all depends on the amount of proof and evidence their legal team can come up with to defend their right to compensation, as well as, several other legal factors. It is best to discuss your right and limits to compensation with an experienced personal injury attorney who can provide accurate information and professional counsel.Although it is virtually impossible to say exactly how much pain and suffering earns a victim in a personal injury case, there is a common strategy used by insurance companies to estimate the amount of compensation the victim is owed for their pain and suffering. It is important to take note that not every insurance company uses this strategy, and that there are several other strategies used to calculate accident settlements. For a general idea of how its commonly done, take a look below at the example.
Calculating Pain and Suffering
It is common for insurance companies to use a scale to calculate the amount owed for pain and suffering. They add up all of the victim’s actual financial losses, and then they determine how severe the victim’s injuries were on a scale 1 through 5 (this range varies). Then they multiple the total amount of financial losses by the number on the scale that best represents the severity of the victim’s accident and subsequent injuries. Here is an example:
Medical Expenses – $2,000
Hospital Bills – $13,000
Lost Wages – $3,000
Total = $18,000
Severity of Injuries: 4
$18,000 x 4 = $72,000
Compensation Added for Pain and Suffering = $54,000
There are Various Possibilities
Keep in mind that the above is just one example of how an insurance company might calculate pain and suffering on top of financial losses. There is far more to the equation in almost all cases. This is only intended to provide you with a basic understanding. Talk to an attorney for details about your specific case.