It is common after a car accident to make a personal injury claim for injuries, lost work time and pain and suffering. While medical costs and lost work hours are easy to calculate, how is pain and suffering determined after an auto accident?
First of all, it is key to know that the Department of Motor Vehicles states that pain and suffering is completely different from medical costs, X-rays, medications and lost wages.
DMV defines pain and suffering as stress, such as physical pain and psychological and social trauma, experienced after a car accident. As the DMV states, there is no precise equation or formula to calculate your pain and suffering compensation. However, there are popular methods used by auto insurance companies, namely the multiplier and per diem methods.
How Is Pain and Suffering Determined After an Auto Accident?
The multiplier method simply multiplies all of your medical bills by a number that represents how hurt you are. That number can be 1 for minor injuries and 5 for major injuries. So, if your medical costs after the accident are $10,000 and you have serious injuries that could result in six months of recovery, your compensation would be $50,000.
On the other hand, the per diem method is designed around daily suffering. In this scenario, the number is arrived at based upon the injury and your daily activities that you cannot perform because you were hurt. It is then multiplied by the number of days such activities cannot be done. So, if your knee injury is valued at 10k per day in activities you lose per day and your injury affects you for nine days, the total would be $90,000.
But note: Before any personal injury settlement is possible, there must be extensive documentation to prove how serious your injury is:
- Medical reports from doctors
- Receipts for your prescriptions
- OTC medicine receipts
- Medical bills for your ambulance rides, X-rays, ER visits, therapy and more
- Proof of the time you lost from work
- A detailed file on your medical treatment plan and any missed activities
- Detailed photos of injuries.
If you are injured in a car accident, to ensure the maximum amount of pain and suffering compensation later, remember to seek medical attention after the accident right away. It is imperative to have your medical condition documented immediately after the crash. If not, you risk the insurance company and/or defense lawyers’ arguing that your injuries were caused by something other than the accident.
Have You Been Injured in a Auto Accident? Call Southern California Attorneys Neale & Fhima Now.
The experienced personal injury attorneys Neale & Fhima serving Southern California are here to help you in your time of need. A serious car accident can leave you with piles of medical bills, missed work time, and major pain and suffering. We can help. If your accident was caused by someone else, you may be able to win compensation. Call us now for a free consultation and allow us to help determine the pain and suffering you’ve experienced from an auto accident.