Human life is full of happenings and with each passing day we encounter situations that are of varied nature. Sometimes there is a happy moment that we celebrate and sometimes we have to face challenges, adversities and problems. The latter kind of events are really unpleasant and we always wish that we never have to face such negativity in our life; but as we all know issues and accidents are a part and parcel of our life, and we cannot separate it from our life’s journey. It is though important that we are always prepared to face testing times as we never know what the next moment has in store for us!
It is true that no one likes to be inflicted by an injury and that is why we take care of everything around us; whether it is obeying traffic rules or saving ourselves from organisational hazards. We are thoroughly aware of the fact that personal injuries can be really detrimental in terms, of our well-being, productivity and quality of life. It takes its toll on our financial, physical and psychological stability as well.
It is becoming the need to the hour to be always cautious about our safety. Being alert and aware can help us avoid a lot of hassle. Similarly, if we find ourselves in the midst of an unfortunate event like a car accident, slip and fall etc. we need to be actively seeking a personal injury claim so that our loss and damage to be compensated.
If we are not being proactive when we are involved in a personal injury case, it might be really devastating on many fronts. First of all, it is our primary duty to seek medical aid at the soonest so that we can ensure speedy recovery. You should seek proper diagnosis and start compiling full medical report as it will help you in assessing your loss, afterwards.
The second most important step that you need to take is to hire a reliable personal injury attorney who will help you in representing your injury case as well as support you in many ways. Your attorney can play an indispensable role in providing you with guidance pertaining to the evaluation of the loss and damage. In addition to this, your legal advisor can help you in the proper documentation and effective representation of your case. In this article, we will give you complete insight into the steps taken in order to calculate damages in a personal injury case.
Reckoning loss and damage of personal injury
It is very apparent that deciding the fair personal injury compensation is very delicate task and it is generally presumed that “this method” is never shared by any insurance company. However, all the compensation is not only decided on the base of this formula as there are many factors that affect the final compensation amount. There are two types of methods used for deciding compensation and these are:
- Multiplier Method
- Per Diem Method (also known as Daily Rate Method)
You can easily calculate fair amount by using these methods and compare the outcome quite easily. So let’s begin:
Multiplier Method (Multiplication of your specials)
The most common method that is used for calculating damages is adding all special damages (medical bills, financial loss, earning loss etc.) and then perform multiplication task on that amount. You can either use high-end (4 or 5) or low-end (1.5 or low) for multiplying with total amount of special damages. Multiplier will be used by verifying various elements such as:
- Injury you faced (was the injury serious or mild): It is going to be a major portion of the claim amount. The medical expenses related to the injury as well as seriousness of the injury are the prominent contributors to compensation claims. In case of severe injuries your claim amount will be considerably high as compared to normal ones; as in case of a brain injury, you will be compensated with higher claim amount. Similarly, long term and short term effect of the injury is also taken into consideration while assessing the damage. There are injuries, especially brain injuries, that can have serious repercussions on productivity, creativity and life quality of an individual. Also, there can be injuries (broken bones) that might be professionally detrimental. When calculating damages, you need to take care of all details. Here, comprehensive report of medical practitioners comes in handy. You should not be careless in seeking these reports as it will eventually affect your claim amount.
- Best option that you want to choose for quick and complete recovery: medical treatment that you choose to cure your injuries is also important factor that is calculated so that your claim amount covers major loss and damages. There are injuries that might require rigorous care and treatment. Also, there are same types of damage that are treated with expensive procedures. All these aspects should be taken into consideration when assessing the claim amount.
- Loss of earnings: another major damage that you should calculate while filing for a claim is surely loss of earnings or wages because of the injury that you are facing or have faced. It is actually the total days of wages lost and how the injury is going to affect your professional life. If damage is going to be serious and detrimental on your job in the present as well as in the coming times, then you need to be compensated accordingly. It is really crucial that you are discussing in detail all about your work related parameters with your attorney so that they can guide you in the best way.
- Impact on your daily life i.e. daily routine (including working capability, normal abilities and difficulties that you faced with injury): you should be very scrupulous when you calculate damages of a personal injury. It has been observed that an injury can jeopardize daily routine and functionality of an individual. It might affect a victim on many levels and if it is hampering an individual on many fronts, then it should be taken into account when you are evaluating damage of a personal injury.
