Pain and suffering is calculated in a motorcycle accident case through the multiplier method or the per diem method. One multiplies your tangible damages by a number based on the severity of the injury, and the other takes a daily sum and applies it to how long it will take you to recover as much as possible.
Recovering Compensation in a Motorcycle Accident
When you or a loved one are in a motorcycle accident and suffer injuries due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to hold the at-fault party liable and try to recover compensation for your injuries and other damages. Once you have hired a lawyer and the lawyer has completed an investigation, collected evidence, and proven liability, the lawyer will put a dollar amount to your damages and try to recover some or all of them by filing a claim or, if necessary, a lawsuit.
A lawyer will first try to negotiate with the insurance company in order to obtain a fair settlement. Although lawyers typically deal with insurance companies often, negotiations can fail when an insurance company fails to pay a sufficient amount for the damages you suffered.
Insurance companies use various methods to determine actual dollar amounts for recoverable damages. Lawyers also use various methods to determine actual dollar amounts for recoverable damages. Together, the amounts reached by insurance companies and lawyers must be somewhat in agreement, or else a pre-trial settlement is not feasible. The case may then go to court, where the jury will decide on a settlement.
Some of the dollar amounts of damages due to a motorcycle accident may be easy to determine. These include economic damages that already have a set dollar amount, such as the cost of a doctor visit, the cost of an X-ray, or the cost of a missed week of work.
Other damages, usually non-economic damages, can be more difficult to determine and to agree upon. An insurance company may even hire a private investigator if they suspect the victim is overstating their claim or injuries.
Non-Economic Damages Include Pain and Suffering
A damaged reputation, worsening of prior injuries, and humiliation may be considered non-economic damages. Other non-economic damages in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit may include things like:
- Mental anguish or emotional distress
- Anxiety and depression
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- Pain and suffering
Pain and suffering refers to physical or emotional distress resulting from an injury. Sometimes it is used as a catchall term to include all of the things listed above.
Methods of Calculating Pain and Suffering in a Motorcycle Accident Case
Some insurance companies may use complicated computer programs to figure pain and suffering amounts in a motorcycle accident case. Some may use the daily rate of the medical specialist who treated the injuries. Some insurance companies use other ways to determine dollar amounts, such as what they paid in the past on a claim for a similar injury. Two of the most common methods are the multiplier method and the per diem (Latin for “per day”) method.
The Multiplier Method
In the multiplier method, all of the economic damages that already have a dollar amount attached to them are added up and then multiplied by a number between 1.5 and 5. The following factors determine the multiplier:
- The seriousness of the involved injuries
- Length of recovery time
- Permanency of injuries
- Diagnosis and treatment by physicians and hospitals
- Clear liability for the accident
- Potential for future problems
- Disruption of daily life
The multiplier method does not take into consideration that different people with the same injuries can have differing levels of susceptibility.
The Per Diem Method
In the per diem method, a person can earn money for each day of their recovery period. The amount of money usually consists of the injured party’s daily wages. In other words, if the victim normally makes $100 per day at their job, and a doctor states that the recovery from the injuries will take 90 days, then the damages would be $9,000.
No matter the method used to calculate pain and suffering, if the victim saw a mental health professional or kept a diary or journal that describes their pain and suffering, it may possibly help the insurance company decide on a settlement by strengthening the claim. However, the amount of non-economic damages a claimant can recover will rest on the specifics of their state’s law.
Contact Our Law Firm Today
If you or a loved one suffered losses in a motorcycle accident, or if you are interested in learning more about how pain and suffering is calculated in a motorcycle accident case, a lawyer can help. You do not want to wait too long because settlement negotiations take time, and your state has a statute of limitations that limits the time you have to file a claim.
Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at (800) 924-3113 for a free consultation. If you are worried about legal fees, don’t be. We operate on a contingency-fee-basis, meaning you do not pay anything upfront or out of pocket. We collect our fee from any settlement we obtain for you.