After an accident, you might be eligible to receive pain and suffering damages as part of your settlement. These damages are non-economic losses, as you cannot easily quantify them in dollar terms. Economic losses, such as your medical bills and lost wages from work, lend themselves to exact dollar values.
As a general rule, non-economic losses are highly subjective. With economic losses, you can supply proof of an exact value—a bill from the hospital, for instance. It is much more difficult to determine the value of suffering through chronic pain for months.
Your attorney’s negotiation skills can play a big role in how much you receive for pain and suffering in an accident claim. You want a lawyer who is aggressive and goes after the highest possible value for your case. At the Montero Law Center, we have several methods for assigning a value to pain and suffering. For help with your claim, call 954-767-6500.
The Multiplier Method
The multiplier method values pain and suffering damages by taking a known quantity—usually your economic losses—and multiplying it by a set number.
Imagine a car accident left you with medical bills totaling $6,000 and lost wages worth $2,000, bringing your total economic losses to $8,000. We would multiply this amount by another number, resulting in a value for your pain and suffering damages.
Generally, the more serious the accident, the higher the multiplier we can choose without appearing unrealistic. A run-of-the-mill car crash might warrant a multiplier of two, while a major commercial truck accident might justify a higher number, perhaps four or five.
Attorneys can also adjust the multiplier up and down based on extenuating circumstances. These could include instances where the other driver was intoxicated or distracted—which would warrant an upward adjustment—or, conversely, evidence that your own actions contributed to the crash—which would cause a downward adjustment.
The Daily Cost Method
Another way to value pain and suffering damages is to come up with a daily cost and multiply it by the number of days you were in pain.
Suppose you suffered a spinal cord injury in a crash. For three months afterward, you visited a chiropractor regularly and took pain medication on occasion to quell acute flare-ups.
Working together with your attorney, you may estimate the pain you went through cost you $150 in productivity each day. Since you have proof you spent 90 days in treatment, we would use the daily cost method to value your pain and suffering damages at $13,500.
Like the multiplier in the first method, the amount you and your attorney select for a daily cost is subjective. No set guidelines exist for how to choose it. All that matters is being able to justify it in court.
For a Free Accident Attorney Consultation, Call 954-767-6500 Today
At the Montero Law Center, we want to make sure you get the most out of your accident settlement, including your pain and suffering damages. We offer free consultations and case reviews. To schedule yours, call us today at 954-767-6500.
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