When you are involved in an accident, you may have been injured. An injury may cause damages, which are split into economic and non-economic damages. Economic damage, or special damage, is calculable damage. Special damages include the number of medical bills you have as a result of the accident and any loss of income you have as a result of the accident. This is calculable damage because you can calculate or add the expense. For example, if your physician bill is $1,200 and your MRI bill was $2,000, you can calculate your medical expense damage to equal $3,200.
Non-economic damage is damage that is not calculable. In personal injury claims, non-economic damages suffered by an injured person are generally referred to as pain and suffering damages. You can’t plug pain and hurt into a calculator. the pain and suffering damage one has is determined on a case-by-case basis. the value of pain and suffering damages is the amount of money a jury would accept in exchange for having to endure that pain and suffering. for example, if your pain is rated 6/10 on a pain scale for 90 days, the amount of money a person would accept to go through that pain for that time is the monetary value of your pain and harm suffered. /p>
According to caci jury instruction 3905a, damages for pain and suffering include past and future physical pain, mental suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, physical disability, inconvenience, grief, anxiety, humiliation, and emotional distress.
how to taste your pain and suffering
When you make an insurance claim against the person who negligently caused your injuries, their insurance company will request proof from you that you had pain and suffering. The first way to prove you had pain and suffering is to show the insurance adjuster your medical records for medical treatment you received because of the accident. The medical records will detail the subjective complaints you told your doctor on each of your medical appointments. It will detail the pain levels that you complained of, the effect your injuries had on your activities of daily living, and your clinical examination findings.
Activities of daily living are defined as routine activities that people perform every day. These include, but are not limited to, sleeping, walking, dressing, bathing, eating, working, and driving. If you can show that your injury has affected your ability to perform many activities of daily living, then you can show that you had pain and suffering from the accident. Your injury can affect your activities of daily living in two ways. First, you may still be able to do some activities of daily living, but not as well as you did before the accident. For example, you may still be able to get dressed, but it may be more difficult due to pain and discomfort.
The second way an injury can affect activities of daily living is that you can’t do certain activities at all. for example, you may no longer be able to exercise due to your injury. pain and suffering rewards are greater for people who can no longer perform activities of daily living compared to those who can still perform activities of daily living, but with difficulty.
In addition to medical records, you can also prove that you suffered pain and suffering because you missed certain social events or were unable to experience the same quality of life you had before the accident. For example, you may have missed important social events, such as a wedding or graduation, because of his injury. missing social events causes social distress and therefore increases your pain and suffering for monetary damages.
It’s hard to remember the dates of social events you missed. therefore, I recommend that you keep a journal and write down each time you have had an experience that caused you pain and suffering from your injuries. You should date each journal entry so you can be specific about when the loss of enjoyment of life occurred when negotiating your pain and suffering damages with the insurance adjuster.
Another way to prove you have pain and suffering from an accident is to share the results of the MRI or X-ray with the insurance adjuster. these are known as objective findings of injury. the MRI or X-ray can show a fracture, a disc bulge, and many other types of damage. this is the strongest evidence of pain and suffering because the insurance adjuster cannot contest it. The insurance adjuster may dispute your subjective complaints about your pain levels, but cannot dispute any finding of injury on an MRI, CT scan, X-ray, or any other objective diagnostic test.
If your claim goes to trial, you can bring witnesses to testify about how your injuries affected your life. You can call family, friends, co-workers, or other associates you have to talk about how you struggled, were in pain, and are not the same person you were before the accident.
how an insurance adjuster values pain and suffering
Insurance adjusters use the amount of medical bills and lost earnings as a benchmark to make an offer for pain and suffering damages. they generally offer ½ to 1 times your economic damages (medical bills and lost wages) to compensate for your pain and suffering. For example, if your medical bills and lost wages total $10,000, the insurance company will try to offer you up to $5,000-$10,000 for your pain and suffering. If you try to settle your claim early, they will usually try to settle your pain and suffering for a few hundred dollars. this is not an appropriate way to determine the value of your personal injury claim. they plug their medical bill number into the software, giving them value for their pain and suffering. their software does not fully account for all factors of your pain and suffering values and lowers your pain and suffering value.
the correct way to determine pain and suffering damages
When someone is involved in an accident, they first think about their well-being and how this accident will affect their life. they are not immediately thinking about their medical bills. therefore, the value of your pain and suffering damages exceeds the value of your economic damages (medical bills and lost wages). someone might have a low amount of medical bills but missed a wedding and the value of that is priceless. the amount a jury determines you would accept for missing the wedding is the value of that portion of your total pain and suffering damages.
You have the right to recover pain and suffering for past and future damages. Past pain and suffering is determined from the time of your accident to the time of your insurance settlement. if you have a permanent injury that will cause you pain and suffering for life, then you will have future pain and suffering. the amount of future pain and suffering depends on the severity of your daily suffering and your life expectancy. Using the per diem approach, you determine a reasonable monetary value for your daily suffering and multiply that amount by your life expectancy.
For example, if you have a permanent back injury that requires you to change your career and lifestyle, you can calculate the daily monetary value of that suffering. To illustrate this example, we will use $50 as your daily pain and suffering amount. You can use a life expectancy chart you can find online to determine your life expectancy. if your life expectancy is 25 years, you multiply the $50 by the 25 years. twenty-five years equals 9,125 days (365 x 25). By multiplying 9,125 by $50 per day, your future pain and suffering damages can equal $456,250.00. the total potential value of the case would be $456,250.00 plus your past and future economic damages.
The daily dollar value of your lifetime pain and suffering varies greatly depending on your injury or permanent disfigurement. a person with a permanent amputation would generally have more daily pain and suffering than a person with a permanent shoulder injury. in the example, the $50 daily pain and suffering amount could be increased or decreased, depending on your injury. Your attorney will help you determine what daily dollar value is appropriate if you have a permanent injury with lifelong pain and suffering.
To prove that you have a permanent injury, you would need expert medical professionals to testify at trial. they would have to determine that you are more likely to sustain a permanent injury based on your physical exams and review of your medical records.
how insurance adjusters respond to lifetime pain and suffering claims
An insurance adjuster is paid to settle your claim for the least amount of money possible. When insurance adjusters call, they are friendly and courteous, but they don’t have your best interest in mind. Insurance companies for third parties serve their employer (the insurance company) first. You may have a permanent injury such as a disc bulge in your back that requires surgery. They will hire medical professionals to testify on their behalf to argue that your back injuries pre-dated the accident. They will most often point to “degenerative changes” in your spine and point to that as the reason for your surgery. You would have to have a battle with the experts in court to prove that the accident caused your surgery and not any pre-existing conditions.
Even if you had pre-existing injuries, you can be paid for the aggravation of those injuries from the accident. You are entitled to damages for pain and suffering that you suffered due to the accident. for example, he may have had a previous knee injury, but prior to the accident he was asymptomatic. after the accident, his knee hit the inside of the car and tore his meniscus. the accident caused his meniscus tear, surgery and any possible permanent injury from the torn meniscus. you are entitled to pain and suffering damages for aggravation of that pre-existing injury. if the accident had never happened, it is likely that he would not have torn his meniscus and needed surgery.
tips for negotiating damages for pain and suffering
It is important to consult with a personal injury attorney to handle and/or negotiate the pain and suffering portion of your case. if you demand a small amount of damages, you can anchor the pain and suffering settlement with your small figure and would make it more difficult for an attorney to work outside of that settlement range and negotiate a fair amount of pain and suffering.
If you have any questions about pain and suffering from the damages you sustained in a car accident or any other personal injury, our long beach personal injury attorney provides free consultations.