Can I Sue Insurance Company For Pain And Suffering?

If you were hurt in a car accident, you may be able to sue your own insurance company for your pain and suffering, as well as any damages that exceed your policy limits. You must, however, meet certain standards.

According to the New York Department of Financial Services, personal injury protection (PIP) coverage is a required auto insurance policy for all drivers in New York (DFS). Regardless of fault, your PIP policy will cover your eligible expenditures and losses up to $50,000. Here’s how you can go above and beyond this restriction.

Do insurance companies pay pain and suffering?

Yes, in a nutshell. If a person suffers a physical injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, insurance companies may pay for “pain and suffering” and inconvenience, depending on the circumstances. When there is no physical harm, intangible losses such as “pain and suffering” or inconvenience are usually not compensated in a personal injury claim.

For example, several cars were illegally street racing on small streets in a city’s downtown region. A pedestrian crossing the road legally in a crosswalk came dangerously close to being struck by speeding automobiles. Fortunately, despite the horrific nature of the encounter, the walker did not receive any physical damage. Money damages for “pain and suffering” or inconvenience are unlikely to be awarded to the pedestrian.

How do you prove pain and suffering?

Your lawyer may use the following papers to substantiate your pain and suffering: Medical bills. Medical records are kept on file. Non-Economic Damages for Financial Compensation: Definitions

What is fair compensation for pain and suffering?

If you were hurt as a result of someone else’s negligence, you can normally seek compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance carrier by filing a third-party claim.

You will need to produce evidence of all your losses related with the occurrence after demonstrating that the defendant is liable for your injuries (called “damages” in legalese). The insurance provider should reimburse you for both your medical expenditures and any missed wages. In addition, the insurance company should compensate you for your “pain and suffering” in general. When an insurance company will pay for pain and suffering, and how these damages are computed, are discussed in this article.

What is “Pain and Suffering?”

The legal term “pain and suffering” refers to a variety of injuries that a plaintiff may sustain as a result of an accident. It includes not only physical pain, but also emotional and mental injuries such as dread, insomnia, grief, concern, discomfort, and even the loss of life enjoyment.

In practically every injury case, the plaintiff should be able to recover some amount for pain and suffering damages, even if it is little — and sometimes very high.

How does an insurance company calculate pain and suffering damages?

There is no set formula for calculating pain and suffering by an insurance company. Many plaintiffs’ lawyers were taught to calculate pain and suffering using one of two methodologies. The first technique involves multiplying the plaintiff’s real damages (medical costs and lost pay) by a value between 1 and 5. (depending on the severity of the injury). For example, if a plaintiff has $3,000 in medical expenditures as a result of a broken arm, he might increase that by three to arrive at $9,000 as a fair sum for pain and suffering.

Our accident settlement calculator use the multiplier approach. See this overview on determining a multiplier for further information on how to arrive at a “fair” figure.

Many plaintiffs’ lawyers, on the other hand, choose a per diem (Latin for “per day”) method. Using this system, a fixed amount, such as $100.00, is awarded to each day from the date of the injury until the plaintiff has received full compensation.

These types of procedures are not required by insurance companies when calculating pain and suffering. Many businesses employ computer systems to figure out how much of a settlement offer should go to pain and suffering. These programs frequently consider not only the type of damage, but also the sort of medical treatment sought by the claimant.

Medical treatment by a physician, for example, is frequently considered by insurance companies to be a more serious and compensable damage than treatment by a chiropractor. The length of time the claimant sought treatment is also taken into account by insurance companies. The insurance company will not include all of the treatment in its assessment of pain and suffering if it appears to be excessive for the type of damage.

Proving Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering damages are recoverable, but how are they established? Proof of this type of harm can come in a variety of forms, and the more proof you have to back up your claim, the higher your chances of getting a fair settlement.

Documentation such as photographs and personal journals that record the plaintiff’s bodily and emotional experiences might be used to prove the amount of your damage and the resulting pain and suffering.

Additional proof of how the plaintiff’s life has been negatively impacted by the injury can be obtained from friends and relatives. Proof of therapy by a mental health practitioner is also useful, and is required where the plaintiff claims injuries such increased anxiety, insomnia, or depression.

