If you were injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of someone else, the law entitles you to seek compensation for the harm you suffered as a result. Often, this includes physical injury. It is common, however, for a person to incur harm that goes beyond physical injury to things such as emotional trauma, pains in the body, and a reduction in quality of life, among other things. These damages are just as real and just as compensable as more overtly physical injuries. While pain and suffering damages are compensable in a Pennsylvania personal injury claim, however, calculating these kinds of damages can be challenging, but not impossible.
Calculating Pain and Suffering Damages in Pennsylvania
In a personal injury claim, there are two main types of damages. There are economic damages and then there are non-economic damages. Economic damages are things like medical bills, lost wages, and other things that are easily calculated. These are damages that can be calculated using bills and pay stubs, among other financial records. On the other side of things, non-economic damages are much more difficult to calculate as they cannot be based on things like medical bills. Pain and suffering will include things like emotional trauma and scarring as well as loss of quality of life and future pain and suffering.
The subjective nature of pain and suffering makes it difficult to calculate using a set and predictable method. Everyone will perceive a person’s pain and suffering differently and so pain and suffering damage awards can widely vary. To have some consistency in the process, insurance companies usually use their own set formula in assigning a value to pain and suffering. One of the most common formulas is to total up the injured person’s medical bills and lost wages. Then, that figure is multiplied by a number between 1 and 5. The multiplying number will be selected based on the nature and severity of the injuries involved. The other more common formula used by insurance companies is to assign a per diem amount and multiply it by the number of days until the injury victim is considered to be fully recovered.
Before you can get to speculating on how much you can recover for pain and suffering, however, you must be sure that you can actually bring a claim for such damages. If you have a full tort auto insurance policy, then you will be free to make a claim for pain and suffering damages if you have been injured in an accident. If you have a limited tort policy, however, you can only recover pain and suffering damages if you have sustained what is considered to be a serious injury under Pennsylvania law. A serious injury is considered to be one that is fatal or led to a permanent disfigurement of impairment of bodily function.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys
Insurance companies will seek to take advantage of the difficulty inherent in assigning a value to pain and suffering. They are likely to offer the lowest possible compensation. The team at Cooper, Schall & Levy is prepared to fight for you and your right to be fully and fairly compensated for all of your damages, including pain and suffering. Contact us today.