In personal injury cases such as slip-and-falls or car accidents, there are two types of damages that are available: economic and general. Economic damages are those that are easily quantifiable, such as lost income, medical bills and property damage. General damages are things like emotional distress, pain and suffering and accident-related stress. In a personal injury action, compensation is based on the above-mentioned damages, and out-of-court settlements are based on the same criteria. However, it can be difficult to assign a value to a claim.
Putting a Dollar Value on A Plaintiff’s Pain and Suffering
It’s difficult to put a value on someone’s pain and suffering, but there are a few approaches used by insurers during injury settlements. The two most frequently used are the “per diem” and the multiplier method.
In the multiplier method, special damages are added up and then multiplied by a number ranging from 1.5 to 5. The second number, or multiplier, depends on factors related to the case, such as the extent of injuries, the client’s prognosis, the impact of injuries on the client’s life, and whether the other party was completely at fault.
With the “per diem” method, the plaintiff demands a certain amount for each day they were forced to live with accident-related pain. This approach is controversial because there is difficulty in justifying a daily rate. The easiest way to handle the calculation is to use daily earnings to illustrate that dealing with the pain of the injury is equivalent to the effort expended during a normal work day. This method does not work well with long-term or permanent injuries, but a personal injury lawyer with website can help the client get a fair settlement.
Combine Both Methods & Change the Specifics
Personal Injury Attorneys in Olympia WA will use both of these methods and adjust the demand accordingly. There may be differences in the figures, but that is to be expected; settlements often come down to negotiations between insurers. If liability is clear, the plaintiff should start on the high end of the settlement range; if questions arise, the negotiations should start closer to the low end. Every case is different, but they should all start at a reasonable, justifiable number. Personal Injury Attorneys in Olympia WA can help the client form the best case possible with the evidence that’s available.