Getting a pain and suffering settlement without a lawyer is possible, but it may be difficult to reach an agreement that fully compensates you for your damages. In many cases, accident victims do not realize how much their case may be worth. This is especially true when it comes to intangible losses such as their pain and suffering and mental anguish.
It is difficult enough to prove the expenses you already paid and ensure you include all of your related losses. When it comes to pursuing likely future damages and proving the value of non-economic losses, it becomes even more difficult.
In many cases, accident victims accept an offer from the insurance company because it seems like a lot of money. However, they may have been able to recover much more based on the fair settlement value of their case if it was calculated and documented by an attorney who regularly handles similar cases.
Pain and Suffering Settlements Often Depend on Your Economic Losses
In many cases, pain and suffering values in an insurance settlement depend greatly on the value of the victim’s economic losses. This value specifically includes their medical treatment costs and sometimes their lost income. This method may be called the “multiplier method.” This method is one way that insurance companies, lawyers, and others put a price on intangible damages.
This method requires you to assign a value of between one to five for the severity of your injuries. A one may include scrapes, bruises, and a day or two away from work. A five would likely include catastrophic injuries, permanent disabilities, and ongoing care. Then, you would take the total of your medical care expenses and multiply them by this number. For example, if your medical bills were $5,000, and you believe your pain and suffering qualify as a two, your pain and suffering damages might be worth $10,000.
Of course, this relies on you to put an accurate number on your medical care costs. It is also worth noting that insurance companies often have computer programs or formulas they use to determine the offer they should make. This program could use some variant of the multiplier method or another method to determine your pain and suffering damages.
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Documenting the Impact Your Injuries Had on Your Everyday Life Is Important
When you file your insurance claim and demand a fair payout, you will need to include a value for your pain and suffering damages. You can use the multiplier method or assign another value to these losses. However, the important part is that you know how you came up with the value, and you can support it.
One way to do this is to carefully document your pain and suffering and the emotional distress caused by your accident and injuries. You can do this by keeping a journal or other collection of daily impact. Write down where you had pain, whether you were able to work, the things you missed out on, and other details about how your injuries affected your life.
This documentation may play a significant role, along with your medical records, work records, and other information, to show the severity of your injuries, how many days you suffered in pain, and how it affected you in other ways. For example, make sure you record information about difficulty sleeping, depression, or other concerns.
An Attorney May Be Able To Increase Your Financial Recovery
Getting a pain and suffering settlement without a lawyer can be difficult. Since attorneys regularly calculate the value of car accident claims, including intangible losses, they have a better idea of how much to demand and how to support the claim with evidence that strengthens the case.
They also know where to look to identify often-missed damages and prevent their clients from leaving a lot of money unclaimed. In some cases, accident victims can recover far more with help from an attorney than they could on their own because of this. Identifying more economic losses could even mean a higher pain and suffering payout.
In addition, attorneys can help minimize the impact of comparative negligence accusations and other tactics insurance companies may try to use to reduce your payout. Under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) § 51-11-7, if you contributed to your accident in any way, it could reduce the value of your case. This situation is not something you likely want to try to fight on your own.
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Speak to an Attorney Before Signing a Settlement Agreement
One way to protect your rights and ensure you are getting a fair settlement agreement is to speak to an Atlanta car accident lawyer about your case before you sign any settlement agreement with the insurance company. The attorney can look over the case you built and the claim you filed to determine if you asked for enough for pain and suffering or if you left cash on the negotiation table.
If they believe you deserve more, they can help you counter-offer the insurance company and fight for a just settlement offer. Per O.C.G.A § 9-3-33, you likely have up to two years to negotiate an agreement or file a personal injury suit. However, it may be possible to take action and resolve your case long before this deadline arrives.
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Bader Scott Injury Lawyers Offers Free Case Reviews
At Bader Scott Injury Lawyers, a member of our Georgia traffic accident team can review your case today at no cost to you. We can help no matter if you have already filed a claim or if you are not sure what you need to do first to get started. Let our team evaluate your case, explain your options, and outline the services we may be able to provide for you.
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