Standard manual wheelchair standing in empty hospital corridorHow Do You Calculate Pain and Suffering?

New York and New Jersey are both “no fault” car insurance states. This means that you have a more limited opportunity to file a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident, and that the value of your injuries must exceed certain thresholds before you can collect damages for pain and suffering. Moreover, for injuries that you sustain in slip and falls and other types of accidents, insurance companies have invested millions of dollars into algorithms that assign low values to injuries and that minimize your potential recovery for pain and suffering.

The New York and New Jersey personal injury lawyers at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman challenge these thresholds and limitations on behalf of our clients every day. We have the knowledge and experience to argue past the low values that insurers want to assign to your pain and suffering and to recover the compensation you deserve when another party’s negligence leaves you debilitated or disabled.

Retain an attorney who has experience  pain and suffering.

Proving economic damages after you have been injured in an accident is a fairly direct process. Your medical expenses and lost wages can be demonstrated with hospital bills, pay stubs, and other readily-available documents. Putting a dollar sign on a person’s pain and suffering is another matter entirely, however. The personal injury attorneys at KGG have the skill and experience to show how an injured party’s quality of life has been adversely affected by their injuries, and to translate that pain and suffering into a tangible dollar amount that gives full recognition to the harm that he or she has endured.

Understand how insurance companies calculate pain and suffering.

Insurers might utilize a one-size-fits-all approach, for example, of offering two to five times your economic damages for your pain and suffering, or they might offer a small daily amount for the duration of your recovery from your injuries. These approaches rarely account for your individual lifestyle, family dynamics, or interaction with your community. Calculating your pain and suffering should not be reduced to a generic formula. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer will have the skill to counter those generic formulas with information and evidence that shows the true value of an injured party’s pain and suffering.

Consult with your attorney about how he or she will calculate your pain and suffering.

Your lawyer will seek to develop a picture of your daily activities before your accident, and he or she will compare and contrast that picture with your post-accident situation to show how your injuries have negatively affected your and your family’s lifestyles. If the accident caused long-term or permanent disabilities, your lawyer will describe how those disabilities are forcing you and your family to sacrifice privacy and to allow third-party caregivers to encroach on your home life. Your personal injury lawyer will show that each injury has both a physical and psychological component, and provide an accurate picture of the detrimental psychological effects of an injury.

Remember that no two accident and injury cases are alike.

Your ability to collect any damages after you have suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence will be a function of the specific facts of your case. No attorney can promise you that you will receive a specific amount of compensation to reimburse you for your expenses and losses, or that you are entitled to a certain amount of damages for your pain and suffering. Rather, your attorney should devote sufficient time and resources to understand what happened in your accident, and how your injuries have forced you to alter your regular activities. Only then will your lawyer be able to estimate your pain and suffering damages and develop an argument to rebut any low offers that you might receive from the negligent party’s insurance company.

Retain a lawyer who is willing to take your case to trial.    

If your case is not resolved through settlement negotiations, your attorney should be ready and able to take your case to trial and to present his or her calculations for your pain and suffering damages to a jury.

The personal injury lawyers at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman represent individuals that have suffered injuries as a result of another party’s negligence in New York and New Jersey. We have in-depth knowledge of both states’ no fault rules in car accident cases, and we have expertise in calculating the true value of our clients’ pain and suffering. Please see our website or call our New York or New Jersey offices to schedule a consultation as soon as is possible after you have suffered injuries in an accident.