Putting a value on the pain and suffering of my clients is a very difficult but necessary part of my job. But since we don’t have time machines where we could go back and stop an accident from happening, compensating individuals with money for the harms and losses they have suffered is our only option. Calculating pain and suffering from a truck accident is very fact dependent and no two cases are alike.
What documents do we consider?When we are hired to represent someone injured in a truck accident, one of the first things we do is request their accident-related medical records from the medical providers and facilities by which they have been treated. These typically include hospitals, Redi-med clinics, and ambulance companies.
As a person is treated for their injuries, we obtain periodic reports from their doctors to make sure we understand the extent of their injuries, their reported pain, and their prognosis. Once our client completes treatment, we make sure we have all of their medical records so that we can thoroughly assess their claim.
What other factors do we consider?Besides medical records, we also stay in close contact with our client so that we can understand the level of their pain and suffering and how it gets better, gets worse, or stays the same over time.
However, we know that most people don’t like talking about their own pain and suffering and feel like they are whining by doing so. That’s why we will also reach out to family members and close friends of the injured person to see what they have to say about what the person is going through.
Since pain and suffering is very personal to the claimant, calculating it is a lot different than adding up their other losses, such as medical expenses and lost wages. One method we use in calculating pain and suffering is comparing our client’s circumstance to the results in other reported cases where a Judge or Jury has actually awarded damages. This is sometimes called a quantum study.
When do we calculate pain and suffering?The valuation of a person’s pain and suffering is typically a moving target, increasing in value as the person continues to suffer and treat for their injuries over time. However, we continue to evaluate all of our clients’ claims, including pain and suffering, throughout the course of their case. This is important for several reasons.
For one, we want to make sure that the at-fault insurance company understands the severity of our client’s injuries and suffering so that they can properly evaluate the claim and adjust their own estimation of the value of our claim. Also, if the amount of insurance available for a claim is small (in Louisiana, the legal minimum is $15,000 per person), the insurance company will want to know when a claim’s value reaches that limit.
Our most comprehensive calculation of pain and suffering typically comes when we are preparing to send a demand to the at-fault insurance company for the satisfaction of our client’s claims. To do this, we put together all of our client’s claims, including pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, future disability, and mental anguish, and send a detailed summary of our client’s injuries to the insurance company.
All along the way, our clients are kept informed regarding the value of their claims, including pain and suffering. That way, when it comes time to resolve their claims, we are all on the same page.
Have You Been Injured In A Covington Area Truck Accident?
If you've been hurt in a semi-truck or large vehicle accident you need to speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact me online or call my Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. I help clients throughout Louisiana including Mandeville, Slidell, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Hammond, New Orleans and Metairie.