How Do You Negotiate Pain and Suffering in Pennsylvania?
After a severe injury, you will most likely face a ton of medical bills and lost income. This is typically coupled with the emotional stress and pain that accompanies recovery. If you were hurt through the recklessness or negligence of another person, you should not be responsible for the damages you incur. Understanding your financial costs is easy, but how do you calculate or negotiate your pain and suffering damages? The Reiff Law Firm has spent decades litigating complex personal injury lawsuits and negotiating pain and suffering damages. In the following article, our Philadelphia personal injury attorney examines how to negotiate and calculate pain and suffering damages below.
Are Insurance Settlements After an Injury in Pennsylvania Too Low?
It is common for an insurance company to contact an injured person if their injury was the result of the negligent conduct of another party. If there is no question of fault, then it is likely that the insurer will offer a settlement. In most cases, this amount is insufficient to compensate the injured person for the full extent of their financial losses and emotional harm.
If you are injured, you should not accept a settlement offer from an insurance company without speaking with our experienced Pennsylvania personal injury attorney. An insurance provider does not have your best interests in mind and is usually only concerned about its bottom line. A common tactic employed by insurance companies is to offer unreasonably low settlements in hopes an injured person will be compelled to accept. Once you take a settlement offer, you are generally prohibited from seeking further damages.
How Insurance Companies Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages in Pennsylvania
While calculating your financial losses is usually straightforward, quantifying your pain and suffering damages is more challenging. In most cases, an insurance company will use one of two methods to calculate them – the per diem method or the multiplier method. No matter what method used, our Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer will usually come up with a higher amount.
Under the per diem method, an insurance company will estimate the number of days you are expected to experience pain and multiple it by a daily rate. This method is usually terribly unfair if you have suffered a permanent disability as an insurance company will limit the estimated number of days. Additionally, the daily rate is typically unreasonably low and does not reflect the suffering you are experiencing.
The multiplier method begins by calculating your past and future medical expenses. It is not uncommon for an insurance company to estimate your future costs extremely low. That number will then be multiplied by a number between one and five to determine your pain and suffering compensation. The multiplier will usually factor in the severity of your injury, the evidence determining fault, and the potential length of recovery.
Using either method will result in a low approximation of what you should recover. Because of the intangible nature of pain and suffering, it is also difficult to tell if the offer is fair. Our Pennsylvania personal injury attorney will thoroughly evaluate your damages based on how you were uniquely affected by the injury.
How to Calculate and Negotiate the Real Pain and Suffering Damages in your Pennsylvania Injury Case
Our Pennsylvania personal injury attorney understands that not everyone handles pain and suffering in the same way. Additionally, the same exact injury could have different impacts depending on the lifestyle of the victim. An insurance company usually does not have the evidence or the inclination to look too closely at the injured individual.
Your economic losses are usually rather straightforward and not open to much negotiation. Because pain and suffering damages are more intangible, there is a greater opportunity to negotiate the amount. After evaluating your claim based on the evidence, our office will send a demand letter to the insurance company. The evidence is not only being used to value your claim and negotiate with your insurance company – it is being used to prepare your personal injury lawsuit.
The demand letter will request an amount based on the information we have, along with a detailed description of the extent of your injuries and suffering. While this substantiates the nature of your injuries and serves as a foundation for the demand, it also puts the insurance company on notice that you are prepared to take your case to court.
The insurance company will then either agree to the new settlement amount, make a counter-offer, or ignore the demand letter. If we do each a figure you are comfortable with, your lawsuit will be filed with the appropriate court.
Trial Awards for Pain and Suffering vs. Insurance Settlements in Pennsylvania
In many cases, the amount you can recover after an injury is potentially higher at trial than through an insurance settlement. The benefits of a settlement include receiving your money faster and eliminating the risk of a trial. Our Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys are dedicated to securing the best compensation award possible. We will give you our professional assessment of the value of your claim and the strength of your case.
Call Our Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorney to Help Negotiate Your Pain and Suffering Damages
When another individual’s negligent or reckless conduct results in your being seriously injured, you want to be made whole. This means recovering for both your financial losses and your emotional pain and suffering. Our Pennsylvania personal injury attorney will assist you in valuing your injury claim. Additionally, our office will negotiate your pain and suffering damages with the insurance company. If a satisfactory agreement is impossible, we will take your case to trial. Call the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940 to schedule a free consultation to value your pain and suffering damages.