How much insurance companies pay for pain and suffering depends on the specifics of the case. For example, insurers consider the claimant’s injuries, the losses they sustained, and how long their injuries will continue to affect them.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to someone else’s negligence, our firm will calculate a fair value for your pain and suffering. Then, we can negotiate a settlement with the insurance company on your behalf.
Insurance Companies May Pay for Pain and Suffering in Louisiana
Pain and suffering is a broad legal term that encompasses numerous damages after an injury. Since pain and suffering is intangible, the value of these damages may be difficult to determine.
Louisiana courts recognize the need to compensate victims for their pain and suffering. As a result, insurance companies do consider these damages in personal injury claims. In fact, there are no caps on pain and suffering damages in personal injury cases involving car accidents. However, there is a $500,000 cap on damages in medical malpractice cases in Louisiana.
Pain and Suffering Damages Vary From Case to Case
Determining the depth of an individual’s personal pain takes significant care and consideration. For example, individuals with chronic pain may receive larger settlements than people who experienced pain for a set amount of time.
Still, the insurance company will focus on objective facts to determine the value of pain and suffering. Alternatively, an attorney from our firm would take the time to examine your pain and suffering damages and ensure we assign a fair value before negotiating with the insurer.
For a free legal consultation, call (337) 777-7777
Evidence Insurance Companies Might Use to Calculate Pain and Suffering
Every bit of supporting evidence available can strengthen your potential case. For example, keeping the following items can help solidify a claim for financial recovery:
- A diary of your experiences
- Medical invoices
- Prescription receipts
- Receipts for relevant extra items
- Relevant pictures or x-rays
- Doctor’s office paperwork
- Bills for ongoing therapy
- Documentation of lost wages
One of the most important things to keep is a journal or diary of your experiences related to the incident. By describing the pain you feel daily and the inconveniences you are experiencing, you may be better able to sway the insurance company to offer you a higher amount.
Insurance adjusters are trained to offer low amounts initially, so it often requires negotiation to get higher settlement offers that recognize pain and suffering.
How Insurance Companies Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages
Pain and suffering is considered part of the “general damages,” but calculating it can be more difficult than economic damages like medical bills or lost wages. Insurance companies may use one of the following approaches for determining how much your pain and suffering is worth:
The Per Diem Approach
Louisiana insurance companies and courts sometimes use a per diem approach when calculating damages. Per diem is a Latin phrase meaning “each day” or “per day,” as the Legal Information Institute (LII) explains.
When using the per diem approach, the insurance company will assign a specific dollar amount to each day the injured party’s injuries keep them out of work. This number is typically the dollar amount the injured party would have made.
For example, your injuries kept you out of work for 180 days. If you would have made $250 each day you were out of work, you could recover $45,000 in pain and suffering.
The Multiplier Approach
In the multiplier method, the insurance company will assign a number between one and five to your injuries, depending on their severity. Once it has assigned this number, it will multiply that figure by the amount of your economic damages (e.g., medical bills, lost wages, related costs, etc.)
For example, if you suffered rather severe injuries, the insurance company may have assigned you a 4.5. In that case, if you have $35,000 in economic damages, you could receive $157,500 in pain and suffering damages.
Insurance companies may also use a standardized form of software to justify smaller offers to victims. Having a personal injury attorney from our team on your side can help ensure you receive a fair amount of compensation.
Insurance Companies May Offer You Much Less Than You Are Entitled to
Insurance adjusters are just doing their job when they offer low initial amounts to claimants. Their incentive is to minimize the damages for which their employer is liable. While you have the right to negotiate with the insurer, this process can be difficult.
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases in Lafayette, LA
It is also important to note that the statute of limitations is one year in Louisiana per CC Art. 3492. If you fail to negotiate what you believe to be a fair settlement, you can file a lawsuit, but you must do so within this time limit.
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Reasons for Expedience in Pursuing Your Claim
Despite this one-year limit, evidence in the case may have a shorter shelf life. Important time-sensitive evidence can include:
- Roadway broken glass spray
- Tire skid marks
- Commercial driver log records
- Witness memory
- Nearby security camera footage
These types of evidence may bolster your case and potential damage amount, but they require quick collection.
How Our Team Can Help with Your Case
While we cannot predict exactly how much an insurance company will pay for pain and suffering in any given case, we can investigate your case and provide an estimate.
Working with a lawyer removes the burden of collecting evidence and handling other case matters. Healing is a top priority after suffering injuries, and other tasks often fall on the back burner. Hiring a legal team enables you to focus on getting better while avoiding stress and missed deadlines.
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can assist you with:
- Gathering evidence to support your case
- Communicating the details of your case
- Negotiating with the insurance companies
- Filing the requisite paperwork
- Keeping you updated on the case’s progress
We Have Obtained Millions of Dollars in Awards for Our Clients
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, our team has a combined 100 years+ of experience handling personal injury cases and fighting for the best outcomes for our clients. Our attorneys have won more than $200 million in settlements and court verdicts in past cases. Here are just some examples:
- $10,400,000.00 – Loss of revenue
- $1,800,000.00 – Settlement for victim of an 18-wheeler accident
- $1,750,000.00 – Passenger injured at defective railroad crossing
- $425,000.00 – Shopper hit by shopping cart causing back injury
When you hire our team to represent you in an injury case, we will fight in or out of court to get the compensation you need to move forward.
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
If you were injured and have questions about who may be responsible, call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today at (337) 777-7777. Our firm handles cases on a contingency-fee basis, which means that you pay no upfront costs, and we recover no attorney’s fees if we do not deliver compensation.