Ask an Attorney a Question for FREE!
Pain and Suffering Reimbursement
Be a tough negotiator
Pain and suffering reimbursement, is there such a thing? How do insurance companies compensate you for a headache?
These questions are almost trivial to answer. However, Tort law attempts to answer them and tries to “put you back to the position you were in before the accident” (without pain).
How does Tort law provide monetary compensation for pain and suffering so you can go on with your life?
Pain and suffering reimbursement is directly linked to your treatment. If you do not go and see a doctor, then the insurance company will not consider you as an injured party and your settlement will be greatly reduced (if there is any).
What is the bottom line for this? What is a fair settlement for pain and suffering?
The safe (yet inaccurate) rule of thumb is to compare your pain and suffering reimbursement with your medical bills and records.
Some attorneys multiply the medical bills by 1.5 (even 2, 3, or 4) so they can come to a range of values for negotiation.
Again, this is only an indication of what you could be looking at, however it is inaccurate.
Depending on your jurisdiction (some juries and judges will not award very high pain and suffering reimbursements or settlements) and your treatment schedule, your settlement could be less (or more) than this amount. I recommend you get this bodily injury eBook for key information on how to settle your own claim.
The next factor you should consider is the actual injury. If you are dealing with a soft tissue injury like a back, neck, or a shoulder injury, the information above can help you. However, if you have a permanent injury a lawyer is the only person that can really evaluate your case. See the form below to find a good attorney in your city.
You might have a “more” severe injury than you think. If this is the case, the pain and suffering settlement should be 2, 3, or even 4 times more than your medical bills.
Most insurance companies evaluate your medical bills and medical treatment first so they can determine their offer.
Claim adjusters will look up similar cases with similar injuries so they can determine how much is the typical monetary compensation awarded in court.
Knowing what values similar cases are going for in your local jurisdiction can help you understand better how much your pain and suffering settlement will be (or should be).
Usually, the longer the treatment the more the pain and suffering settlement will be. I say "usually" because adjusters are trained to review medical bills and determine if there is over treatment.
If there is over treatment, then the pain and suffering reimbursement will be reduced. Insurance companies know that if you go to the doctor, there should be some kind of benefit and improvement from those visits.
They have a list of doctors who tend to have their clients go see them more often than necessary.
It is all estimated and is based on statistics and information they have collected from prior cases.
In many occasions, the insurance company will ask you to see an independent doctor to make sure you are indeed injured (IME or independent medical examination).
Contacting a good injury attorney can help you clear up some confusion regarding your case. They can help you contact doctors and specialists for the type of injury that you sustained. They can determine the actual damage and pain.
Lawyers can also negotiate a better settlement. If you feel like the insurance company is offering a minuscule amount for your pain and suffering, contact an attorney (if they offered you as low as $10).
That is not to say that you cannot settle your claim on your own. If you are a good negotiator, you can try to see what is the best offer the insurance company is willing to offer you, then you can go see a lawyer and see what he/she thinks your case can settle for.
You can ask to be charged attorney fees based on the difference (between your best offer and what the attorney can get from the insurance provider as a settlement).
Remember that insurance adjusters have ranges of negotiation when it comes to pain and suffering reimbursements and settlements.
Taking their first offer is like paying sticker price for a car without negotiating any terms. Again, if you feel that the insurance company is simply too big or powerful, make sure you do seek legal advice.
Insurance companies are not on your side. You can either get this personal injury eBook or talk to a personal injury attorney before you make any decisions!
Follow the links below for more information about accident injuries, bodily injury claims, and what to ask when making this type of claim.
4. Permanent Injury Claim
5. Medical bills, medicine, expenses
6. Loss of Wages
7. Loss of Earning Capacity
8. Loss of Business Income
9. Loss of Consortium
10. Loss of Quality of Life
11. Loss of Essential Services
12. Future Treatment and Expenses
13. Pain and Suffering
14. Prior Injuries
15. Psychological Injuries
16. Personal Injury Claim Settlement (evaluation of a claim)
17. Car Accident Injury Claim and Burden of Proof
18. What affects compensation for back and other injury claims
19. A word about Head Injuries
For a Free Review of Your Case
Please Call (866) 878-2432