If you suffered personal injuries due to someone else’s negligence, you may receive compensation for both physical pain and suffering or emotional pain and suffering. Every personal injury case has a unique set of facts and circumstances and therefore, the calculations regarding pain and suffering will depend on the nature of the accident and the severity of the injuries.
Understanding Pain and Suffering Damages
Damages for personal injury cases related to pain and suffering specifically include compensation for essentially having to “go through” the physical and/or emotional pain and suffering that you otherwise would never have to go through if this injury accident never occurred. While there is no exact and specific measurement and standard by which pain and suffering damages are inherently calculated, courts typically look at the evidence presented in a personal injury case and determine what is fair and just in light of the circumstances for the victim.
For example, a parent who is never able to pick up their child again or a person who is permanently and totally disabled following an accident has pain and suffering far beyond the actual physical injuries. Some medical conditions such as traumatic brain injuries may be life-long and permanent. These non-economic damages should receive compensation from the person who negligently caused the accident.
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Proving Pain and Suffering
If you are claiming actual damages in a personal injury case, such as compensation for medical bills or lost wages, these amounts are easy to both identify and calculate. Pain and suffering oftentimes deserve to be part of a personal injury claim and also receive damages and therefore it is critical that documentation and evidence provided to the insurance company or the court substantiate and convey the true pain and suffering endured as a result of your accident.
- Document all visits to medical professionals, including mental health therapy sessions.
- Include any written opinions or notes from mental health professionals as well as any medical doctors regarding the extent and nature of your condition, and how it will continue to impact your life far beyond the actual physical injury.
- Include testimony and opinions from additional neutral third-party expert medical witnesses that corroborate the evidence provided by your physician or mental health therapist.
- Provide a complete listing of all medications prescribed following the accident, as well as what medications must continue in perpetuity, which includes medication for both physical and mental pain.
- Provide documentation regarding any permanent, life-threatening, or disabling conditions.
- Create and provide a detailed documented journal that describes daily life, pain scales, how the accident impacted your life, and changed your ability to perform daily activities.
- Provide testimony from friends and family members that detail not only your pain and suffering on a daily basis, but also how your accident impacts your daily life.
Documentation from expert medical witnesses, along with your own personal journal and testimonies from family and friends can oftentimes provide extremely valuable and persuasive testimonies that persuade an insurance company or a judge or jury that your pain and suffering impacted and devastated parts of your life. Creating sympathy regarding very real pain and suffering helps others understand your painful journey following an accident that was due to someone else’s negligence.
Calculating Pain and Suffering Damages
Insurance companies, judges, and juries take into account numerous factors when attempting to calculate what type of damages are awarded for pain and suffering. Oftentimes, they will look at the following:
- Egregiousness of the negligent behavior by the defendant
- The severity of the victim’s injuries
- The overall physical and mental pain suffered by typical people with those types of injuries
- The impact the injuries have on your life
- Your employment
- Your health and how long the injury will take to heal
- What medical treatments the victim received and will need to continue to receive
- The eventual prognosis of the injury
Every case involving pain and suffering is different, and the damage calculations will also be subjective regarding every unique personal injury lawsuit. However, typically there are two different types of calculations used in determining compensation for pain and suffering in injury cases.
Pain and Suffering Multiplier Method
The multiplier method takes a number between 1.5 and 5 and multiplies it by the economic cost of the case for personal injuries. For example, if a personal injury case’s actual damages for medical bills and lost wages totaled $10,000, and the judge or jury used a multiplier of 2, the non-economic damages of pain and suffering total $20,000. The decision to use the pain and suffering multiplier method and which actual multiplier number is typically determined by the nature and severity of the accident and injuries.
Per Diem Method Used for Calculating Pain and Suffering
The pain and suffering per diem method assigns a specific monetary value to every day the victim suffered injuries, from the date of the accident to the date of “maximum medical improvement.” Maximum medical improvement is the date in which the victim is completely healed, or when a medical expert determines that they will never reach any better health than they have now following the accident.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm to Learn More Today
If you suffered personal injuries in an accident and endured pain and suffering along with a physical or mental medical condition, contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC at 800-730-1331. Learn how we handle the calculations of damages in personal injury lawsuits as it relates to pain and suffering. Call us for a free consultation and to ensure your legal rights remain protected.