A claimant’s medical bills have an obvious money value. Still, claimants deserve compensation for pain and suffering, as well. How do insurance companies put a value on pain and suffering?
Problems associated with pain and suffering
Painful sensations, experienced by an injured victim
Emotional and mental injuries, such as fear, trouble sleeping, grief, worry, depression, inconvenience, or failure to retain an enjoyment of life.
Methods used to determine the value of a claimant’s pain and suffering
Multiplier method: Assign a number between 1 and 5 to the figure that should go into a recognized formula. Use a low number, if the accident caused only minor injuries; use a higher number if the accident caused a severe or catastrophic injury.
Per diem approach: Select a reasonable dollar value for each day of the recovery period, the period of any possible painful sensations, or any potential mental or emotional injuries. Multiply that dollar value by the number of days in the recovery, starting with the accident’s date, and ending with the doctor’s declaration of MMI (maximum medical improvement).
Rely on computer program: Using software, obtain the number that should go in the recognized formula. The entries given to the computer software reflect the nature of the prescribed treatment. Plug in the computer-generated number and calculate the total value for all of the reported damages.
How claimants can introduce evidence that supports their claims, regarding the degree of pain and suffering
Personal Injury Lawyer in Carol Stream asks you to present photographs of damaged property, such as a wrecked automobile; those could be attached to the demand letter.
Keep a diary or a personal journal: Use it to record the times when a painful sensation has been felt. Record the strength and length of each such sensation. If a painkiller has been used, record how effectively it has done its job.
Obtain testimony from friends and family, those that knew the claimant both before and after the accident. By reading such testimonies, an insurance company can do a better job of contrasting claimants’ previous habits with their reported complaints.
-For example, family might have noted that the injured victim was a sound sleeper, before the accident’s occurrence.
-Observant parents might note that a child struggles to recall information learned in class. This would be more apparent in a student that had been doing quite well. It could go unnoticed, if the student had recently started classes at a new school.
-A greater challenge for the parents of a teenager would involve watching for unusual behavior. Teens often act moody, or suddenly start to reflect the views of a friend. Still, a teen’s sudden outburst should not be excused as the result of pressure. It might indicate that the teenager was injured.