Damages and Liability: Who Pays for What?
Ultimately, the person that is found to be liable for your injuries, and more specifically, their insurance company, will be required to pay damages on your personal injury claim.
Most of the damages associated with your personal injury are related to traceable expenses through bills and other related documents.
These damages may include:
- medical costs
- income loss
- property damage
Pain and Suffering Damage
Certain damages, like those related to your pain and suffering, as well as missed opportunities and experienced, are harder to put a price tag on, unlike traceable expenses.
When it comes to pain and suffering damages, an insurance company will use either of two calculation methods, including:
The multiplier method
This method takes traced expenses and then assigns a multiplier based on the severity of your injuries. Typically, this multiplier will be 1.5 to 5 times, or even higher when damages are severe.
Factors used to determine severity can include:
- The extent of liability
- The severity of injuries
- Verified documentation and evidence supporting a pain and suffering claim.
- The length of recovery period.
The Per Diem method
Per diem is a term that means “by the day” and assigns a dollar amount per day that will be paid throughout the accident victim’s recovery period to a point referred to as “maximum medical improvement.” Maximum medical improvement refers to the point where the accident victim’s condition can no longer improve.
For example, if a medical professional says that it will take a total of 150 days for the victim to reach their maximum medical improvement point, an insurance provider assigning a Per Diem value at $100 per day would pay out a pain and suffering compensation totaling $15,000.
The Pain and Suffering Damages Verification Process
Insurance companies will seek to verify pain and suffering claims. These claims are verified through interviews and documentation from doctors, psychiatrists, and therapists, along with personal accounts from the victim’s family and friends.
California Personal Injury Claim Settlements
Once the insurance company calculates all damages, it makes a settlement offer. Insurance companies are corporations in business to make money, not to lose it. Therefore, their first settlement offer is usually not acceptable to cover the damages that you are entitled to. An accident victim must never accept a settlement offer from an insurance company without first consulting a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury attorney will fight against an insurance company making you a lowball offer.
A California personal injury attorney will consider many factors to create an accurate settlement value and will leave no stone unturned when looking at all damage calculation angles.
Below are some questions that a California personal injury attorney will use to consider all the damages for which you may be entitled to compensation and the related sources of proof.
- Have all aspects of your pain and suffering (past, present, and future) been analyzed and evaluated thoroughly?
- Are there any witnesses who can testify to or can describe your pain and suffering?
- Can you present medical records and physician’s testimony to substantiate your pain and suffering?
- Do you have any photographs, videotapes, or films to help your Irvine personal injury attorney demonstrate your pain and suffering?
- What treatment methods are available to alleviate your pain and suffering?
- Have you made any lifestyle changes to deal with your pain and suffering?
- Have you changed jobs or responsibilities because of your pain and suffering?
- Have you had to purchase any special medical support equipment for your injuries?
- Have you undergone any special therapy or treatment for your pain?
- Are any psychological effects or injuries stemming from your personal injury exacerbate the pain and suffering?
- Can you present physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, healthcare provider, or hospital records indicating that your symptoms and medical conditions have a documented causal relationship to the trauma or accident?
- Do you regularly take any medication for your mental pain and suffering?
- Do you have any medical expert witnesses ready to testify to and document your pain and suffering?
- Have your injuries diminished your capacity for social activities, hobbies, or other leisure pastimes?
- Has your outlook on life or your personality changed due to your injuries? Can any witnesses, such as friends, family, or co-workers, testify that you have experienced such a change?
These are just some factors that will go into evaluating the damages in your case.
Contact an Irvine Personal Injury Attorney to Review Your Claim
The skillful attorneys at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates specialize in all types of personal injury accidents, including slips and falls, car accidents, and medical malpractice. Our professional legal team knows how to fight for your rights and help you get the financial compensation you deserve. We attain results that exceed expectations.
December 1, 2023
November 27, 2023
November 24, 2023
November 21, 2023
November 20, 2023