How Do You Negotiate Pain and Suffering?

How Do You Negotiate Pain and Suffering?

An accident victim’s pain and suffering can be a significant element in the aftermath of an accident and a significant component in the damages that the victim is entitled to recover from the negligent party that caused the accident. Negotiating the victim’s damages for pain and suffering can be a challenging task, however, because those damages can vary dramatically from person to person. 

The Los Angeles car accident lawyers at Ellis Injury Law help injured Southern California accident victims to recover their damages for the pain and suffering they experience as a result of their injuries and throughout their rehabilitation. The liability insurers that compensate accident victims are increasingly relying on computer formulas to calculate pain and suffering damages. We make sure that each of our clients is treated as an individual and not as a collection of data in an insurance company’s computer program.   

What factors are considered to assess pain and suffering damages? 

Each car accident case presents different facts, any or all of which may be part of calculating damages for pain and suffering. A car accident lawyer might consider: 

  • the severity of an accident victim’s injuries 
  • the likelihood of complete recovery and how long it will take to get the victim back to his or her old lifestyle 
  • the nature and extent of the negligent actions that caused an accident 
  • how the victim’s injuries affect his or her relationships and interactions with family and friends 
  • medical and expert testimony to demonstrate the severity of a victim’s pain   

When more factors are considered, the multiplier effect of those factors will generate larger damages awards for pain and suffering. Thus, for example, car accidents that cause permanent or irreversible injuries will be a foundation for a larger damages award for pain and suffering than injuries that may be remediated. 

Is there an alternative to considering specific factors for pain and suffering damages? 

The negligent party’s car insurance company might use an alternative method of setting a basic daily rate to calculate pain and suffering damages. The insurer will then multiply the daily rate by the number of days that an accident victim will require to recuperate from injuries. The insurer might instead offer a small multiple of accident victim’s economic damages (e.g. verifiable costs and expenses for medical treatment, rehabilitative therapy, etc.) as compensation for pain and suffering. These are legitimate alternatives, but they can lead to lower settlement offers because an insurer might use artificially low daily rates or multipliers, or base the recuperation time on average recoveries that do not account for the individual characteristics of an accident victim. A knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney will evaluate a victim’s pain and suffering in a car crash case with all potential methods and will negotiate a damages award with the method that will give the victim the largest potential compensation.    

How can a car crash victim recover greater damages for pain and suffering? 

Every person who suffers injuries in a car accident that is caused by someone else’s negligence should retain an attorney as soon as is possible after the accident. The victim’s attorney can then collect and preserve all of the evidence about the accident and develop the strongest theory and argument for a larger pain and suffering damages award.  

The accident victim should also carefully follow all treatment protocols and therapies that are prescribed or recommended by medical personnel. A victim’s failure to follow a prescribed treatment plan can be used as evidence to show that a victim has not experienced problems from pain and suffering. From an even broader perspective, car crash victims should refrain from making any statements about their accident and injuries in social media posts or other public forums. Regardless of how accurate or innocuous those statements may be, insurance companies will likely attempt to use them against an accident victim in negotiations for pain and suffering damages. 

Ellis Injury Law helps Southern California car accident victims to recover maximum damages for pain and suffering 

For more than 25 years, the auto accident lawyers at Ellis Injury Law in Los Angeles have helped injured Southern California car crash victims to recover damages awards for pain and suffering. Please see our website or call us directly as soon as possible after you suffer injuries in a car crash to potentially improve your chances of recovering the full amount of pain and suffering damages that you deserve.