Pain and Suffering

in Personal Injury Cases

In a personal injury case, the final step after proving that the defendant was negligent is assessing the damage that occurred as a result of the defendant’s actions. The damages awarded are intended to restore the injured person to their state before the injury, to whatever extent this is possible. As a result, a case will often include both economic/special and non-economic/general damages. Economic damages are easier to calculate. This is because they directly line up with a dollar amount, such as the cost of medical bills or lost wages from time off of work. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are intended to compensate the plaintiff for their pain and suffering. Although this can be harder to define, your personal injury lawyer will work to demonstrate your physical pain and emotional distress to help get you the compensation you deserve.

More information about pain and suffering damages:

Demonstrating Pain and Suffering

In order for you to receive compensation for pain and suffering, your lawyer must demonstrate the non-economic negative effects of your injury. In order to build your case, your lawyer will likely use evidence from a variety of different sources. This can include any medical records that mention your physical pain. Additionally, any medication you have taken for physical or mental suffering can be evidence. A mental health professional may also provide a written account of your emotional state.

Calculating Non-Economic Damages

Calculating damages for pain and suffering is more complicated than calculating the purely economic effects of an injury. While it is easy to add up the invoices and determine lost wages, it is more difficult to place a dollar value on pain. There is no one single method for all personal injury cases. However, there are a few different methods that can apply. In most situations, your lawyer will use a combination of these and other factors along with negotiation with the defendant’s insurance company in order to arrive at a final number.

Multiplier Method

With the multiplier method, your lawyer will calculate the total value of your special damages. They will then multiply this by a specific number to determine general damages. The multiplier can range from 1.5 to 5 depending on the severity of the case. It is rare for the number to reach above 5, although it can if the injury is especially severe. Factors that can increase the multiplier include the obviousness of the defendant’s negligence, the severity of your physical or mental anguish, and the length of your recovery.

Per Diem Method

Another way to calculate pain and suffering damages is with the per diem method. With this approach, your lawyer will calculate a certain daily value. They will then multiply it by the number of days before your injury stabilized. The daily value depends on the severity of your injury. It is often calculated as similar to a day’s worth of work. This method can become more complicated for long-term or permanent disability and in those cases, the multiplier method may be more appropriate.

Hire a Lawyer That Will Fight for You

If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, it’s important to hire an attorney that will fight for you. Our lawyers will work hard to help you get the compensation you deserve for both economic and non-economic damages.

If you have questions about pain and suffering in your personal injury case, call us today for a free consultation.
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