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How Pain and Suffering is Valued in Personal Injury Claims

By DiBella Law Offices on July 25, 2023

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If you have been injured due to the negligence of someone else, you are entitled under the law to seek compensation from responsible parties. The damages you are eligible to claim will be economic and non-economic. Economic damages are objectively verifiable monetary losses, such as past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and loss of future earning potential. Non-economic damages refer to subjective, non-monetary losses, such as pain and suffering.

Pain and suffering can be complex and difficult to calculate as a personal loss. Nevertheless, it plays a significant role in the value of your claim and the compensation you receive for your injuries. In calculating pain and suffering damages, it is important to have a thorough understanding of the factors involved.

What Is Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering is a term that refers to the physical pain and emotional distress for which a plaintiff can receive compensation in a personal injury claim. It encompasses the immediate and long-term effects of an injury on the victim’s quality of life. Compensation should account for past pain and suffering since the date of the injury, present pain and suffering, and the medical probability of future pain and suffering.

What Factors Influence Pain and Suffering Damages?

Calculation of pain and suffering damages is influenced by a variety of factors, including:

  • Severity and permanence of the injury
  • Impact of injury on daily activities, relationships, hobbies, etc.
  • Emotional trauma suffered by the victim as a result of the injury, such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Diminished life expectancy

What Methods Are Used to Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages?

There is no set formula for calculating pain and suffering damages. Insurance companies, attorneys, and courts use a variety of approaches to determine the value of non-economic losses. Some commonly employed methods include the following:

  • Multiplier method: With this method, the total of the victim’s economic damages (medical expenses, lost wages, etc.) is multiplied by a specific factor, ranging from 1.5 to 5, to arrive at a total for pain and suffering damages. The variable used as the pain and suffering multiplier depends on factors including the type and severity of the injury, the chance of full recovery, the impact on the victim’s daily life, and the percentage of fault assigned to the liable party.
  • Per diem method: “Per diem” is Latin for “per day.” With the per diem method, a daily monetary value is assigned to the pain and suffering experienced by the victim. That number is then multiplied by the number of days the victim suffered to get the total pain and suffering compensation. The time frame for compensation runs from the date of the injury to the date of maximum medical improvement. Factors that influence the determination of the daily monetary value include the injury’s duration, severity, and life impact.

It is important that the calculation of pain and suffering takes into account the unique aspects of a case and the individual victim’s circumstances. Expert testimony, medical records, and supporting evidence play a critical role in establishing the extent of pain and suffering.

Why You Should Consult With a Personal Injury Attorney

It’s crucial to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer with the knowledge, skills, and resources to assess and effectively pursue pain and suffering damages at the highest possible level.

The experienced legal team at DiBella Law Offices, P.C. will gather evidence, build a compelling case, and advocate for fair compensation on your behalf. Contact us today at (978) 327-5140 for a free initial consultation.

Posted in: Personal Injuries