How Do You Know What’s Fair?

How can you determine if an insurance company’s settlement offer, which includes pay for pain and suffering, is a reasonable one? To generate a ballpark amount, either the multiplier method or the per diem method is a suitable strategy (as discussedabove).

Then investigate whether there were any other factors that could have influenced the quantity. If your damage left you with a permanent scar on your face, for example, it could be reasonable to enhance the amount of pain and suffering you consider fair. A little head bump that heals fast, on the other hand, is usually not worth much. Consider these considerations while assessing if the insurance company’s offer is reasonable and fair, as well as how the insurance company has evaluated your pain and suffering.

What is a good settlement offer?

Many factors influence whether the case settles at the top or bottom of the allowable price range for the injuries involved. One of these elements is the defendant’s capacity to prove liability in exchange for a settlement offer. Another issue is the defendant’s ability to show that another party, or even the plaintiff, is somewhat to blame for the injuries in the case.

Obviously, if others are at fault, one defendant will not be able to compensate you for the full worth of your case. Furthermore, the facts of the case may result in a swearing contest between defense and plaintiff witnesses. In such cases, offers could be decreased by up to 50% to account for the risk of winning or losing the swearing match.

Another widespread misunderstanding about the worth of a case is the amount of money granted by juries across the country for non-tangible items like pain and suffering. In some jurisdictions, a person’s death may only result in a $250,000 verdict for each person who survives the deceased.

Despite the fact that a human life appears to be worth far more than $250,000, statutory and case law limit damages in many situations. When a victim is seriously injured, yet lives, the degree of agony and suffering is generally greater.

How much do insurance companies usually settle for?

Medical bills, property damage invoices, rental car fees, and other damages can add up quickly after a car accident. Worse, when someone is critically injured, they are unable to work, making it incredibly difficult to pay costs. This sometimes leads to the inquiry, “What is the average California automobile accident settlement?”

Most reported instances in the United States settle for between $14,000 and $28,000, according to data from across the country. The average salary is roughly $21,000 per year. So, how does this affect your situation? Nothing, to be honest. Because each and every scenario is unique. We’ve handled injury cases ranging in value from a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars. There is no such thing as a magic number.

An insurance company will approach you shortly after a car accident and attempt to settle the situation even before it is evident how much harm a person has sustained. The insurance company normally offers to pay the outstanding medical bills and maybe a few hundred dollars extra in many circumstances when customers were offered settlements before a lawyer was involved. The main issue with accepting such an offer is that it can take anywhere from 8 months to several years for someone to fully recover from an accident. In a case involving serious injuries, future medical expenditures are a huge concern. If you accept an insurance company’s first offer, you will be required to sign a release stating that no future medical costs would be reimbursed.

The first step in hiring a vehicle accident lawyer from our firm to handle your case is to document your injuries and damages. If there has been lost work, we collect medical bills, records, property damage estimates, police reports, and employment data. We may calculate an approximate range of value for your case based on all of this information and in-depth discussions with our customers about their real injuries.

Settlement value is influenced by a variety of factors, including the following:

Speaking with an attorney is the best approach to determine the value of your case. In many circumstances, you may not even require the assistance of an attorney. You won’t need a lawyer if you merely have a bill for an ER visit or a family doctor appointment, as well as minor damages to your vehicle. However, if there are serious injuries or a death as a result of the accident, a lawyer is required to investigate the matter. Our firm provides entirely free consultations, so there is no charge to speak with us about your situation.

Should I accept the first compensation offer?

Should I take the first offer of compensation? You should not accept an insurance company’s first offer unless you have obtained independent legal opinion on the entire worth of your claim.

How do insurance companies determine settlement amounts?

The amount of a settlement is determined by three factors: responsibility, damages, and the conditions of the insurance policy. Liability must be established before an insurance company may offer a payout. If the insured party is found to be responsible for the claim, the next step is to determine the victim’s losses. Finally, the insurance company examines the policy in question to establish the sorts of losses covered and the policy limitations. When determining settlement amounts, insurance companies take into account all of these criteria.

