How Do Insurance Companies Determine Pain and Suffering?

Posted By Matthew Clawson || 8-Aug-2017

If you have been injured due to another party’s negligence, you have a right to pursue compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company. You can receive compensation not only for your medical expenses, lost wages, or other costs associated with your injuries, but for your pain and suffering as well. Since pain and suffering sound rather abstract and subjective, we will define it here for you and discuss how they are calculated.

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering refer to both physical and mental pain and suffering. Physical pain encompasses the discomfort and pain a claimant has experienced to date and the effects he or she will likely continue to endure in the future as a result of the accident. Mental pain and suffering encompass emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, anger, shock, anxiety, humiliation, and essentially any other negative emotion that an injured victim might suffer that is related to the trauma of the accident. It can also include depression, lack of appetite, sexual dysfunction, mood swings, sleep disturbances, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Like physical pain, mental pain also includes the possibility of future mental pain a claimant might suffer.

In nearly every personal injury case, a claimant or plaintiff should be able to recover compensation, no matter how large or small the amount is, for pain and suffering.

Determining Pain and Suffering

No rules are set in stone for how insurance companies are to calculate a plaintiff’s pain and suffering, though there are some methods that are more commonly used than others. For example, some might use the multiplier method. A plaintiff’s economic damages, such as medical bills and lost wages, are multiplied by a number, usually between 1 and 5. This number is dictated by the severity of the injury.

Another method is known as the per diem approach. Through this method, an amount is assigned to every day, beginning on the day of the accident until the plaintiff reaches maximum recovery. Of course, insurance companies are not obligated to use either of these methods when calculating one’s pain and suffering and, in fact, often use computer programs to reach a figure for the pain and suffering of a claimant.

No matter how an insurance company reaches a settlement figure, you should always be wary of any offer and consult an experienced personal injury attorney before accepting an offer to ensure you are receiving a fair deal.

Colorado Springs Personal Injury Lawyer

If you were involved in an accident, you will need a skilled personal injury attorney at your side to help you obtain full and fair compensation. At Clawson & Clawson, LLP, we have more than 120 years of collective experience and know how to get results for our clients.

We serve clients in Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Parker, and Denver and are ready to advocate on your behalf if you were injured by a negligent individual.

Contact us today at (719) 602-5888 to schedule an initial consultation.

Categories: Personal Injury

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