As a motorcycle accident victim, you want to get the most out of your personal injury claim or lawsuit. That includes pain and suffering, an all-encompassing term that refers to both psychological and physical pain. To ensure you’re getting the compensation you deserve, you should understand how pain and suffering is calculated in a motorcycle crash case.
At Zanes Law, our Phoenix personal injury lawyers know how to quantify and obtain intangible damages like physical pain and emotional trauma because we’ve done it for countless clients. Let’s discuss how your damages will be calculated.
Pain and Suffering Is a Non-Economic Loss
When you file a motorcycle accident claim, your attorney will probably pursue two categories of damages: economic and non-economic.
Economic losses compensate for the financial consequences of the accident, like medical treatment, property damage, and lost wages. These losses are easy to calculate because invoices, bills, pay stubs, and other records document them.
On the other hand, calculating non-economic damages is a bit more complicated. Since losses like pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life don’t have bills attached, it can be tricky for attorneys to assign a dollar value to them.
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Methods a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Use to Quantify Pain and Suffering
To fix this issue, personal injury lawyers have developed two ways to address pain and suffering in motorcycle crash cases and other personal injury claims. The two methods are known as the “multiplier method” and the “per diem method.”
Your lawyer can determine which method would produce the best results for you and use it to calculate how much you are owed for your suffering.
The Multiplier Method
The multiplier method involves finding the total of your economic losses and multiplying it by a number between 1.5 and five. The degree of your pain determines which number is used.
If your pain is mild, your attorney might use a multiplier of 1.5 or two. They could use a multiplier of four or even five if your pain is more severe. The resulting number will be the amount of money your attorney will pursue for the physical pain and mental anguish caused by your motorcycle collision injuries.
The Per-Diem Method
The per-diem method uses your daily wages as a starting point. Your lawyer will take the number of days between your accident and the day you’ve made a “maximum recovery” and multiply it by the amount of money you made per day before your collision.
Your maximum recovery date refers to the day you’ve recuperated from your injury as much as possible. If you’ve suffered a long-term injury or disability, this method might be more difficult to use.
In that case, your attorney may opt to use the multiplier method, ensuring you get the compensation you need.
How Insurers Calculate Pain and Suffering for Motorcycle Crash Victims
The insurance company may use the multiplier method, the per-diem method, or a computer program to calculate your pain and suffering compensation.
It is important to note that the insurer wants to pay you as little as possible for the pain and discomfort you’ve endured, so they’ll probably favor the method that offers the least compensation.
Your attorney will be well aware of this and will push for the insurer to fully address the discomfort you’ve experienced.
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Negotiating Pain and Suffering Compensation After a Crash
It comes as no surprise that insurers want to offer as little compensation as possible, which is why our skilled lawyers are always ready to negotiate.
If the insurance provider doesn’t budge on a lowball offer, an attorney from our firm can use evidence from your motorcycle crash and their knowledge of Arizona law to negotiate a higher payment.
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Using Evidence to Obtain Pain and Suffering Damages
Your lawyer will enter insurance negotiations armed with the evidence they need to reach a favorable settlement offer. The following pieces of evidence can be used to prove your pain and suffering and obtain fair compensation for it:
- Testimony from your doctor
- Your medical records
- Your personal testimony and written journal describing the pain you’ve endured
- Testimony from your close friends and family regarding the impact your pain has had on your daily activities and quality of life
Your attorney can use any of these forms of evidence to calculate and obtain compensation for the suffering you’ve endured. To help your attorney negotiate a high-dollar settlement, make sure to keep a journal detailing the impacts that the accident has had on you, including the physical discomfort and pain you’ve experienced.
Filing Deadline for Motorcycle Injury Cases in Arizona
While most motorcycle crash cases settle outside of court, your attorney may recommend filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. If you’ve been injured in a crash and have been advised to file suit, you have a limited amount of time to do so.
A.R.S. 12-542, the Arizona statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits, sets a two-year filing deadline for most plaintiffs. Barring unique circumstances, you will lose your chance of recovering compensation if you wait more than two years to take action.
The clock starts ticking on the day of your crash, so you’ll want to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Once your lawyer has investigated the crash, calculated your damages, and prepared your lawsuit, they’ll make sure the required paperwork is filed before the two-year mark.
Time Is of the Essence for Other Reasons
While two years may seem like plenty of time, there is much to be done in these cases. Also, the sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner they can gather and preserve key evidence in your case.
If you wait too long, evidence can be lost or destroyed, and witnesses can forget important details or become difficult to locate.
Reach Out to a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
Motorcycle collision injuries can cause a great deal of physical discomfort and emotional pain, and insurance companies are notorious for offering lowball settlements and denying claims. If another driver caused the accident that injured you, you need an experienced lawyer to help you obtain a fair settlement or court award.
An attorney from Zanes Law can further explain how pain and suffering is addressed in a motorcycle collision case. Our team is committed to pursuing the compensation you need to pay for medical expenses, replace lost wages, and cope with pain and psychological issues.
Contact a lawyer from our firm today to get the advice and advocacy you can count on.