There is no formula. But here are a few rules lawyers pay attention to when settling lawsuits:
1) It helps to have a lot of medical bills.
2) When the jury looks at the total of the medical bills, they are probably concerned the most with the total of the payments made by you and your insurance companies to the doctors.
3) You have to look behind the medical bills. I’ve had an MRI, and it was no fun. But it lasted all of 20 minutes. Trying to project a $1600 bill for an MRI as giving the jury a reason to award another $5,000 or $6,000 in pain and suffering isn’t going to work very often.
4) Future impairment or pain and suffering, as well as inability to work – as predicted by a doctor – is very important. Probably more important than any other single factor.
5) If you can put your pain in real terms, it matters.
Last year, I represented an 88 year old man. He looked OK, and seemed to be able to move around pretty much like most 88 year old men. A doctor looked at him, and determined he had lost about 50% of his functionality because of the accident.
I sent that evaluation to the insurance company.
But I also sent them a tape of the man’s neighbor, saying that since the accident, he could no longer go on the roof to clean leaves, shovel snow, or play golf after his accident, and that he had no trouble doing these things before the accident.
6) Finally, in some cases, the jury may not be able to award you more than $250,000, because the Ohio Legislature has limited pain and suffering in most lawsuits in Revised Code Section 2323.43. The limitations are complicated – but I can help you understand them, and they might not apply to your case.
I have been a lawyer over 30 years. The insurance company needs to know your pain. If you’ve been injured, speak with an experienced Cincinnati Injury Lawyer – call me, William Strubbe, at 513-621-4775 in Cincinnati.
Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed.