Unlike economic damages, things like pain and suffering are highly subjective and can be very different when calculated by an insurance company vs when they are calculated by your attorney.
When you are in a car accident in Missouri, you are generally entitled to both economic and non-economic damages. If you are wondering how much your pain and suffering is worth, there are specific ways that both the insurance company and your lawyer will put a price on what you have been through. Since the insurance company’s main objective is to limit their liability and what they have to pay out, their calculation will likely be much less than one from an experienced attorney who has your best interests in mind.
Economic and Non-economic Damages: How Are They Calculated?
Economic damages are concrete damages that you incur when you are in an accident. They are things like medical bills and lost wages from time off from work. Non-economic damages, however, are much more subjective and are harder to calculate. After all, how can you put a price on how much someone has suffered? Since each person experiences pain differently, knowing how much it is worth is not an exact science; it’s instead calculated by using various factors.
The Multiplier Method
If you are in an accident, your St. Louis car accident lawyer will add up all the economic damages, like your medical bills and your lost wages, and come up with a sum. From there, they may assign a number relating to the severity of your injuries. Once they have decided on the severity by quantifying it, they use that as a factor to multiply your economic losses, add it to your non-economic losses, and that will be the total amount they believe you are entitled to.
The severity of your accident is usually determined by the extent of your medical bills and procedures. Usually, the more treatment you require, the higher the multiplier number will be. Again, since there is no exact, objective way to ascribe a multiplier, it is up to your insurance company and lawyer to negotiate.
The per Diem Method
The per diem method of calculating pain and suffering and non-economic damages is different. Your lawyer can calculate the amount of suffering you have incurred by taking the severity of your injuries and ascribing an amount that you are entitled to daily for your suffering. For instance, they could calculate that your suffering is worth $100 a day; if your symptoms last for 60 days, then your non-economic damages would be $60,000. It’s also a subjective number, so there might be a discrepancy between what your insurance company calculates and what your car accident lawyer determines.
Unlike economic damages, which are in writing and are indisputable, things like pain and suffering are highly subjective and can be very different when calculated by an insurance company versus when they are calculated by your attorney. In order to receive a fair settlement for your Missouri car accident, it is important that you consult with an experienced car accident attorney to make sure that you know what you deserve for all the pain you have been through.
The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C.
7751 Carondelet Ave #601
St. Louis, MO 63105