If you have been injured or experienced emotional distress in a car accident because of someone else’s negligence and carelessness, you have the right to seek compensation. But how can you calculate your total compensation? While some damages are pretty easy to evaluate, others are a lot harder to calculate and justify.
To determine the amount of damages and pain is difficult because of many different factors. The method most lawyers and insurance companies use is called the “multiplier method”. It helps to determine the value of damages, including pain and suffering.
Economic And Non-economic Damages
If you had been involved in a car accident, you will most likely experience both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are all material losses that you have sustained because of the accident. For example, medical expenses, including emergency room attendance and physical therapy, are economic damages. Economic damages are usually easy to calculate because they are concrete and documented. Non-economic damages are those that do not have an inherit dollar amount. They include emotional suffering and mental traumas caused by a physical injury. Since there is no record or corresponding bill, it is harder to calculate non-economic damages and put a price on them.
Surprisingly, there is no strict mathematical formula to calculate non-economic losses. It is up to you as a victim, your lawyer, and other involved parties to decide what is fair compensation for this type of damage. In some cases, a jury will decide what you deserve.
The Multiplier Method
The multiplier method is a technique that insurance companies use to calculate pain and suffering damages. It uses the number between 1.5 and 5 which is chosen depending on how serious the injury. For example, if you have experienced a severe, life-threatening injury, the number should be close to 5, while minor injuries would get 1.5. There are also numbers 6 and 7 for extremely serious injuries. In order to determine the appropriate number, you should consider the following factors:
- The fault of other drivers involved in the accident
- The seriousness of the injuries
- The presence of verified documents proving your injuries and suffering
- Recovery period.
Why Do You Need an Attorney
An experienced attorney will help you to decide on your multiplier, gather evidence of the injuries, and maximize your claim. Having an attorney is the best thing you can do to understand the legal process and build a strong case.