If your life goes downhill after a car wreck and intrusive thoughts and flashbacks stop you enjoying yourself, you can claim for that loss under pain and suffering. Few people understand the full extent of these damages. Pain and suffering is an important part of many personal injury claims in Maryland. These damages are known as non-economic. They are less straightforward than economic damages. Typically, you should ask a lawyer ‘how much should I ask for pain and suffering from a car accident in Maryland?’
There are different ways of working out pain and suffering damages. However, there is no simple method of calculation. Many insurance companies use computer programs to work out non-economic damages. They are seldom advantageous to the person who is making a claim. Personal injury lawyers also work on various formulas. Generally, the amount of money you should ask for pain and suffering depends on the severity of your injuries, the nature of the accident, and the effect of the accident on your life.
Who Can Claim for Pain and Suffering After a Maryland Car Accident?
Pain and suffering is also known as general damages or non-economic losses. It includes physical pain and mental anguish. Permanent injuries, scarring, disfigurement, family breakdowns, and the inability to work all fall under this category. If a car accident affects your life profoundly and you are no longer yourself, a figure can be put on this loss.
You can claim for pain and suffering after a Maryland car accident against the insurance company of a driver who caused your accident. Drivers and passengers who were hurt due to the negligence of another driver can sue the at-fault driver along with pedestrians and cyclists. However, the other driver must have been 100 percent to blame as opposed to blame being apportioned 60/40 or 70/30. When working out a rough formula consider the following.
Calculating Pain and Suffering for Maryland Car Crash Injuries
Our Maryland car crash injury lawyers offer this three-step guide to figuring out what you can claim for pain and suffering after a car accident involving injuries.
Determine Amount You Are Already Owed
This is the economic damages comprising medical costs, lost wages at work, and the property damage to your car or truck. This is the easy part. However, economic damages can also include future medical costs and future lost wages associated with your injury. Often neck and back injuries, as well as brain injuries cause ongoing medical costs for years after the incident. While you can work out lost wages and your medical bills without an attorney, it can be more difficult to work out costs in the future.
Calculate Multiplier that Assesses the Seriousness of the Injury
Insurance companies and attorneys often use a multiplier to in your injury claim. This is typically a number from 1-5. While a whiplash injury is usually low on the spectrum, an injury that will affect you for the rest of your life like a traumatic brain injury may be given a 5. Occasionally, the number may exceed 5.
Apply Multiplier to Medical Bills
Typically, your medical bills or other tangible costs are multiplied by the rating. For instance, if you incurred $50,000 in medical bills and have a multiplier of 4, your pain and suffering calculation would be $200,000. This is a crude way of working out pain and suffering but it is along the lines used by many insurance companies.
When you are deciding how much you should ask for pain and suffering you should bear this formula in mind. There is also another formula that is sometimes used.
The Per Day Method to Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages
Another method for working out pain and suffering after a car crash is called the “per diem” method. This means “per day” in Latin. The victims of car wrecks receive a certain dollar amount for every day they live with pain linked to the accident. This is not an effective method for people who suffer long-lasting effects from their injuries. It works better for injuries that heal more quickly.
Do Insurance Companies Use Computer Programs to Value Pain and Suffering in Maryland?
Many of the big insurance companies have used programs like Colossus for decades to work out pain and suffering. According to the Consumer Federation of America, automated systems often result in unfairly low payments.
The Federation says people who deal directly with insurance companies should ask if a computer was involved in helping the insurer arrive at an offer settlement. They should ask the insurer to provide the range of offers generated from low to high and not accept an offer at the low end of the spectrum. If the insurer is not willing to pay a claim on the high side, the consumer should file a complaint with the insurance regulator.
Of course, you only have the word of the insurance company that the high end of the scale is accurate. An experienced Maryland car accident attorney can judge the merits of an offer.
Colossus is used by Allstate, Aetna, USAA, and other car insurance companies to drive down the value of a claim. It fails to consider the true value of a victim’s pain and suffering.
Talk to a Baltimore Car Accident Lawsuit Attorney About Pain and Suffering
If you or a family member has been hurt in a car accident in Baltimore, Ellicott City, Towson, White Marsh or elsewhere in Maryland you should consider talking to a car accident lawyer.
The larger your potential pain and suffering claim, the more important it is to talk to a Baltimore car accident and injury lawyer. Serious injuries are more likely to leave you with a permanent disability or paralysis that will require large amounts of money for you to lead as normal a life as possible.
The driver who caused the crash is responsible for compensating you for what you lost via his or her insurance company. Pain and suffering can cover a range of mental and lifestyle issues as well as physical anguish. Sleeplessness, depression, and PTSD as a result of a car wreck call fall under this category. Contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice today for a free consultation at 410-694-7291.