Settlements help injured parties with accident-related bills while deterring the defendant from similar negligent acts in the future. Each successful case receives a different amount in compensation. Various factors influence the final settlement.
The number of damages someone claims can increase the amount of money the judge awards them. One damage is pain and suffering, and lawyers must determine a reasonable value accurately. Many people are curious about how attorneys and insurers measure the worth of pain and suffering during a lawsuit. Emroch and Kilduff can assist you in calculating your claim and supporting your case. Learn how below!
What Do Lawyers Calculate in Settlement Amounts?
Over 400,000 personal injury claims go through the civil court system every year. Most resolve before anyone has to go to trial. Attorneys and insurance companies can usually determine and agree to a fair settlement offer.
Lawyers find the total sum of economic damages like medical expenses, repair bills, and wages the victim lost during recovery. If the accident involved wrongful death, the plaintiff could claim the costs of funeral services. Other payments related to the accident may help the lawyer determine the settlement amount as well.
When law firms and insurers calculate compensation, they may consider non-economic damages. A loss of quality of life and mental anguish could increase the funds a plaintiff receives. Speak to your attorney to know what you can claim in a settlement.
Additional Considerations in a Settlement
Other factors could raise a case’s value, like:
- Severe injuries. The court typically awards more money for serious bodily harm. A person likely will receive more money for a spinal cord injury than a sprained ankle.
- A long recovery period. A person accumulates more healthcare bills if their treatment lasts for months. Additionally, they spend less time at work. The significant financial toll of a long recovery duration can result in higher compensation.
- The injury requires medication. Prescription medication helps prove you sustained acute bodily harm, and it could lead to ongoing medical costs. Lawyers estimate a large settlement if you can claim future expenses.
- Credible witnesses. The statements from reliable witnesses are more likely to influence a case to end in the plaintiff’s favor. In general, the injured party collects the contact information from any witnesses. If the police arrived, you could find the names and numbers on a copy of the report.
- Emotional problems. A person may suffer from one or more mental or emotional struggles after a traumatic event. About 14 percent of victims display anxiety symptoms a year after an acute physical injury. The distress could impact their ability to function at home and work.
A lawyer has the knowledge and experience to calculate accurate settlement figures.
How Much Is Pain and Suffering Worth?
A frequent non-economic damage people claim in personal injury settlements is pain and suffering. Pain and suffering refers to the physical discomfort and emotional distress an individual experiences. Various symptoms like a reduced appetite or unexplained aches can manifest. Therefore, the court allows the victim to seek reimbursement from the defendant.
One question many claimants have is about the value of their pain and suffering. The answer usually is not straightforward. Non-economic damages do not have a set value. Courts can struggle to quantify the worth of a plaintiff’s emotional anguish.
Furthermore, several states have caps on non-economic damages for specific accident cases. Where you live could affect your settlement for pain and suffering. As a result, the amount someone gets in a settlement is different from another person’s awarded funds.
Lawyers and insurance companies have multiple ways to calculate pain and suffering. As the case progresses, you can confirm the potential dollar amount with your attorney.
How Do Lawyers Calculate Pain and Suffering?
Once a lawyer counts all the expenses in economic damages, they move on to pain and suffering. Different formulas exist to help attorneys arrive at a figure. A common way is to use the sum of all the financial costs as a baseline. Then, the attorney increases the value within a specific range. How much the quantity goes up depends on the facts of the case.
The Plaintiff Must Prove Pain and Suffering
Before the court awards money for pain and suffering, the plaintiff must show how the other party caused the damage. The lawyer might use pictures of the injuries to demonstrate the presence of physical pain and mental anguish. Other documents include medical records.
Records from a licensed healthcare worker describe the prognosis and extent of the injury. Notes about any surgical procedures strengthen your claim. The insurance company likely will accept a report of pain and suffering if a doctor writes it down.
Doctors and physical therapists can offer expert testimonies as well. They provide their opinions of the plaintiff’s injuries and the effects of the damage.
Additionally, the victim’s loved ones can testify how the person appears withdrawn or frequently anxious. A friend’s testimony could prove the accident impacted your ability to do everyday activities. Your attorney helps you assemble the evidence you have to make a strong case and prove pain and suffering.
An Emotional Appeal Can Sway the Jury
Only a few cases go in front of a judge and jury. The plaintiff and their lawyer must present clear evidence of negligence. They need to convince the jury the victim suffered from losses like pain and suffering.
The jury has to follow the law and use logic and reasoning as much as possible. However, the plaintiff can use an emotional appeal to sway jurors in their favor. One way to create a successful emotional argument is to provide a few pictures of the injuries. Acute or permanent ones are more likely to gain empathy.
Additionally, the plaintiff should appear professional, organized, and sympathetic. A strong emotional appeal increases the chance of a winning verdict and higher compensation for pain and suffering. Contact us to start your consultation and we can support your claim.