Determining the damages for pain and suffering is a process that takes time. First, what is pain and suffering? It is the injuries that result from physical and or emotional trauma due to an accident. Pain and suffering that is extremely serious and unable to be reversed leaves the client paralyzed and unable to do day-to-day activities as they once did. The key to understanding the seriousness of injuries and how it relates to damages is usually difficult to quantify.
Obviously victims no matter how serious the injuries are want to be compensated. How pain and suffering is calculated is critical to the amount of compensation you will potentially receive in a personal injury settlement.
The insurance company will look at evidence related to the claim and they will have access to your medical records. The key records that help determine a monetary amount for your pain and suffering are the following: pictures of your injuries, medical bills, costs of required medications, complete medical records related to the incident, time missed from work as a result of the injuries and healing time, and receipts related to medications.
There is no exact way to determine the value of your pain and suffering ahead of time. It all comes down to the judgement of insurance companies in analyzing the information they have in front of them.
One method insurance companies use to come up with a value for injuries is the multiplier method. They take actual damages and multiply it by a number between 1.5 and 5. The determining factor in multiplying actual damages is based on the degree of the pain and suffering that resulted. While it may seem unfair, the more life-altering and permanent the injuries are the more likely the multiplier will be as high as 5 to make that calculation.
However New Mexico does not set a limit on how much can be collected as a result of the damages suffered. One exception we see is in medical malpractice cases. The cap of $600,000 for pain and suffering damages is in place, but this exception does not count toward the limit on medical care received.
Now because New Mexico takes into account fault, you can only receive damages that are equal to the amount of the fault of the defendant. Insurance companies are not your friend and are in it to profit. As such, speaking to a qualified personal injury lawyer is of the utmost importance to determine exactly what you can collect as a result of your case.