Pain And Suffering Damages
Pain and suffering is a type of non-economic damage that is used to describe the physical and emotional suffering a victim may experience after an accident. Pain and suffering damages are paid by the person whose actions or negligence resulted in the victim’s injury.
Physical pain includes neck pain, back pain, nerve damage, traumatic brain injury, fractured or broken bones, organ damage, dislocated joints, paralysis, headaches, etc. These may leave the victim in constant pain for a long time or even permanently, therefore lowering their quality of life.
Emotional pain and suffering includes fear, anger, grief, insomnia, cognitive changes, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and loss of quality of life. Emotional pain and suffering may also lead to other psychological problems that affect the victim’s daily life.
The reason victims can ask for compensation for pain and suffering is because the pain and suffering they experience are not only causing an inconvenience on their life. Rather, it is something that they would not have had to go through if not for the accident that caused the injury.
Showing And Proving Pain And Suffering
Unlike medical bills, lost wages, lost earning potential, and property damage, which can be determined with bills and pay slips, pain and suffering damages cannot be determined that way. Furthermore, there is no fixed guideline for determining the appropriate compensation for someone’s pain and suffering. Typically, the claimant will determine an amount that will serve as the basis, along with the proofs provided, of the jury for determining the final figure.
The claimant needs to prove to the jury that they indeed experienced pain and suffering as a result of the defendant’s negligence. As mentioned earlier, pain and suffering are abstract ideas, so proving them requires strong, tangible proof. Evidence that can help you are:
• Written opinion of an expert in a field related to personal injury
• Medical records
• Notes of a doctor, therapist, or mental health professional
• Police accident reports
• Photographs and videos
• Personal documentation of pain (e.g., journal or diary)
• Witness statements (e.g., a spouse or someone who lives or takes care of the claimant)
It is important to remember that proving one’s pain and suffering is not as simple as merely presenting these evidence. Remember that the defendant will likely hire a lawyer as well whose job is to minimize their expenses, meaning that they will try to question and discredit every piece of evidence you put forward.
Calculating Pain And Suffering Damages
Claimants or their personal injury lawyer or the defendant’s insurance company cannot simply pull figures out of thin air. The amount they ask for damages should always be fair. Luckily, there are two methods used to calculate pain and suffering damages.
The Multiplier Method
In the multiplier method, the actual damages are multiplied by a number between one and five. The number is determined by the severity of the injuries and how it affects the individual.
(Medical bills, both past and future x multiplier) + (Total economic damages, such as lost wages, property damages, etc.) = Value of case
The Per Diem Method
The name of this method means “by the day”, which means that, here, the value of pain and suffering damages is computed per day. A specific amount is assigned for each day from the time of the accident until the victim recovers or when a medical professional does not expect to see further improvements in their condition.
As you can see, even with a method, much of the calculations are subjective and intuitive. This may become even more complicated when we take into account the differences in people’s pain tolerance. This is why such calculations are best done with the assistance of professionals. We are not just talking about a personal injury lawyer, but also of medical doctors and therapists who may be able to objectively gauge how much pain and suffering someone has experienced or is experiencing.
Why Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer In St. Petersburg
A personal injury lawyer with experience in Florida laws would greatly help you establish a strong case. They can guide you through the necessary documents that you need, as well as construct a formidable testimony.
We have handled numerous personal injury cases and know how we can best support each client so they can maximize the amount of pain and suffering damages they can get proportionate to the one they experienced. Let us help make this situation better. Contact us now..