The settlement you receive from a motorcycle accident case typically provides compensation for both tangible and non-tangible losses. Tangible losses are economic and can be calculated with concrete evidence, such as medical bills and income loss. Non-tangible damages, those that compensate you for pain and suffering, are not as easily calculated as there are no “bills” to quantify your pain and distress.
Insurance companies will go to great lengths to devalue your pain and suffering and pay you less than you deserve. A skilled motorcycle accident lawyer from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC will not allow insurance companies to take advantage of you or get away with underestimating your level of pain and suffering.
Pain and Suffering Explained
The physical pain and mental and emotional distress you suffer because of an injury-causing accident fall into the category of “pain and suffering.” When you pursue compensation for damages incurred by the accident, your pain and suffering warrant financial acknowledgment. Pain and suffering include the accident-related distress you endured immediately after your incident and will continue to face in the future.
Among other consequences, pain and suffering can include:
- Physical symptoms like pain or disfigurement
- Psychological anguish, such as from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, or depression caused by the accident and injuries
- Emotional distress, perhaps from an ability to engage with others as you once did or from the grief you experience regarding your diminished abilities and independence,
- Sleep issues, such as insomnia and night terrors
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Factors Considered When Calculating Pain and Suffering
When calculating compensation for pain and suffering, your attorney and the at-fault party’s insurance company will consider a variety of factors which include, but are not limited to:
- The type and severity of your injuries
- Treatments you must undergo
- How long your recovery will take
- How your injuries have affected your life
Other factors that affect your settlement amount include the strength of the evidence proving your situation and the at-fault party’s negligence, and the skill of your motorcycle accident lawyer. An experienced personal injury attorney understands the legal process, knows how to gather strong evidence, and can counteract any arguments the at-fault party’s representatives use against you.
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Calculating Compensation for Pain and Suffering in a Motorcycle Accident Case
In most states, including Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi, there are two methods commonly used by attorneys for calculating the amount of compensation a victim collects: the multiplier method and the per diem method. Keep in mind that an insurance company might have its own process and argue to use its calculation method instead. A motorcycle accident attorney will evaluate what serves your best interests and fight to use that process.
The Multiplier Method
Under the multiplier method, you multiply the total amount of your economic damages by a number between 1.5 and 5. The resultrepresents what you can collect for pain and suffering. For example, if you have $20,000 in economic damages and use “3” as your multiplier, the compensation you can seek for your pain and suffering is $60,000.
Economic damages include any accident-related consequences that affect your finances, such as medical costs, income loss, and property damage. Of course, the higher the multiplier, the higher the amount you receive, and the more severe your injuries and their consequences, the higher the multiplier. An experienced attorney will provide the arguments and evidence needed to secure the highest multiplier possible.
The Per Diem Method
Under the per diem method, your attorney will calculate how much a day of your suffering is worth. The extent and severity of your injuries and your daily income factor heavily into this calculation. Then, this amount is multiplied by the number of days your recovery is required.
For example, if $200 is the determined worth for a day of your suffering, and your injuries take 30 days to heal, you can receive $6,000 for your pain and suffering.
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A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Will Fight for a Substantial Award
Whether negotiating with insurance companies or representing you before the court, your motorcycle accident attorney will fight to secure a settlement amount providing you with justice and fair compensation for your non-tangible losses. Insurance companies will always work to reduce their payouts and will fight to discredit your accounts of suffering.
By connecting with a personal injury lawyer promptly after your accident, you give your attorney time to compile evidence proving your circumstances. Your attorney will document input from medical experts and observations from your caregivers and loved ones. If your condition allows, your attorney will likely advise you to keep a journal documenting your pain levels, physical condition, and emotional and mental states throughout each day.
It is easy for victims, who are all focused on getting through each day in the immediate aftermath of the accident, to “miss” important details or fail to notice all the ways an injury has affected their lives. An experienced attorney will guide you through this process, helping to ensure your compensation thoroughly accounts for all aspects of your pain and suffering.
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State Caps on Damages for Pain and Suffering
Some states put limits on how much victims can receive for non-tangible losses, while others do not. Arkansas, for example, does not impose a limit, while Mississippi typically caps non-tangible damages to $1,000,000 or $500,000 for those involving medical malpractice.
Even if your state has a cap, some situations warrant exceptions, and a motorcycle accident lawyer will work to prove these exceptions apply to your case. For example, in Tennessee, the cap for pain and suffering is $750,000. However, exceptions apply to injuries such as severe burns, spinal cord damage, or limb amputations.
Exceptions may also apply if the at-fault party acted with intent when performing the accident, causing the victim’s injury.
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You Deserve Justice for Your Pain and Suffering
The pain and suffering you endure from a motorcycle accident demands justice. Though no amount of money can erase your pain or remove all your distress, a financial acknowledgment is the only way the courts have to award you at least a measure of justice, and with that award comes access to new therapies or opportunities that can improve your quality of life. Take the first step toward securing justice by reaching out to a compassionate motorcycle accident attorney from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC, and scheduling a consultation today.