People who are hurt in a car crash or another kind of accident often ask their personal injury attorneys what their case is worth. This is not an easy question to answer. Pain and suffering in a Georgia injury case is more difficult to calculate than medical bills or lost earnings.
There is no set formula to work out pain and suffering although some insurance companies use computer programs to put a value on pain and suffering. However, when a case goes to court, jurors do not use a set method to put a sum on these damages.
When Georgia injury lawyers are looking at pain and suffering, they will consider your past pain and suffering and what you face in the future. The severity of the injuries you suffer play an important part in these considerations.
Mental anguish, stress and conditions like PTSD also play a part in the calculation.
Many of the programs used by the insurance companies to calculate pain and suffering are clumsy and shortchange claimants.
The Colossus computer program is used by some of the large insurance companies. Although these insurers will claim their programs are science-based, they tend to low ball the injured party’s claims. Insurance companies usually multiply the total of medical bills by a number between one-and-a-half and five to calculate pain and suffering.
Another method is known as the “per diem” method which means “per day” in Latin. The injured party will receive a certain dollar amount for every day they had to live with pain related to the accident under the formula. This is not an effective method for people who suffer long-lasting effects from their injuries.
Although insurers and attorneys use a methodology to work out pain and suffering these are blunt and imprecise tools.
Pain and suffering in a Georgia personal injury case remain highly subjective and often down to the whims of the jury. However, this is often the largest portion of a personal injury settlement, particularly when a victim of a car crash or another accident is seriously injured.
Georgia listed some elements that may be considered in awarding pain and suffering damages in the 1995 appellate court decision Food Lion v. Williams. They include:
- Interference with the enjoyment of life;
- Fear related to the extent of the injury;
- Loss of capacity to earn money;
- Interference with normal living;
- Physical pain and suffering, past and present
- Mental anguish.
Damages are meant to make the victim whole but often no amount of money can make the pain go away. If you have been seriously injured, you should not allow the insurance company to calculate your pain and suffering for you. It’s important to hire an experienced Georgia injury lawyer to fight for your rights.