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How Does the Insurance Company Determine Pain and Suffering?

January 29, 2021
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If someone else’s negligence leaves you injured in an accident, your physical, financial, and emotional damages may be extensive. While assigning a monetary value to your financial losses, such as medical expenses and lost earnings, is generally quite straightforward, assigning value to non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, is both more complicated and more ambiguous. If you’ve been injured as a result of another’s negligence, you need a dedicated NYC personal injury attorney in your corner.

The Calculation Process

A common calculation process for pain and suffering damages in the State of New York is called the multiplier method, which – at its most basic level – means first adding together your complete financial damages, including:

  • Damage to your property (such as damage to your vehicle in a car accident)
  • Your medical expenses (present and expected future costs)
  • Your lost earnings (and any decrease in earning potential into the future)

This amount is then multiplied by a number from 1.5 to 5. The more serious the injuries you’ve sustained, the higher the multiplier. This approach helps to assign a number to your pain and suffering, but there’s more to it than that – and other factors can play an important role in the final settlement or award amount.

The Signs of Pain and Suffering

The insurance company will take the actual pain and suffering you’ve endured into consideration when making its determination, and the signs of your pain and suffering can include any of the following:

  • Symptoms of depression
  • Increased anxiety
  • PTSD-like symptoms
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia and night terrors
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sexual dysfunction

Depending upon the level of their severity, these emotional symptoms can alter your personality and leave you debilitated. In fact, some victims find them more difficult to overcome than the physical and financial hurdles they face.

Overarching Consequences

The overarching consequences of the pain and suffering wrought by a violent accident can be life-altering. Consider the following:

  • The way you go about your daily life may change dramatically and/or be limited by the physical and emotional injuries you’ve sustained.
  • Your relationships may be permanently altered. Just when you need those in your support system more than you likely ever have, the personality-altering effects of your emotional pain and suffering may serve to push your friends, family members, and loved ones away.
  • If your injuries are very serious, they could have permanent consequences that alter the course of your life.
  • If your injuries are very serious or result in very serious secondary health concerns, your life could be cut short.

Any one of these can have an effect on how the insurance company determines the extent of your pain and suffering.

An Experienced New York City Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

If someone else’s negligence leaves you injured, the accomplished NYC personal injury attorneys at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman have an impressive reputation for successfully guiding claims like yours toward favorable resolutions. To learn more about how we can help you, please don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at 212-285-3300 today.


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