Fault in a car accident

The insurance company considers legal fault first when determining a settlement sum. To put it another way, the insurance company will only pay if the insured individual or their insurance company is legally liable for the accident. The legal liability of a person for an accident is determined by state laws and the facts of the case.

Keep in mind that the state of Pennsylvania has a complicated, hybrid system for settling car accidents, and legal blame may not always be obvious. Under no-fault regulations, an insurance company is required to reimburse the insured driver directly in many circumstances. The insurance company will proceed to process the claim if the driver is legally liable. The insurance company may give a lesser settlement if there is a reasonable disagreement concerning liability.

Amount of damages in a car accident

After legal liability has been established, the insurance company examines the damages to calculate the settlement amount. Financial losses, such as medical costs, and vehicle damage are examples of damages. Depending on the specific facts of the case, pain and suffering may be added. Many people who try to manage their cases on their own overlook critical categories of losses that might significantly raise the insurance settlement amount. An expert personal injury lawyer can ensure that your claim to the insurance company is complete.

What falls under pain and suffering?

The word “pain and suffering” is a legal term that refers to a victim’s physical and emotional injuries as a result of an accident. Any significant physical pain or mental agony you experience as a result of an accident could be considered pain and suffering for settlement purposes. If a victim dies as a result of someone else’s negligence in a personal injury accident, the family’s wrongful death claim may include loss of consortium.

Can I sue for emotional distress?

The bulk of personal injury claims seek monetary recompense for physical damage, but what about cases in which another party’s conduct resulted in emotional distress rather than physical harm? In California, you can sue for emotional anguish even if there was no physical harm to the individual.

Victims can sue for negligent infliction of emotional distress or intentional infliction of emotional distress. Plaintiffs must prove the existence and severity of an emotional damage that cannot be physically verified in both types of claims.

Victims who claim to be suffering from depression, anxiety, or mental anguish without a physical harm may be accused of faking their symptoms, emphasizing the importance of skilled legal representation.

Ellis Law’s Los Angeles personal injury attorneys know how to maximize monetary damages for our clients, including emotional anguish compensation. Our firm has the resources to accept cases on a contingency basis, employ expert witnesses, collect evidence to prove emotional anguish, and, if necessary, take your case to trial.

When a defendant’s conduct, even if unintentional, cause the plaintiff’s emotional trauma and agony, a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress may arise.

For example, if you witnessed a family member or loved one being injured as a result of a careless driver, you may be eligible to claim compensation. (Your neighbor accidentally runs over your toddler while backing out of their driveway.)

In California, being unhappy and shaken for a few days does not qualify you for emotional distress compensation. It’s up to you and your lawyer to show how the trauma has damaged your life, whether it’s through frequent flashbacks, persistent anxiety, insomnia, or PTSD.

When a defendant’s outrageous behavior or willful disregard causes serious emotional distress, California authorizes victims to suit for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

There are a variety of behaviors that can qualify for this type of claim, and the following are a few examples:

  • You’re worried about your safety because of someone else’s heinous behavior or bullying.
  • Because of the defendant’s heinous actions, you fear a family member’s life is in danger.

In general, getting compensation for an IIED claim is more difficult than recovering compensation for negligent infliction of emotional distress. The plaintiffs must show that the defendant’s actions were actually reprehensible and that they intended to cause emotional distress, or that they acted carelessly.

It’s tough to establish outrageous behavior, and it has to be more than minor insults, pestering, or annoyances. A annoying coworker who makes threats in the workplace would not be eligible for filing an emotional distress claim, but a bitter ex-spouse who falsely informs you that your child has died might.

There must be strong evidence that the defendant’s acts affected you emotionally, and that your grief, embarrassment, humiliation, shock, and feelings of depression were serious, lowering your quality of life.

Suing for emotional distress is possible, but finding the appropriate personal injury lawyer is crucial to a successful recovery. Ellis Injury Law’s legal team is lead by Andrew Ellis, Senior Partner and Founder, who has more than 20 years of experience litigating complex injury claims. Our attorneys have obtained more than $350 million for clients in Southern California, and we are known for our unwavering commitment to maximizing the value of each case.

In California, there are stringent deadlines for filing a personal injury lawsuit, so contact our Los Angeles office as soon as possible to schedule a free case evaluation with a member of our staff.