If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you understand how much your life can be turned upside down by serious injuries. The amount of an injured person’s medical bills can be somewhat straightforward to calculate. What is more difficult to determine is how to put a value and calculate pain and suffering experienced by someone who was injured.
Calculating Pain and Suffering
In Wisconsin, we look to instructions drafted for jurors to help us understand how to think about various claims available to our injured clients. Civil Jury Instruction 1766 describes pain and suffering like this:
Pain, suffering, and disability (disfigurement) includes any physical pain, humiliation, embarrassment, worry and distress which (plaintiff) has suffered in the past. You should consider to what extent (his) (her) injuries impaired (his) (her) ability to enjoy the normal activities, pleasures, and benefits of life.
We often hear from clients that friends or family told them there was a formula available to determine the value of their pain and suffering (we often hear that you should take the amount of the medical bills and multiply that number by three to get the “pain and suffering value”). It would certainly be easier if such a formula existed, but valuing pain and suffering is one of the most difficult parts of handling a personal injury claim.
Understanding Your Attorney’s Role
No attorney should be able to tell you what your case is worth when you first meet with them. This is because the value of various claims is not known until all of the facts of the case have been discovered or understood. This means that the client has to have fully recovered from his or her injuries or enough time has to have passed for the attorney to be able to study the available medical records and talk with the various medical providers involved to understand what type of impacts the client’s injuries may continue to have on their life into the future. Sometimes client are unable to return to work after an accident. This also needs to be taken into consideration when thinking about the extent of pain and suffering endured by an injured party.
Another thing experienced personal injury attorneys do when they think about how to evaluate a pain and suffering claim is study other settlements and verdicts to try and understand how insurance companies and juries have historically responded to similar claims. Although no two cases are ever the same, working with an experienced trial attorney is helpful because he or she will have the best ability to understand how certain claims are received by juries, which is ultimately how claims are “valued.”
Contact a Attorney
Personal injuries can have a significant and long-lasting impact on a person’s health and well-being. The lawyers at Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. can advise you of your options following these types of injuries, and we will work to ensure that you will be compensated for your medical expenses, the loss of income during your recovery, and the pain and suffering you have experienced. Contact our Appleton and Green Bay, WI personal injury attorneys today at 920-739-7366 to arrange a free consultation.