How Do I Calculate Pain and Suffering in a Motorcycle Accident?

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How Do I Calculate Pain and Suffering in a Motorcycle Accident

You calculate pain and suffering in a motorcycle accident by collecting evidence from as many sources as possible to establish the severity of your suffering and then using legal formulas to “convert” your intangible distress into a dollar amount.

Running these calculations can be a delicate and difficult process. You may find it easier to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer to run the calculations for you. This way, you can be sure that you seek fair compensation.

Pain and Suffering in Accident Cases: An Introduction

Before you and your attorney can calculate pain and suffering in a motorcycle accident, it is important that you understand:

  • What pain and suffering is
  • How it applies to your motorcycle accident case
  • The purpose of seeking compensation for pain and suffering
  • How pain and suffering differs from other damages

What Is Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering is a kind of non-economic (that is, non-financial) damage. It serves as reimbursement for the injury symptoms inflicted by the liable party’s negligence.

Pain and suffering is a very broad category that includes such diverse symptoms as:

  • Physical pain
  • Throbbing or burning sensations
  • Numbness or tingling caused by nerve damage
  • Insomnia
  • Dark thoughts or mood swings
  • Feelings of extreme fear
  • Side effects of necessary medications

How Does Pain and Suffering Apply to Motorcycle Accidents?

A traffic accident is an all-too-common cause of pain and suffering. You might sustain any number of physical injuries—including broken bones, road rash, and lacerations—that cause both immediate and long-term physical symptoms.

In addition to your physical discomfort, you might also experience emotional distress and mental suffering. Motorcycle crashes are unexpected, violent, and very upsetting, and dealing with injuries is highly stressful. As a result, some motorcycle accident survivors struggle with mental health problems as well as physical challenges.

Why Seek Pain and Suffering Damages for a Bike Crash?

The only reason you are in so much pain right now is because someone else—whether the driver of a car, a trucking company, a mechanic, or a local government—chose to disobey the law or act carelessly. The least they can do now is help you support yourself and your family as you recover from the injuries they caused.

How Does Pain and Suffering Differ from Other Damages?

Pain and suffering refers specifically to the physical and psychological symptoms you experienced because of your motorcycle accident injuries. It does not include the cost of treating those symptoms or the money you lost because of them. You will need to ask for compensation for medical expenses and loss of income separately.

Pain and suffering is also different from its consequences, such as loss of independence or reduced quality of life. You can seek damages for these losses as well.

How to Prove Pain and Suffering in a Motorcycle Collision

Before you can think about calculating how much your pain and suffering is worth, you need to collect evidence that will help you prove the cause and extent of your distress. A motorcycle accident attorney can help you do this by:

Reviewing the Motorcycle Crash Police Report

One of the first things you should do after a motorcycle accident is to call the police. The responding officers will collect plenty of valuable information that establishes the root cause of your pain and suffering, including:

  • Your initial statements about how you felt at the time
  • Statements from others, including the at-fault party and eyewitnesses
  • Photos of the accident scene

Looking at Motorcycle Accident Treatment Records

When you sought medical care for your injuries, your doctor examined you, told you the names of each of your injuries, and laid out a treatment plan to help you get better. This information indicates what symptoms you experience now and what your health may be like in the future.

Your medical records also establish the state of your health prior to the collision, reinforcing that your current pain is due to the accident alone.

Speaking to You and Others About Your Pain and Suffering

Your legal representative will speak to you many times and ask many questions about how your injuries have changed your life. Be honest with them at all times so they can gain an accurate perspective on how much compensation you deserve.

Aside from yourself, no one knows you better than your family and friends. Your attorney can talk to them about what your life was like before the accident and how things have changed for you since then.

Legal Formulas for Determining Pain and Suffering

There is no average motorcycle accident settlement, so you and your personal injury lawyer will have to determine the right settlement amount based on your particular circumstances. Your legal representative can do this by using legal formulas specifically designed to express physical and emotional anguish in monetary terms.

How Pain and Suffering Legal Formulas Work

There are two formulas commonly used by personal injury lawyers to calculate pain and suffering damages.

One method involves multiplying your medical costs by a number that your lawyer chooses based on how serious your injuries are. The other involves assigning a daily value to your suffering and multiplying it by the number of days you have been/will be in pain.

How Accurate Are Pain and Suffering Formulas?

An internet search for “pain and suffering calculator” will yield multiple websites that claim they can tell you how much you should seek in compensation. These websites do not know your case as well as your attorney does, so their results will not be as accurate as the calculations done by your law firm of choice.

Your personal injury attorney will work closely with you to determine the extent of your suffering and figure out which formula will yield the most accurate results.

Pain and Suffering and the Law

Most, if not all, states allow the survivors of negligence-related accidents to sue the at-fault party for pain and suffering, among other losses. However, they also place a time limit on how long these damages remain available.

You only qualify for compensation of any kind for a few years following the accident. In Michigan, for instance, the limit is three years. After that, according to Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 600.5805, you forfeit your right to compensation for pain and suffering and all other losses.

Will Your Insurance Cover Pain and Suffering?

Motorcycle insurance requirements vary from state to state, but in most cases, the answer is probably “no.” Personal injury protection (PIP) typically covers only economic losses, such as medical bills. In states like Michigan, the matter is irrelevant, as bikers cannot purchase PIP in most situations, although they can pursue covered losses through a motor vehicle driver’s PIP.

The best way to pursue compensation for your pain and suffering is therefore by hiring a personal injury attorney and letting them fight for the money you deserve from the at-fault party. They will navigate every legal challenge on your behalf, including those presented by reluctant or aggressive insurance companies.

We Calculate All Damages After a Motorcycle Crash

Not only does Christensen Law calculate pain and suffering in a motorcycle accident, we fight for every penny that our clients deserve. Call today for a free case review. We will listen to your story, figure out the best way to protect your rights, and work hard to win a fair settlement.