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Do Insurance Companies Automatically Compensate for Pain and Suffering?

May 7, 2021 | Personal Injury

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Payment from an insurance company after an accident is never automatic. Instead, you’ll experience a lengthy review and investigation process with your claim. And even then, insurance company pain and suffering payments are extremely rare without involving a personal injury attorney

Insurance companies generally only compensate accident victims as much as they feel is necessary to close the claim. Without a direct bill quantifying pain and suffering, the insurance company will avoid making such payments as much as they can.

You’ll need to demonstrate proof of the pain and suffering you sustained as a result of the incident. If you try to negotiate the case alone, you’ll likely see smaller payouts than what is necessarily deserved for your injuries. 

We’ll outline what pain and suffering compensation is and how to prove this after an accident to get the financial restitution you deserve.

What Is Insurance Company Pain and Suffering Compensation?

Pain and suffering is compensation you can seek in a personal injury lawsuit. It compensates for the following areas of discomfort when someone else is negligent and you suffer an injury:

  • Physical pain
  • Emotional distress
  • Mental anguish

When seeking this type of compensation, you can seek damages for both pain you experienced immediately following the accident and future pain for chronic or long-term injuries.

The actual amount you can seek will vary based on the diagnosis from your doctor. Because you don’t have a bill to reimburse, this area of compensation is subjective and challenging to negotiate unless you know what you’re doing.

How Insurance Companies Scrutinize Evidence

Insurance claims adjusters are focused on limiting financial liability for their employer. As such, they’ll heavily scrutinize all evidence in the case to limit your settlement payments.

Some ways adjusters scrutinize evidence in injury cases is through the following means:

  • Proving you had pre-existing medical conditions.
  • Stating that you’re exaggerating your accident injuries.
  • Highlighting the timeframe between the accident and when you sought medical treatment. (The longer the lag between these events, the easier it is for them to show that your injuries could be from other events.)
  • Spying on you and taking photos of you doing normal activities to show you aren’t as injured as you claim to be.
  • Pulling your social media activity to show that you’re going about life normally.

As someone who isn’t an expert in insurance claims, you’ll struggle to refute these claims. When claims adjusters present such information, many victims feel they should just accept the settlement the insurance company is offering and move on.

It is important to know that an attorney will work with you to manage such evidence in your case to help you pursue the settlement you deserve.

How Insurance Companies Calculate Pain and Suffering

There isn’t a perfect formula for calculating pain and suffering payments. However, once an insurance company can tell you’re serious about negotiating this payment, they will look to a formula of multiplying your medical expenses by a number that correlates to the severity or permanence of your injuries.

But remember, the insurance company is looking to control costs. The first offer they make will be for the smallest amount they think you’ll accept to close the claim. Because of this, your attorney will need to counter with a larger and more fair number.

The process could take a lot of back and forth, but if negotiations are successful, it means you never even have to take your case to court.

Need an Indianapolis attorney to fight for the pain and suffering compensation you deserve? Schedule a free consultation with Stewart & Stewart Attorneys.

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