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Determining the Value of Pain and Suffering in a Lawsuit

Lady in PainAccidents can cause more damage to you than just medical expenses and property damage.  An accident can leave you with a lifetime of pain and suffering. If you have been injured in an accident, you may consider filing a personal injury claim to recover the damages you have suffered. As part of a personal injury claim, you may qualify for pain and suffering damages.

The experienced Savannah personal injury lawyers at Roden Law work closely with injury victims and know the impact an accident can have on them. We will fight for every dollar of compensation you deserve to encompass all aspects of your damages.

What is Pain and Suffering?

The term “pain and suffering” refers to physical, mental and emotional stress a personal injury victim suffers because of an accident. It includes the current pain and suffering as well as the pain and suffering anticipated in the future. It consists of the following:

  • Physical pain
  • Discomfort
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress
  • Anxiety
  • Shock
  • Fear
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

How to Calculate Pain and Suffering

There are a variety of ways pain and suffering damages can be calculated. Common methods include:

Multiplier Method

The most common approach to calculating pain and suffering is to add up your economic damages and multiply them by a variable. This variable is usually between 1.5 and 5. Higher variables are used in more serious cases. Therefore, if you had $100,000 in economic damages and a 1.5 variable was used, your pain and suffering damages would be $150,000. If a variable of four was used, your pain and suffering claim would be worth $400,000.

The variable that is used under this method depends on a number of factors specific to your case, including:

  • The seriousness of your injuries
  • How long your recovery is expected to take
  • The impact of your injuries on your daily life
  • How clear the other party’s liability is

Per Diem Method

Another common approach is the per diem method in which a certain dollar amount is assigned and then multiplied by the days of recovery. For example, if a per diem amount of $100 was applied and the recovery period was 14 days, the pain and suffering claim would be $1,400.

Adjustments

Adjustments can be applied to the pain and suffering claim that may increase or decrease the multiplier, daily rate or other calculation of a pain and suffering claim. Reasons why a claim value may increase or decrease include: 

  • Whether the accident had a permanent effect on the victim, such as disability or disfigurement
  • The length of recovery
  • Whether the victim’s diagnosis, injuries and claims are consistent with each other
  • The likeability of the plaintiff
  • The credibility of the plaintiff
  • Whether the victim has a criminal record
  • Whether there is adequate medical support

Evidence Used to Support a Pain and Suffering Claim

Property damages and medical expenses can typically be proven through documentation and are easily quantified. However, pain and suffering is more subjective and difficult to prove. Some evidence that may support your pain and suffering includes:

  • Photographs of your injury and the accident
  • Proof of medical or psychological treatment
  • Testimony from family and friends
  • A pain journal

The more evidence you have of your pain and suffering, the higher the likelihood that you will be able to recover just compensation for your personal injury claim.

Contact a Lawyer for Help with Your Pain and Suffering Claim

If you were injured in an accident that caused you to suffer more than economic damages, it is important to have a skilled personal injury lawyer who can fight for maximum compensation on your behalf. At Roden Law, our skilled personal injury attorneys have extensive experience in negotiating insurance claims and can assess the value of your claim during a free consultation. Do not hesitate to contact us right away for help with your claim.

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