How much insurance companies pay for pain and suffering depends on the specifics of the case, including the injuries the claimant suffered, the losses they sustained, and how long their injuries will continue to affect them.
Insurance Companies May Pay for Pain and Suffering in Louisiana
Pain and suffering is a broad legal term that encompasses numerous categories of damages after an injury, and may be difficult to determine.
Louisiana courts recognize the need to compensate a person for their pain and suffering. As a result, insurance companies do consider pain and suffering in personal injury claims. Determining the depth of an individual’s personal pain may be thought of as a difficult legal problem; however, the insurance company will focus on objective facts to determine the value of a person’s pain and suffering. Individuals with chronic pain may receive larger settlements than people who experienced pain for a set amount of time, for example.
Evidence Insurance Companies Might Use to Calculate Pain and Suffering
Every bit of supporting evidence you can find can strengthen your potential case. Keeping the following can help solidify a claim for pain and suffering:
- 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 as a result of 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 to higher settlements recognizing pain and suffering.
How Insurance Companies Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages
Pain and suffering are considered “general damages.” Calculating pain and suffering 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,” according to the Legal Information Institute. 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 would be entitled to $45,000 in pain and suffering.
The Multiplier Approach
In the multiplier method, the insurance company will assign your injuries a number between one and five depending on the severity of your injuries. Once it has assigned you a number, it will multiply that figure by the amount of your economic damages (e.g., medical bills, lost wages, related costs, etc.)
For example, you suffered rather severe injuries so the insurance company assigned you a 4.5. You have $35,000 in economic damages. You would be entitled to $157,500 in pain and suffering damages.
Insurance companies may also use a standardized form of software that enables them to justify smaller offers to victims.
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. You have the right to negotiate with the insurer; however, this process can be difficult.
It is also important to note that the statute of limitations is one year in Louisiana per 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.
Reasons for Expedience in Pursuing Your Claim
Despite this one-year limit, evidence 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, or nearby security camera footage. These types of evidence may bolster one’s case and potential damage amount, but also may not last.
Our Team Can Help With Your Case
While we cannot tell you how much insurance companies pay for pain and suffering, we can investigate your case and determine how much you might expect. Working with a lawyer removes the burden of collecting evidence. If you were injured, healing is a top priority, and other tasks often fall on the back burner. Hiring a legal team enables injured people to focus on getting better while avoiding stress and missed deadlines.
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers may be able to assist you with:
- Communicating the details of your case.
- Filing the requisite paperwork.
- Negotiating on your behalf.
If you were injured and have questions about who may be responsible, call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today at (337) 777-7777. We handle cases on a contingency-fee basis, which means that you pay no upfront costs, and we recover no attorney’s fees if your case does not recover compensation.