If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle accident, then you know your car repair and medical bills are only the tip of the iceberg. The recovery and healing process will take time, and you deserve justice for the pain and suffering you experience.
However, it can be difficult to quantify pain and suffering. After all, how do you put a dollar amount on potentially lifelong consequences?
At Pierce & Shows, our experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorneys in Baton Rouge can help you find and understand a fair settlement for pain and suffering in Louisiana.
What Exactly Is Pain and Suffering?
In an automobile or other accident, victims will face economic and non-economic damages. As you might expect, economic damages equate to financial losses, such as medical expenses, property damage or missed income due to sustained injuries.
Non-economic damages bring pain and suffering into play. It is more subjective to calculate what non-economic losses you incur after an accident, since you can’t put a price on time you can’t spend with your children or the gatherings you can’t attend with old friends.
It can also be difficult to envision the full scope of your pain and suffering.
Here are some examples of what can be considered non-economic damages:
- Shock, mental anguish, and emotional distress
- Stress, anxiety, and depression
- Grief and humiliation
- Flashbacks, nightmares, and intrusive thoughts
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- Inability to participate in and enjoy life
- Disability or scarring
Your Fair Settlement in Louisiana Requires Evidence
Gathering evidence is the first step to demonstrating your pain and suffering in Louisiana. Evidence must support any claims you make about potential non-economic damages like disability, shock, or flashbacks.
Some proof of pain and suffering may include:
- Photos of the accident
- Photos of your injuries, including bruises, and scars
- The police report from the accident
- Testimonies from accident witnesses
- Medical records, including doctors’ and psychiatrists’ notes and testimonies
- Testimonies from family and friends
- A written record of your symptoms over time, such as a journal or other tracker
Calculating Pain and Suffering
Gathering evidence of your symptoms helps build the case around your pain and suffering. No dollar amount can truly make up for the short- and long-term side effects of your accident, but a Louisiana good personal injury attorney knows insurance adjusters use several ways to quantify a settlement.
The Multiplier Method
The multiplier method is one of the most common ways to estimate pain and suffering damages, especially in cases with minor, non-lifelong injuries.
The multiplier method starts with medical bills, then multiplies the total by a multiplier. A multiplier is usually between 1.5 and 5. The number is chosen based on the severity of your injury.
So if your injuries weren’t as major and will not have long-term side effects, then a car accident lawyer might use the multiplier 1.5. If your medical bills were $10,000, they would total your pain and suffering costs at $10,000 x 1.5, or $15,000.
Your attorney can make a case for the insurance company to pay for economic and non-economic damages. Using the example above, that might result in $25,000.
A good attorney can also make a case for a higher multiplier. An insurance company will use the lowest number possible, but skilled attorneys like our Baton Rouge, LA team at Pierce & Shows take evidence of your pain and suffering and argue for a higher multiplier.
The Per Diem Method
The per diem method is another common means to quantify pain and suffering. However, the basis for the total is the number of days you face pain and suffering, rather than the bills you pay for the medical care.
The insurance company will put a dollar amount on one day’s pain and suffering, then they will pay that amount per day until you reach full recovery.
Take this example: The insurance company prices one day of your pain and suffering at $100, and your doctor clears your recovery after 100 days. They will total your pain and suffering at $10,000 at a rate of $100 x 100 days.
Like the multiplier method, a skilled car accident lawyer will make a case for a higher daily rate for your pain and suffering.
Contact A Louisiana Personal Injury Attorney
Our Baton Rouge-based team at Pierce & Shows knows there is no true way to put a price on pain and suffering. However, our experienced and detailed professionals are prepared to build and win a strong case for the highest possible reward for your damages. Contact us today to make the first step to win your life back.