Accidents can affect the victim personally to such an extent that the injuries can be even life-long. The injured can claim compensation to the court or insurance companies both currently and in the future, which will help them compensate for their pain. Such compensation is known as pain and suffering.
Procedure To Measure Pain And Suffering
- You have to prove that you are injured and verify that the injury is due to the actions of the person responsible, either directly or proximately.
- After you have proved the negligence of the person at fault, calculations can be made to compensate for medical expenses, lost income at work, property damage, and any other related losses.
- Pain and suffering are generally categorized into two parts – physical and mental. Physical pain and suffering refer to the actual pain the complainant is suffering from. The injuries and the pain should be caused by accident. The pain and suffering caused to the victim are neither limited to the damage at the accident nor up to the lawsuit.
It can include related pain and suffering in the future, resulting in the victim’s long-term care.The by-product of physical injury is mental pain and suffering. This includes fear, anxiety, mental anguish, depression, shock, loss of enjoyment of life and emotional distress. In highly critical cases, the victim may also have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Like physical pain and suffering, related future mental anguish is also considered.
- Next, a claim is to be filed against the at-fault person’s insurance company. This is a third-party claim where you ask for compensation for your losses, both mental and physical pain and suffering. The settlement from an insurance company does not have a regulated rule and is different for each insurance company.
Having an auto accident lawyer or other attorney is required to advocate the victim regarding the rights with insurance companies. The lawyer’s primary objective is to get the maximum possible settlement from the company and make sure all the relevant issues of the victim are looked at.
- Insurance companies use any of the two methods to calculate the pain and suffering–
- a) The per diem method: In this approach, a particular amount is demanded every day the victim has to live with the pain caused by the accident. This continues until the day the victim is fully recovered.
- b) The multiplier method: This is the most commonly used method where the economic damages and related expenses are calculated. The amount is then multiplied by a number between 1.5 to 5 which gives the total compensation. Critical injuries have a higher multiplier.
Before calculating the pain and suffering, the victim needs to prove who was the reason for his injury and the accident was due to negligence. In other words, the person at fault could not react reasonably to the situation where some other individual would. Consequently, the person at fault is in breach of duty. Also, to avoid grossly excessive compensation to the victim, limits on the amount have been put by many states.