How Much Is My Pain And Suffering Worth In Maryland?

January 12, 2012, by Price Benowitz LLP

There are many factors that must be taken into account to determine how much an injured person should be compensated for pain and suffering. There is no specific formula that insurance companies look to in order to figure out the amount for damages. In fact, every accident and injury is different. In theory, it is literally impossible for anyone to tell injured people how much their pain and suffering is worth. However, in order to resolve injury and tort cases, insurance companies have to come up with some value.

The most important factor that insurance companies use in order to calculate the value of one's pain and suffering is the injured person's medical treatment and total medical bills. Most insurance companies will give injured victims a multiple of the total cost of their medical bills for pain and suffering, however that rule is not set in stone. If the amount and type of treatment appear to be reasonable and necessary for the injury, the injured party comes across as much more honest to the jury. More or less treatment does not necessarily mean more or less money for pain and suffering, but it is a factor that is considered. Of course running up your medical bills unnecessarily is often met with a great degree of suspicion and likely will not be rewarded. Similarly, stretching out the length of treatment for a minor injury may look greedy to a jury and to an insurance adjuster and will not garner any more money for pain and suffering.

In addition to medical treatment and total medical bills, the following factors are considered when determining the amount to compensate a person for pain and suffering:

1. Pre-existing injuries;
2. A person's ability to do what they normally did in their everyday lives or if they were forced to stop or reduce some of their normal activities;
3. The type of work one does for a living;
4. How sympathetic of a witness the injured person would make;
5. A person's age;
6. A person's lifestyle; as well as
7. The experience and reputation of your attorney

All of these factors paint a picture for an insurance adjuster or the jury and will have an impact on the monetary compensation given for pain and suffering in one way or another. There are some tools that insurance companies and lawyers may use to help them arrive at a figure or at least at a range for the purpose of determining how much to "demand" as compensation for your injuries. Many attorneys will also use, as a general guideline, past jury verdicts in your particular jurisdiction and past claims that involve similar facts, injuries and total medical bills.