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Pain and Suffering: The True Damage of an Accident
Pain and Suffering is a legal term that refers to the physical pain and emotional stress faced by the victim of a personal injury accident. While the expenses from medical bills and damage repairs may come to mind first and be the initial issues to deal with following an accident, the pain and suffering that victims experience is often the most significant resulting trauma with the longest-lasting impact. It makes sense then that there are considerations in the law for pain and suffering. If you have endured a serious injurious accident, you are likely entitled to compensation for your difficult experiences throughout the ordeal.
Thompson Law is an established personal injury law firm dedicated to fighting for client’s best possible outcome after a serious accident. Ryan “The Lion” Thompson and his highly skilled team have seen the devastating effects of all types of accidents and know how to fight the insurance companies and win for their clients, including pain and suffering recoveries.
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How is Pain and Suffering Calculated?
Many people ask at the point of starting their claim, “How much can I get for pain and suffering in my personal injury case?” There is no set answer to this question, as everyone’s situation is unique but several common methods of calculating overall damages – including pain and suffering – are:
- Multiplier Method: compile all economic damages and multiply the sum by a number between 1.5 and 5, depending on the severity of the event
- Per Diem Method: multiply how much you earn in a day by how many days you suffered limitations to your normal routine due to accident-related injuries
- Insurance Company Software: Insurance companies may use software such as Colossus to input facts about the accident, and it generates an amount to pay out
We will discuss these methods in greater detail below.
The first thing to understand is the types of damages that are totaled and awarded in a personal injury settlement. Special damages include calculable hard costs: things like lost wages, medical bills, loss or damage of property, costs of care for recovery and repair. These are sometimes referred to as economic damages. Alternately, non-economic damages, sometimes referred to as either “general” or “compensatory” damages are the more abstract impacts of an accident. Pain and suffering that a person is forced to withstand as a result of the accident that may not be tethered to a specific bill or monetary amount.
The insurance companies have ways of determining the value of these non-economic or compensatory damages that may be startling. You may be surprised to hear that one way they make the determination is by using a software. The “Colossus” system may not be well known to the general public, but to those in the insurance industry it is a foundational tool. Used by many large insurers, this computer program aggregates input facts about the accident and the people involved and calculates the amount of general damages that should be paid out.
It is extremely reasonable to ask how a software system is able to quantify and decide an answer based on this type of abstract data. To just use software, plug in some dates and numbers and have a comprehensive understanding of the pain and loss someone suffered is nearly impossible. A primary goal of Colossus is “Minimizing Payout Variance.” This objective is to streamline the way that insurance claims are paid out and make it easier on the insurers to predict settlement costs for accidents. As you can imagine, this does not bode well for you as the customer. You suffered a specific event, with unique circumstances and deserve more consideration for your pain and suffering than an insurance algorithm will provide.
Another common method of calculating non-economic damages is the “Daily Rate” or “Per Diem” Method. This is a calculation that uses how much you make in a day multiplied by how many days you suffered limitations to your normal routine due to your accident-related injuries. For example, if you typically made $150 a day, and missed two weeks of work your damages amount would be $1500.
The remaining common method for calculating general damages is the “Multiplier Method.” In this calculation, all the economic damages are compiled, and this sum is multiplied by a number between 1.5 and 5 based on the severity of the event. Five would be for devastating, catastrophic losses, and 1.5 would be for less impactful injuries. This scale might surprise you, as a broken arm could be considered a 1.5, and most of us would find a broken arm to be pretty detrimental to our daily lives!
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How to do you Argue to Recoup these Expenses?
All of these methods, whether algorithmic or mathematical estimation, certainly leave room for interpretation and disagreement. This is where it is useful to engage the skills of an experienced personal injury who has the knowledge and expertise to negotiate for your best possible settlement.
The ferocious negotiators at Thompson Law build your case and fight on your behalf for your maximum pain and suffering compensation in a few key ways. Tracking and sharing of your medical expenses and treatment plan after the accident, documenting the medical costs you accrued, helping to ensure you received the various types of medical services you required, and describing the impacts to your routines all combine to paint a picture of the physical and emotional suffering you endured. Based on this information, your expert personal injury attorney can build a case for your full deserved compensation and defend that case in negotiations – whether they take place through a claim demand, mediation, or even in court.
For information and advice on your specific situation, reach out anytime for help from your Dallas Personal Injury Lawyers, Thompson Law. Call the 4’s today in Dallas at 214-444-4444, in North Dallas at 972-444-4444, in the DFW Mid-Cities at 469-444-4444, or in Fort Worth at 817-444-4444
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Dallas Cowboys fans – Thompson Law spokesperson and former Cowboys player Michael Irvin included – have endured a different kind of pain and suffering as of late with the departure of Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett. This was a particularly hard hit for Thompson Law’s CEO, Zack Thompson, since he and Jason Garrett are fellow Princeton alumni. Zack, a lifelong sports fanatic, actually has ties to a number of professional sports teams. During his time at Goldman Sachs in New York, many of his investment banking transactions involved buying and selling professional sports teams and venues, such as: the St. Louis Blues hockey team, the NFL’s Cleveland Browns expansion franchise, the Kiel Center, and other transactions.
Zack’s favorite team of professionals is our team of personal injury attorneys at Thompson Law. However, in the sports arena, our Thompson Law CEO grew up a fan of the – wait for it…and while doing so you can always reach us by dialing (214) or (817) and then 444-4444 – San Antonio Spurs. After almost 15 years in Dallas, though, the Dallas Mavericks have become his favorite NBA basketball team. The CEO of the “Call the 4’s” injury law firm – a San Antonio native – even puts the Mavericks ahead of the Spurs now, despite growing up in San Antonio and having worked previously for one of the Spurs’ owners.
Dallas’s own Mark Cuban would be very pleased with Zack’s Mavericks allegiance, even though prior to joining Thompson Law, Zack worked to build an office building near the American Airlines Center (AAC) with Ross Perot, Jr.’s (also the former owner of the Dallas Mavericks) Hillwood Group. As you may have seen in recent news, Ross Perot, Jr. and Mark Cuban have had a spat about the Mavericks and the AAC. Hopefully their attorneys can sort out their dispute amicably so no personal injury attorneys are needed!
Zack and the Thompson Law crew are frequent flyers at Victory Park and the AAC to cheer on the Mavs and the Dallas Stars, as well. You will see Zack in a Dallas Stars jersey before you would find him in NJ Devils or St. Louis Blues gear, despite the fact that the NJ Devils won the Stanley Cup during Zack’s time at Princeton, and Zack having sold the Blues franchise during his tenure at Goldman.
In any event we wish Coach Garrett the best of luck, despite the fact that he is going to our archrival the New York Giants!
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