Some people end up being in horrific accidents but walk away with paltry sums of money as a result. The difference in being paid what is deserved and what the insurer can get away with lies in using a car accident lawyer. To find out how an accident settlement should look, read below.
Calculated to Bring Compensation
The way an accident gets turned into money damages can vary from place to place. In some cases, the accident damages are added up and the total compensation is adjusted after comparing it to other similar accident cases. Many lawyers and insurers use the multiplier method, as explained below. With the multiplier method, the level of seriousness of the accident goes into the equation. All ways of adding up compensation are based on the actual economic losses and then various ways of adding payment for pain and suffering are employed. Finally, the final amount awarded can include factors like whether or not the injuries were permanent, future medical needs, the age of the victim, and more.
The Multiplier Method
With this method, all economic losses are added up. That might include car repair, lost wages, medical expenses, and more. Then, pain and suffering are calculated. Pain and suffering is a non-economic loss because it's not directly associated with a defined sum of money like medical expenses are. To arrive at a figure for pain and suffering, the total cost of medical expenses is multiplied by a factor. The factor ranges from one to more than five and is based on the seriousness of the accident and the injuries. If this method of calculating a settlement is used, your personal injury lawyer will be hard at work insisting that the factor be as high as possible. Read more on how you can influence that number below. Once a factor is set and pain and suffering are calculated, it's added to the other accident damage categories like medical expenses and property losses.
How to Influence Your Factor
The difference in a pain and suffering factor of even one point can affect your settlement by thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. To that end, heed the below tips to increase your pain and suffering damage payment:
- Don't try to negotiate an accident settlement on your own. Speak to a lawyer before you do anything else.
- Don't speak to the other driver or their insurers at all. Leave all of that to your lawyer.
- Don't fail to seek medical care and follow all medical advice.
- Keep a pain journal in which you note down information about your pain levels, how the accident has negatively affected your life, and anything else that pertains to the accident.