What were the consequences for the victim that suffered the damage? Is there a money value that can be assigned to each such consequence?
Damages with obvious dollar value
• Medical expenses
• Lost income
• Property loss
Note: any of the above could have a reduced value, if the victim has failed to mitigate the damages by seeking medical attention.
In some cases, the judge might order the payment of punitive damages by the defendant. The size of those punitive damages could also get reduced, if the plaintiff had failed to mitigate the damages.
Damages with an unclear value
• Pain and suffering/discomfort
• Emotional distress: This is usually caused by a disruption in the victim’s lifestyle. For instance, the victim might be struggling to get a toddler to and from daycare, after one of the family’s vehicles has been sent to the repair shop. Alternately, an employee might have anticipated credit for attendance at a conference, but that hope had been dashed by the consequences of the accident.
• Loss of enjoyment- Some victims have trouble sleeping or experience a loss of appetite
• Loss of consortium: A spouse could suffer this loss.
• Loss of care and protection: A child that has lost his/her parents might suffer from such damage.
• Chances that victim might need to deal with future damages
A astute personal injury lawyer in London would work with the client, in order to obtain comments from the treating physician. That physician might mention in the medical record that the victim could suffer complications, as a result of the prescribed treatment. That could certainly be the case, if the treatment had called for surgery.
The treating doctor might also make mention of any age-related problems that might develop as the treated victim got older. That could affect the victim’s ability to find and hold a job. Sometimes an attorney might ask a judge to substitute one of the future damages for any proposed punitive damages. Such a substitution would not increase the size of the plaintiff’s award, but it would remove from the plaintiff the need to pay taxes on the winnings.
How does an insurance company determine the cost of such damages?
An insurance company would use something called a multiplier. That is a figure, usually one between 1.5 and 5. It is supposed to represent the severity of the reported damages.
The insurance company seeks the product of an operation that involves multiplying the total for the medical expenses by the selected multiplier. The result for that operation shows the adjuster where to begin, upon the initiation of negotiations.
Today, computers at some insurance companies perform that calculation for specific companies, using a computer’s special software.