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Car Accident Settlement Pain and Suffering

The multiplier method is the standard way to calculate how much someone is entitled to for pain and suffering damages.

man using multiplier method to calculate car accident settlement

Those responsible for a car accident in Missouri are also responsible for paying for any damages and injuries that result. Because of this, anyone who holds a driver’s license in the state of Missouri is legally required to carry liability insurance. “Liability insurance” covers the at-fault driver’s injuries and the other driver’s injuries and damages. Unless the at-fault driver also carries collision insurance, however, the damages done to their own vehicle are their responsibility to pay for.

When you are in an accident and injured, you are generally entitled to two different types of compensatory damage recovery: economic and non-economic. They differ in one critical way: non-economic damages are based on things that are highly subjective, while economic damages can be easily calculated because they are documented and are simply added up.

Examples of Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are things that a person experiences, like loss of consortium, emotional distress, and pain and suffering. Since each individual experiences these in a different way, finding a concrete way to calculate a total is not an easy thing to do. There are two standard ways that both insurance companies and lawyers often calculate non-economic damages. They either use the multiplier method or the per diem method.

What Is the Multiplier Method?

The multiplier method is the standard way to calculate how much someone is entitled to in non-economic damages. To determine an amount, the economic damages – like the doctor’s bills, lost wages, and other economic costs – are all added up. Depending on the severity of the economic damages, a multiplier number is ascribed to how severely someone was injured. The multiplier number is often anywhere from one to five, with five being the most severely injured.

Once the multiplier number is ascribed, the total amount of economic damage is then multiplied by the multiplier that is ascribed to the total amount of suffering, and the resulting number is the total amount of “non-economic” damages that someone is entitled to. It is very easy to see why there might be a huge discrepancy between what a car accident attorney thinks their client is entitled to and what an insurance company believes. If there is a difference, then the insurance company and the lawyer must negotiate to find a settlement that is fair and will cover a person who is injured – to get them what they may need for the future as well as what they deserve for what they have endured.

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The multiplier method for calculating non-economic damages is certainly not a perfect process. However, with very few ways of putting a price tag on someone’s suffering, it is a valid way to get an injured person what they deserve due to their auto accident. To ensure that you are getting all that you should for your Missouri accident, it is very important that you have an experienced car accident attorney review your case before accepting a settlement offer from the insurance company. Call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for a FREE case evaluation.

Updated: August 23, 2019