How are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated?
When you file a personal injury case, one of the ultimate goals is to receive fair compensation. There are two different categories of compensation you can receive, and these include economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages include things such as medical bills, lost wages, and other easily calculated items. Noneconomic damages include emotional distress, loss of consortium, and, the most common type – pain and suffering. The worth of noneconomic damages are harder to determine, and you may be wondering how insurance companies and attorneys come up with a monetary number for them. Keep reading to learn more about the factors that impact how pain and suffering damages are calculated.
Factors that Impact Pain and Suffering Damages
Insurance companies will look at your general damages and determine the seriousness of them before deciding on how much to offer for pain and suffering. Some of the factors that are considered include:
- How obvious it was that the accident was the other person’s fault
- How objective and obvious your injuries appear to be (broken bones and surgeries are more valuable in this analysis than are soft tissue injuries, like whiplash)
- Seriousness of your injuries
- Whether your medical records support a strong claim for pain and suffering
- Recovery period – the longer your medical records show your recovery lasted, the greater the value in a typical case.
Using the Per Diem Method
Another method that is sometimes used in personal injury law is the “per diem” method, also known as the per day method. The idea behind this method is to use a certain dollar amount and multiply that by the number of days you had to live with pain and suffering caused by the accident.
A complication of using this method is justifying the dollar amount you choose. One reasonable way to come up with this amount that is sometimes used is to use how much you would make working at your job per day.
Getting Help From a Personal Injury Lawyer
The most accurate way to calculate what your pain and suffering damages are worth is to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney. Since they have years of experience in this field, they will be able to come up with a reasonable number that you both agree on to take to the defendant’s attorney or insurance company for negotiation. Most of the time, your attorney will negotiate with the other party’s attorney or insurance company until they come up with an agreement. In rare cases, personal injury claims are taken all the way to a jury trial.
Now you know how attorneys calculate pain and suffering damages. Have you been in an accident caused by a negligent party? Speak with one of our personal injury lawyers today about your case.