Calculating a settlement value for pain and suffering can become complex because everyone experiences pain and suffering differently. However, insurance companies and courts use several methods to determine the value of pain and suffering. These methods include:
- The multiplier method
- The per diem method
- Computer software
Different Methods Are Used in Different Circumstances
Which of the following calculation methods applies best to your case? A personal injury attorney working in your area can review your situation and determine how to calculate an appropriate and accurate settlement amount. The sooner you get legal help, the sooner they can start fighting for the money you need.
This calculation involves taking quantifiable or economic damages – such as your medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage – and multiplying them by a number between 1 and 5. The number you use will depend on factors surrounding your accident, including the circumstances of your accident, the severity of your injuries, and whether you are still recovering from your injuries.
So, if your medical bills total $6,000 and you lost $2,000 from being off from work, your total cost so far is $8,000. If you use 4 as your multiplier because you suffered broken bones and needed rehabilitation, then multiply $8,000 x 4 to a total of $32,000.
Permanent injuries, such as a severe traumatic brain injury or paralysis, may use a multiplier of 5 or higher.
Per Diem Method
The per diem (per day) method gives a monetary figure to each day you suffered from your injuries. Some people use their work income as the daily monetary figure for calculation because they lose income each day that they are unable to work due to their injury.
Remember you must give a reason to an insurance company or the court as to why you chose this figure. If you have a long-term or permanent injury, you may not want to use this method. We can advise you as to whether this approach will work best for you.
Some insurance companies use a computer software program to calculate damages, with Colossus being the most popular. Colossus evaluates different factors included in a claim, including bodily injuries and non-economic damages.
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Non-Economic Damage Awards
Non-economic damages refer to emotional and physical (as opposed to financial) suffering you have experienced since the accident. Depending on your circumstances, you could qualify for non-economic damages such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental trauma
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of quality of life
- Temporary and permanent disabilities
- Physical and intellectual disabilities
- Partial and total disabilities
- Disfiguring scar tissue
Florida’s negligence law does not limit the payout amount for pain and suffering from a personal injury or wrongful death. However, the law limits the amount to $200,000 for claims against state and local governments. State law once capped non-economic damages for medical malpractice at $500,000, but in June 2017, the Florida Supreme Court struck down that limitation.
How do You Prove You Need a Settlement?
When you bring a claim or lawsuit against the liable party, you will need more than just your recollections to prove that you deserve a pain and suffering settlement. Your attorney can assist you by collecting corroborating evidence like the following.
If your accident occurred in a public place, there may have been bystanders who saw or even recorded what happened to you. Alternatively, if you were injured at work or due to medical malpractice, a coworker or a medical facility employee may be able to speak to onsite conditions generally.
Qualified professionals in relevant fields can support your case by commenting on various aspects of the accident and your injuries. For instance:
- A vocational rehabilitator can talk about whether or not you will ever be able to return to your old job
- An accident reconstruction specialist can reconstruct what happened and, possibly, show how the party you are suing is liable for damages
- A medical doctor can examine you to determine how serious your injuries are and what types of treatment you need to get better
Supporting documents can come from any number of sources, including but not limited to:
- Police accident reports
- Your medical records
- Inspection reports
Your lawyer may even be able to get in touch with the liable party’s attorney and exchange information with them. They may possess additional documentation that can strengthen your own case.
Photos and Recordings
In addition to any photos or video you took of the accident scene, your attorney can find out if other recordings exist on:
- Witness cell phones
- Traffic cams
- Surveillance cams
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Why Hire a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer?
Calculating the damages you need after an accident can get very complicated, especially if you sustained long-term injuries. Trying to go it alone increases your risk of miscalculating and leaving money on the table.
You only have one chance to get compensation from the liable party: you cannot sue them again if you find you need more money in the future. A personal injury attorney can work hard to secure the settlement you need by:
- Calculating how much compensation you should ask for
- Collecting evidence
- Handling all paperwork
- Negotiating with the liable party’s representatives
- Going to court if necessary
We Can Help You
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you assess the value of your personal injury claim or lawsuit. If you suffered an injury, call us today at 1-800-747-3733 to schedule a free legal consultation. We want to get Florida residents the pain and suffering settlements they deserve.
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