Most damages in a personal injury claim are measurable. Hence, calculating a sum for recovery is easy. The same cannot be said for pain and suffering.
Pain and suffering fall under the category of non-economic damages. Just about all losses that fall under non-economic damages are difficult to calculate. This is mainly because the intensity of the condition varies from person to person.
This is one place where a personal injury attorney can help. Their expertise allows them to consider all your damages, not just pain and suffering, and calculate an amount that is perfect for getting your life back on track.
This article discusses pain and suffering in detail. The purpose of this article is to educate the reader about pain and suffering and get a rough estimate of the expected compensation. It is not a substitute for actual legal help.
Pain and Suffering – Definition
Most physical injuries have some kind of lasting effect. Most of the time, it is in the form of scars. But sometimes, victims will feel discomfort due to their injuries. The intensity of the feeling can either be bearable or painful enough to interfere with everyday activities. The victim can seek compensation for this feeling of discomfort as well.
Proving Pain and Suffering
Before we dive into calculating pain and suffering, it is important to prove it first. The stronger the evidence, the more compensation you’ll get. The following is a list of commonly considered evidence to prove pain and suffering.
- Medical records
- Photographs and videos of the injury
- Statements from therapists
- Your personal journal documenting your condition
Calculating Pain and Suffering
It can be pretty tricky to determine how much your pain is worth. This is the number one reason why just about everyone has a hard time coming up with an accurate number for pain and suffering. However, there are two methods that are commonly used. They are
- The Pain Multiplier Method
- The Per Diem Method
The Pain Multiplier Method
In the multiplier method, the extent of pain and suffering is denoted by a specific number. The value starts at 1.5 and goes up to 5. The number assigned will be related to the severity of the injury. The more serious injuries are assigned a 5.
The following factors are taken into consideration when assigning a value:
- The severity of the injury
- The expected duration of recovery
- How the injury impacts your day-to-day proceedings
- The clarity of liability of the at-fault party
This value will then be multiplied by the amount you’re expecting for economic damages like medical expenses.
So, if you’re receiving $70,000 for medical expenses and your pain multiplier is 2. You can expect a total compensation of $140,000.
The Per Diem Method
“Per diem” is Latin for “by the day.” In this method, a specific amount is allocated for a single day. This amount is then multiplied by the total number of days you suffer from pain and suffering. The specific amount is usually your daily wage, but it could be other amounts as well.
For example, if you earn $90 a day and your pain and suffering last for 90 days, you can expect to receive $81,000 as compensation.
Factors that Contribute to Pain and Suffering Calculation
The values used for calculating pain and suffering (pain multiplier, daily wage, and other values) can change. The factors that contribute to this change are mentioned below.
- Life-altering conditions like disability and disfigurement
- Authenticity of the claim
- Duration of the recovery period
- Presence/absence of a criminal record
- Availability of medical support
- The plaintiff’s credibility
Pain and suffering can be an extremely uncomfortable experience. It may interfere with a person’s ability to carry out everyday activities effectively.
Calculating compensation for pain and suffering can be difficult without the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. Get in touch with one to find out how you can receive just compensation and be on your way to recovery.