- Clear fault of other party (in uncertain situations, you might not get the exact amount that you have calculated with Multiplier): the fault of another party is also considered when damage is calculated. If another party is completely at fault – they are liable to pay the victim high compensation amount.
- Evidence that proves your innocence: the rule is simple: stronger the evidence of your innocence – more will be your compensation amount. If there are solid proofs that you are completely innocent in the situation, your claim amount can increase by manifolds. The other party or insurance company will pay you the compensation that covers your damage and loss completely; but for that you need to hire a very dedicated and professional attorney. When you have the best team to support your personal injury case, you will be able to receive highest claim amount for your loss and damage, for sure.
You should also know that the Multiplier method is used in Injury Settlement Calculator because it is frequently used by most of the leading insurance companies. You should also consider the fact that thee multiplier will be used in settlement negotiations. Obviously, you will demand for a higher multiplier for your insurance claim, and the insurer or defendant will do the best to use a lower multiplier.
Per Diem (Daily Rate) Method
It is another approach that can be used for calculating suffering and pain. In Latin “Per Diem” means “per day”, and the basic idea behind this method is to demand a fixed amount for pain, hassle, expenses and problems that you face every day because of an accident. It is a very effective method to get a highest amount of compensation but the only sad part of this method is that you need to provide justification and meticulous evidence of every day hassle that you face. You can easily secure fair compensation by adding your daily income and making a personal injury claim accordingly. This method will definitely help you in making your insurance claim very strong as you can prove your loss without any problem. There is only one problem with this method and that is its non-compliance with the long-term or permanent injuries. For ensuring fair compensation, you must take help of an attorney as they will guide you in perfect manner.
Using both methods
It is the best strategy that you can opt for as you will have a clear idea about how much you can demand and adjust the claim in your favour. You can keep the range of your claim and it can be used in negotiations. For example, if you were hit by the drunk driver that jumped red light – you can get highest compensation amount by adding your medical bills. Unquestionably, the insurer can’t treat such claim with minimal multiplication (Lower End). Similarly, in case of fall over slippery floor or accident in extreme weather conditions where evidence is not very clear about your injury then you can opt for low end multiplication method. It is clear that each case is completely different from another, so hiring a personal injury attorney for getting better understanding of your chances of securing highest amount of compensation is always a good start.
Medical reports or Evidence of Suffering and pain
After an accident, when you visit the hospital you must share all the details of your pain with an attending doctor. It is a very important factor as it will help you in understanding the degree of your injury. For example, you might file a claim for mild injuries but after a couple of months, you come to know that you are facing a serious head injury. You should discuss even minor discomfort with healthcare professionals in order to make sure all your injuries are compensated and treated. Once the doctor has prepared a health report, you can use a copy of it for claiming insurance. It is also a very important step because both the insurance provider and the court count medical bills as very strong evidence of your personal sufferings. Without medical report an adjuster won’t give benefits that you deserve in serious injuries. You should also discuss your case with your attorney for getting best results.
Personal injuries can be devastating on so many levels that we are unable to have proper and accurate follow up. At times, we figure out the damage and loss after a long time; when everything is already calculated and paid. Such situations can be really frustrating and miserable for a victim. Hence, time and again, we suggest you that you opt for a well-qualified and renowned attorney who is thoroughly aware of all dimensions of damage and its long-term effects, so that when the claim is calculated – everything is meticulously considered. You can be stress free only when you have a capable and very conscientious team of legal experts guiding you throughout.
You might not be taking these suggestions seriously but, when you move ahead in your life, you will start realizing how an injury start depleting your life energies. Yes, it has been observed that at times an injury can affect relationship with ones’ family member, especially spouse and children. There have been instances when people become prone to depression or panic attacks. Such situations increasingly urge us to be really vigilant about latent or less obvious loss that we have to face because the injury along with the major and most apparent ones. These things also need to be compensated fully if you want to keep living purposeful and productive life. Otherwise, you will be feeling helpless when the aftermath of your injury manifest in your life unannounced and start affecting your it.
It is really important that you are giving priority not only to your recovery but also to minimizing effects of injuries on your life. If you are compensated completely, you can look forward to your life with hope and positivity once again!