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A car accident may cost you more than medical expenses, damaged property and lost wages. The pain and suffering associated with accidents may not be as quantifiable as billed expenses but they can cost you in the diminishment of the quality of your life and relationships. Although a claim for pain and suffering is considered subjective and is categorized under non-economic compensation, insurance adjusters do work to quantify pain and suffering to recompense the sufferer. However, the amount offered may not be what you seek; this is why accident victims should consult with an attorney to prevent any possible lowballing.
Most car insurance adjusters seek to pay as little as possible on all claims. They may undercut a victim on the actual worth of their damages; this is called "lowballing." However, a victim should be fully compensated, especially in the case of serious injuries. As most insurers use state laws as a basis for calculating claims, they usually follow the system of economic and non-economic compensation.
Economic damages are actual losses that often have a paper trail such medical bills, lost wages as proven by employment statements, rehabilitation expenses, and property damage. An adjuster will apply a formula to come up with an estimate for adequate compensation. The formula usually calculates claims at 1.5 to 4 times the total economic damages.
Pain and suffering is considered non-economic damages which is not as easily calculable. It is often included with other "esoteric" damages such as loss of consortium, depression, anxiety or other emotional fallout. Adjusters may apply a formula for pain and suffering based on medical bills. Some adjusters will set a multiplier that will not provide sufficient compensation. It is important to zealously negotiate for fair compensation.
Talk with an experienced accident attorney to help you negotiate a fair settlement for your paid and suffering.