Car accidents are bad news; even a minor crash can cost you a lot of money and cause physical and mental pain. Hence, that’s the reason the law supports pain and suffering claims for car accident cases.
The pain and suffering settlement ensures the victim of the car accident case is compensated. This compensation isn’t only about the financial loss but the incalculable cost of the mental trauma and physical pain the person has suffered since the date of the accident.
To help you out further about this topic, we’ll address questions like what exactly is the pain and suffering settlement and who’s eligible for it. Also, we’ll answer how you can follow up a pain and suffering claim without the help of lawyers.
What Are Car Accident Pain And Suffering Settlements? An Overview
The simple definition of pain and suffering settlement is the physical and mental distress suffered from an accident. The physical and mental distress includes disabilities, loss of lifestyle, depression, discomfort, and things that come under “general damages.”
If you’re facing any of the situations mentioned above, you can go for a car accident pain and suffering settlement. The lawyer you’ll hire will calculate the pain and suffering amount by multiplying it by the total loss, and you’ll get the compensation.
Who Is Eligible For Pain And Suffering Settlement?
If the car accident has affected you physically, emotionally and mentally, and made your life difficult, you could be eligible for a settlement. But there’s one important point: you should be the victim in the accident case.
In other words, if you’re in pain, feeling discomfort, fear, shock, grief, depression, anxiety etc, because of the carelessness of the other driver, the law is on your side. However, various factors can affect the case, like how bad your injuries are and who’s to blame.
The law of the state you’re living in also plays a crucial role in determining whether you’re eligible for the pain and suffering settlement or not. That’s why the best is to consult with a lawyer first and then go for further process.
What Is A Typical Amount of Pain And Suffering?
Since the pain and suffering settlements are mostly based on emotional and mental suffering, it’s difficult to calculate the damage. After all, it’s not easy to put a number on feelings like sadness or fear.
So, usually, lawyers follow two methods to calculate the amount of pain and suffering settlement. The first is the Multiplier method, and the second is the Per Diem method. Both methods are completely different; let’s understand it with the examples below.
Pain And Suffering Settlement Examples
Suppose a woman named Mary had an accident a month ago. She got seriously hurt, and even after receiving treatment and getting back on her feet, she’s now afraid to drive. This fear is keeping her from going to her job and living her life as she did before.
In the Multiplier method, a lawyer will calculate the financial loss, including all bills, loss of wages, etc., and multiply it by 1.5 to 5. If the accident is minor, the lawyer will multiply with 1.5 to 2; for a major accident, the settlement would be 5 times the total loss.
- Multiplier Method Example: [Total loss: $2000] x [1.5] = $3000 for pain and suffering settlement.
However, in the Per Diem method, the lawyer will calculate your daily earnings to the days you’ve been suffering since the accident. For example, if the accident happened on the date of 15th of November, the lawyer would consider the days from the 15th until the present.
- Per Diem Method Example: [Daily wage: $100] x [Days you’ve been suffering: 20] = $2000 for pain and suffering settlement.
How To Get Settlement From An Accident Without A Lawyer?
You can get pain and suffering settlement without a lawyer, but it’s a bit of a difficult process. It’s not easy for everyone to understand the law and follow the case. However, if you want to do this, we’ve some suggestions for you:
- Gather Evidence: The most important thing to do is gather evidence. Talk to the witness and ask if they can give a statement. Take pictures of the spot and the damage to your car. If there are cameras around, try to get the footage of the accident scene as well.
- Medical Reports: Your hospital records are very crucial. They show how much you have suffered, what injuries you’ve had, and the medical bills you’ve paid. These records make your case stronger.
- Police Reports: If you don’t get most of the evidence, collect a copy of the police report. The police must have all the details about the accidents, including the photos, which can help prove you innocent.
- Proof of Financial Loss: Find documents showing your overall financial loss besides hospital bills. For example, you can use your bank statements to show how much money you used to earn every day. You can ask for compensation for this amount.
After collecting all of the documents above, calculate the loss. You can use the Multiplier method or Per Diem method for the calculations. Then, write a demand letter for pain and suffering compensation.
If you’ve solid proof, there’s a high chance you’ll get a counteroffer of settlement from the other party. You can choose to accept their offer or stick to your initial request. If no agreement is reached, you can take the case to court.
Now you know what the pain and suffering settlement for a car accident is and how you can get the compensation. Although there’s not a requirement to hire a lawyer, we think a lawyer is important for the sake of your case.
A lawyer will not only make your case strong but also help in negotiating with the driver of the other car and the insurance company for a fair settlement amount. If you don’t know anyone, contact our MCCRARY LAW FIRM lawyer for free consultation.