There is no specific value for how much pain and suffering is worth in a car accident. What you might be entitled to depends on several factors such as:
- Your injuries
- Your medical bills
- Lost wages
- The method insurers use
What is Pain and Suffering?
Pain and suffering refers to the physical pain and mental distress a victim endures after suffering an injury. For instance, you feel actual pain from a broken leg caused by a car accident. Along with that pain comes distress over having limited mobility that prevents you from carrying out your daily tasks, such as driving your kids to school or going to work.
Insurance claim settlements for car accident cases include compensation for pain and suffering, also called “noneconomic” or “general” damages. Estimating noneconomic damages can get complicated because you cannot provide a dollar amount for pain or provide a written receipt for suffering as you can for repairing your car or paying your medical bills.
How Much Is My Pain and Suffering Worth?
While you may pursue compensation for pain and suffering, there is no set method all insurers use. Some insurers use a software system called, Colossus, to calculate pain and suffering and other factors in bodily injury claims.
Other insurers calculate pain and suffering using the following methods:
- Multiplier method
- Per diem method
To determine the value of your pain and suffering using the multiplier method, an insurer will add up all your economic damages and multiply the sum by a number between 1.5 and five. Five is for catastrophic injuries while 1.5 is for more minor injuries that do not require extensive medical care.
For example, if you broke your leg and needed to take a week off work, the insurer might assign you a 1.5. If your economic damages totaled $7,000, you would receive $10,500 in pain and suffering damages.
If you suffered a traumatic brain injury that will require round-the-clock care for the rest of your life, and you had to quit your job and stop engaging in your hobbies, the insurer might assign you a five. If your economic damages totaled $750,000, you would receive $3,750,000 in pain and suffering damages.
“Per Diem” Method
The “per diem” method calculates your pain and suffering using a daily or “per diem” rate. The insurer determines what you make in a day and multiplies that by how many days you suffered from accident-related pain.
For example, if you make $50,000 a year ($200 a day roughly if you assume there are 250 working days in a year) and you suffered for two weeks, the insurer would award you $2,800 in pain and suffering.
If you required surgery and were in pain for six months (and you make $50,000 a year), you would recover $36,000 in pain and suffering damages.
What Will Insurers Consider When They Calculate a Value for My Pain and Suffering?
For the most part, insurance companies look at several factors when deciding the value of pain and suffering.
Insurance companies do not treat all injuries the same: The more severe the injury, the higher the payout. For instance, an accident victim with a severe brain injury may have a higher settlement than an individual who suffered a spinal cord injury like whiplash.
Your Medical Bills
Typically, more severe injuries require more treatment which leads to more medical bills, and pain and suffering.
Losing income also factors into calculating pain and suffering.
When we meet with you for your free consultation, we can discuss every factor insurers consider when putting a value on pain and suffering.
Pursuing Noneconomic Damages Under Florida’s No-Fault System
Florida is a “no-fault” state which means when an accident occurs, drivers file a claim with their own insurance companies to cover medical bills, lost wages, and other accident-related expenses.
The no-fault system does not prevent injured individuals from recovering damages for pain, suffering, mental anguish, and inconvenience from the driver who caused the accident. However, car accident victims must meet a threshold requirement to get compensation for pain and suffering. Florida Statute §627.737(2) requires individuals to establish the following:
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability other than scarring or disfigurement
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
In some cases, injured individuals, including motorcyclists, do not have to pass this threshold to recover damages for pain and suffering (Scherzer v. Beron, 455 So.2d 441, Fla. 5th DCA 1984).
If you were injured in an accident and wanted to pursue pain and suffering damages, Florida places the burden on you to prove your injuries. The Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine will help you gather proof to substantiate your pain and suffering claim.
We Can Help You Recover Compensation for Pain and Suffering
If you suffered injuries in a car accident, choosing an aggressive law firm that fights for its clients makes a difference in the outcome of your case. Contact the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine now at 800-747-3733 and let us help you get the compensation you need and deserve. Our consultations are always free and there is no obligation to use our services. Schedule yours today.