An accident can be a harrowing experience. It can also be a painful and costly one. In addition to sustaining injuries and missing plenty of time away from work, you may have psychological problems after an accident too.
You may be afraid to drive after a crash, or you may get PTSD. Insurance should pay for your medical bills and lost wages, but you might also believe that you should get money for pain and suffering as well. You have looked up an estimate on several online calculators, and you are wondering how accurate they are. Although they may be able to give you a general idea, those calculators will not really be able to tell you how much money you can get for a pain and suffering claim.
The truth is, pain and suffering damages are hard to get, especially in Florida. It is a good idea to have a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer by your side when dealing with your insurance company.
How Auto Insurance Works in Florida
There are two different kinds of auto insurance rules in the United States—fault and no-fault. In a fault state, the person who caused the accident is responsible for paying its associated bills. In a no-fault state, a person’s own insurance will pay for their accident-related bills no matter who is responsible for the crash.
Florida is a no-fault state. No-fault insurance was specifically devised to ensure that there would be fewer personal injury lawsuits. There are only 12 no-fault states as of 2021.
If your injuries are very severe and the cost of the treatment you need exceeds your coverage, you might want to sue. It is very difficult to sue an at-fault driver in the Sunshine State unless your accident resulted in one of the following conditions:
- Loss of limb or bodily function
- Permanent scarring
- Permanent injury
Pain and suffering are legal terms that encompass several different kinds of emotional distress and physical discomfort that a person may experience after an accident.
If you have lost a family member to an accident, you may be able to recover pain and suffering money as part of a wrongful death lawsuit. Because the term is very broad, it is important for you to document your pain and suffering if you want to sue.
You should keep a journal about your pain and any changes to your lifestyle. You should also save the bills you incur from visits with mental health professionals.
How Pain and Suffering is Calculated
There is no definite and legal way that an insurance company will calculate pain and suffering. There are two different methods of calculation that some insurance adjusters use.
The Multiplier Method
If an insurance company uses the multiplier method to determine your pain and suffering, the first thing they will do is rate your pain on a scale of one to five, with five being the highest. They will then take the total amount of your medical bills and multiply it by that number. Hence, if your bills added up to $5,000 and your pain was a two, your pain and suffering compensation would be $10,000.
The Per Diem Method
The other method adjusters will use to determine pain and suffering is called the per diem method. They will first decide how much your time is worth based on your income. They will then multiply that number by the number of days it took for you to recover.
The method an adjuster uses may be a matter of company policy, or it may depend on the type of injuries you have. If your bills were very high, but it did not take you that long to recover, the adjuster may use the per diem method. If you have a high income, they may be more likely to use the multiplier method.
An insurance company is likely going to try and prove you are exaggerating to get a larger settlement. It is important to hire a personal injury attorney with years of experience in Florida law to negotiate with the company to get you a fair settlement.
Insurance companies are staffed with a team of lawyers who are dedicated to keeping their money in-house. Hence, it is important that you have a professional attorney on your side so you can get the money you need to move on with your life.