How Do Insurance Companies Determine Pain and Suffering in Auto Accidents?

If you have been hurt due to someone else's reckless or negligent behavior, you have the right to seek compensation from the at-fault party's insurance provider through an injury claim. There are two broad types of compensation you may be eligible to receive: special damages that cover economic losses like lost earnings and medical expenses and general damages that compensate you for non-monetary damages like pain and suffering and mental anguish. While special damages are easy to quantify, it can be tricky with general damages.

How Pain and Suffering Damages Are Calculated

There are a few ways insurance companies calculate the value of pain and suffering and other general damages in an auto accident, although there is certainly no rule. Most insurance companies reach a starting point for negotiations by using what's known as the multiplier method.

Using this method, your special (economic) damages are added up to determine the total cost of your medical expenses and lost wages. From there, your damages are multiplied by a factor of 1 to 5 depending on the severity of your injuries, how long your injuries are expected to last, and how obvious your injuries are (soft tissue injuries are not "worth" as much as injuries that show up on diagnostic tests, for example).

Sometimes an alternate method called the per diem (per day) approach is used. In this case, a certain amount of money is assigned to every day of your recovery from the date of the accident to the date a doctor determined you achieved maximum recovery.

Of course, insurance companies do not need to use these methods to calculate pain and suffering. Some use computer programs to determine a settlement offer. Most will consider many factors, including the type of treatment you sought, the type of provider who cared for you (physician versus chiropractor), how soon after the accident you sought treatment, and more.

Contact an Auto Accident Attorney Wilmington NC

If you have been seriously hurt in an accident and you are considering a third party claim, it's important to seek legal representation from an experienced auto accident attorney Wilmington NC as soon as possible to protect your rights. An injury lawyer will help you build your case to prove your pain and suffering and represent you during negotiations with the insurance company to reach a fair settlement.

Contact The Rodzik Law Group Injury Attorneys for a free consultation with an experienced Wilmington injury lawyer to discuss your case.