Mar 29, 2024 Michael M. Day Law Firm

How is Pain and Suffering Calculated in a Car Accident Injury Claim in Georgia?

When you can prove that another person’s actions caused an accident that injured you, then you can seek compensation from that person for all the consequences of that accident. In a lawsuit, this compensation is generally referred to as damages.

Some damages account for losses that you can put a dollar value on based on some direct calculations. You can add up the cost of your medical bills, for instance, and know how much should be received for those losses. Your attorney can also project the amounts you are likely to need to pay for medical care in the future. These types of damages refer to economic losses. But accidents also cause noneconomic losses, too. Pain and suffering are a primary example of something that does not have a direct monetary value, but that still has a huge impact on your life that deserves compensation. In fact, in many cases, the value awarded to offset pain and suffering is much higher than the value of economic losses.

So, how do lawyers, courts, and insurance companies calculate the value of pain and suffering and other noneconomic losses? The answers vary depending on the case, but here are some general factors that go into the decision. It is important to work with an attorney who is prepared to ensure the court considers all the factors that impact you so that you can receive the maximum amount for pain, suffering, and other intangible losses.

Is There a Limit on Amounts Awarded for Pain and Suffering?

Several states have placed a cap on the amount that an accident victim can receive for pain and suffering after a slip and fall, car accident, or other incident. This is often called a cap on this type of damage award, and it may affect all types of noneconomic damages. In many states, this limitation only applies to medical malpractice cases.

Georgia law does not place a limit on the amounts that a judge or jury can award for noneconomic losses such as pain and suffering. This can enable an accident victim to receive fair compensation for effects that often haunt them for the rest of their lives.

Insurance Companies Often Try to Use a Formula

When calculating what they will offer for pain and suffering after an accident, insurance companies in Georgia often use a couple of different formulas. To them, this provides a “fair” way of setting a value on an accident victim’s misery. However, it is important to remember that insurance companies are always trying to get away with paying as little as possible for a claim, so if you accept what they offer before receiving advice from an attorney who understands the true value of your claim, you are likely to get far less than you deserve.

The Multiplier Method

One of the most common formulas insurance companies try to use is the “multiplier method.” They take the value of economic losses such as lost wages and medical expenses and multiply that by a certain pre-determined figure to put a value on pain and suffering in the case.

The number used as the multiplying factor varies depending on the insurance company and what they expect to be able to get away with, depending on the experience of the attorney involved. It often ranges between 1.5 and 5. If the insurance company uses 2.5, for instance, and you had $10,000 in expenses and lost wages, then you would be offered $25,000 to offset pain and suffering that could last for the rest of your life.

There is no reason to believe that the effect of pain on your life and the suffering you endure correlate to the fees paid to doctors or the amount of wages you lost due to time off work. So, the multiplier method is simply a misguided attempt to take a mathematical approach to a nonmathematical issue.

The Per Diem Method

Another formula commonly used in Georgia to calculate pain and suffering damages is the “per diem” method. The insurance company assigns a daily rate to compensate you for suffering and then decides that you should be receiving that amount for the days your pain is expected to last. This number is a guess unless you have completely healed. And the value assigned for a day of suffering has no relation to what you have experienced. When you are in pain, think how much you would give for just a few moments of relief. It’s probably quite a bit more than they’re willing to offer you.

A Skilled Injury Attorney Will Show Why You Deserve Much More

Rather than the methods used by insurance companies, an experienced personal injury lawyer will know how to show why you deserve much more for your losses. Your attorney can present evidence to show how your injuries have interfered with daily living and your enjoyment of activities. They will show how you have been affected emotionally, particularly if your injuries have led to disfigurement or interfered with your ability to support yourself, causing a loss of self-esteem.

Based on other lawsuits and settlements, your attorney will be able to develop a reasonable demand for pain and suffering and other noneconomic losses. Then, you will be able to determine whether the insurance company is offering you a fair amount for the harm you have suffered.

Michael M. Day Law Firm, LLC  Fights to Get the Maximum Recovery for Pain and Suffering

Physical and emotional pain can impact your life like nothing else, and time lost to suffering can never be recovered. At Michael M. Day Law Firm, LLC, we’ve worked with thousands of accident victims and we have seen the devastation pain and suffering can cause in someone’s life. We want to ensure that you receive full and fair compensation for all your losses, including all the intangible effects of your injuries. If you have been injured in an accident with a truck, motorcycle, or other vehicle, or you’ve been hurt in a fall or due to an intentional act of violent crime, we are ready to fight for your maximum recovery. To find out what your claim is worth, call us at 404-480-4284 or contact us online today.