Should I Seek Compensation for More Than Just Physical Damage?
Being in a car accident can be a stressful ordeal especially once the insurance companies get involved. How do you know if you are being fairly compensated for not just car repairs and medical bills, but also for the pain and suffering that go along with your injuries? To give you a better idea of how compensation is determined, let’s break down the process.
The Two Kinds of Damages
The two different types of damages in the case of a car accident are economic damages (sometimes called “special”) and non-economic (sometimes referred to as “general”).
Economic damages are easier to calculate. These include your medical bills, lost wages, car repair costs, and other easy to figure out costs related to injuries and damages.
Non-economic damages like “pain and suffering” are more difficult to calculate, since there isn’t a bill for pain and suffering with an exact dollar amount on it. Pain and suffering includes not only the physical pain and discomfort from your injuries but all the mental and emotional stress that come along with the injuries and the traumatic event of the accident. How have these injuries affected your quality of life? Are you no longer able to do the things that you used to enjoy? These are the types of questions that can help determine whether you are eligible to file a claim for pain and suffering. It’s a good idea to document both your physical and mental symptoms in a journal every day after your accident.
Are You Eligible For Pain and Suffering?
When you’re injured in a car accident and it is determined to be the fault of another driver, in most cases, you are due compensation for pain and suffering, as are other passengers in your car. It’s important to know that the amount offered by the insurance adjuster will be based largely on the severity of your physical injuries. However, as we stated earlier, pain and suffering is difficult to put a dollar amount on and it’s the adjuster’s job to offer you the least amount of money they feel the company can get away with. It’s not your job to know if this is fair compensation; it’s your auto accident attorney’s job to get you what you really deserve.
How is compensation for pain and suffering determined?
The most common practice used by insurance adjusters to calculate pain and suffering compensation is called the “per diem method”. The per diem method uses a dollar amount for every day you live with pain and discomfort from the injuries.
The other commonly used method is the “multiplier method” which is a multiplier of your lost income and your medical bills. For either method insurance companies often use computers to calculate your compensation.
These calculations may not tell the whole story, which is why it’s important for your personal injury attorney to be sure everything is being taken into account so you get the fair settlement you deserve.
Every case is different and the more information your attorney has the better the chances of you getting the fair compensation you deserve. Don’t leave it up the insurance adjuster, who does not work for you, decide what is and isn’t fair. If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, call the law office of Robert L. Meissner at (916) 448-2120 for a free consultation.