How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated in a Motorcycle Accident Case?
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- How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated in a Motorcycle Accident Case?
In 2020, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the injury rate per registered vehicle was 1.42 percent higher, and the fatality rate some 6 times more, for motorcycles than passenger cars. If you or your loved ones have found themselves among this percentile, you may be facing serious emotional, physical, and financial consequences. You do not have to face these difficult circumstances alone.
At Phillips Law Group, one of Arizona’s largest consumer law firms, we understand that the aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be extremely difficult. That’s why we want to help you get a settlement that truly compensates for all you have suffered due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness. It may be hard to know where to get started or who to call for help in getting the best settlement possible for your case.
Calculating how much your pain and suffering motorcycle accident settlement is worth in Arizona may be challenging but is not impossible. Our personal injury lawyers have helped many victims like you recover settlements for their pain and suffering, and we want to help you too. Call us today, 24/7, for a free consultation at (602) 222-2222.
What Pain and Suffering Damages Are
You may wonder what “pain and suffering damages” actually mean in a legal capacity. Simply put, these are the allocated compensation for the cost of the accident in the form of trauma, physical pain, and emotional suffering from the moment of the accident until your final step of recovery.
There are many aspects of pain and suffering, most of which are considered “non-economic losses” since they don’t have a fixed dollar amount attached to them.
Some examples of pain and suffering payouts may include compensation for:
- Anger issues
- Insomnia and/or phobias
- Loss of specific abilities or pleasures
While some of these conditions may be present in your medical records, it is also important to document the impact they have on your life as much as possible, perhaps by writing a journal and recording videos of your daily struggles. Be sure not to downplay your symptoms to anyone, even loved ones or coworkers.
By proving the impact that your pain and suffering has on your life, your personal injury lawyer will strive to get you the most appropriate amount of compensation for what you have suffered.
There are two separate methods that lawyers and insurance companies commonly use to calculate pain and suffering payout amounts: the multiplier method and the per diem method. Your total compensation will partly depend on which of these methods is used.
The multiplier method
This method for calculating pain and suffering payouts tends to be the simplest way to arrive at a monetary estimate of your noneconomic damages. Basically, this method starts by calculating all of the economic damages in your case and then multiplying that figure by a number that is normally between 1.5 and 5.
How high (from 1-5) your injury multiplier will be depends on the severity of the injuries and length of recovery, with 5 being the most severe.
For example, if your motorcycle accident caused you $10,000 worth of economic damages (i.e. medical bills, property loss, time lost from work, etc.) and your injuries were assigned a multiplier of 3, your pain and suffering damages would total $30,000.
This calculation method gives you a starting point to use when negotiating with the insurance company or taking the case to court. This figure could go up or down, so the best way to know what amount you are likely to receive would be to speak to a qualified personal injury lawyer.
The per diem method
The per diem method calculates the amount of damages based on a certain amount of money assigned to each day of the recovery period. Often using the pre-accident daily income as a guide, the payment would be for every day since the motorcycle accident until maximum recovery.
Unfortunately, in the case of prolonged pain and suffering or physical injuries which require extended time to heal, per diem can be a limiting approach.
Insurance companies may use other calculation techniques, but the multiplier and per diem methods give your lawyer a starting point with which to compare any insurance settlement offer.
Your motorcycle accident lawyer will be able to give you a better idea of which method’s advantages suit your case. The goal is to get you the maximum amount to fully aid in your recovery – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Evidence of Pain and Suffering
A key piece of evidence in any personal injury claim, medical records are essential in motorcycle accident cases. These may include doctor’s notes, medical bills, and written prescriptions.
Pain medication prescriptions, for instance, show that you are indeed suffering from physical pain after your crash. If you are prescribed medication for mental issues stemming from your motorcycle accident injuries, these records can go a long way to proving the suffering part of your pain and suffering damage claim as well.
In addition to medical documents, your own written record can serve as evidence of your pain and suffering. Make sure that you date each journal entry, describe what you are feeling accurately, explain in detail how your life is affected by your pain, and note the medical treatments you are undergoing. All these details will help your lawyer to make a timeline of your pain and suffering to ensure that you receive every bit of compensation you deserve.
Most personal injury claims end up with out-of-court insurance settlements. However, in rare instances, your motorcycle injury case may need to go all the way in front of a judge and jury. If this is the case, you may bring in friends or family to testify as to the pain and suffering they have witnessed you go through.
Every case is unique to itself, and so is the evidence required for each. You don’t have to bear the burden of collecting all necessary evidence alone. At Phillips Law Group, we can obtain the evidence you need to get the best possible outcome on your motorcycle accident case, so please don’t hesitate to contact us 24/7 for advice on your case.
Arizona Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Who Care
Of the 278,464 motorcycles registered in Arizona in 2021, some 2,206 riders and passengers were injured in recorded collisions. If you or your loved ones were among those, you are likely dealing with physical, financial, mental, and emotional suffering. You may deserve to be compensated monetarily for your pain and suffering.
In Arizona, there is no cap on the amount of pain and suffering damages that may be awarded in a personal injury case. The percentage of fault you are assigned, though, can make an impact on your award amount. However, you can’t be sure of how much compensation you are entitled to until you speak with a personal injury lawyer who has experience in helping motorcycle accident victims.
At Phillips Law Group, our Arizona motorcycle accident lawyers have decades of experience obtaining fair compensation for victims of many kinds of accidents, including those involving motorcycles. We understand the severity of the pain and suffering caused by these crashes and know how to build strong cases to support our clients’ best interests.
We take cases on contingency, which means that your initial consultation with our trusted attorneys is free and you will not be charged legal fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf. Call (602) 222-2222 today to schedule a session with us.
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