What Is Pain And Suffering?
Pain and suffering is the legal term used for the physical and emotional distress associated with an injury. Pain is the measured as the physical pain caused by your injuries. While suffering is the emotional and mental distress that manifests as insomnia, grief, worry, depression, anxiety, and even the overall loss of enjoyment of life. Damages that are considered pain and suffering may be categorized as:
● Shortening of life
● Mental health issues
● Limitations on activities
Pain and suffering is considered compensatory damages not punitive damages and are often rewarded when injuries are severe enough to impact daily life.
How Is Pain And Suffering Calculated?
There are two ways attorneys, insurance companies, and the courts use to calculate pain and suffering:
● The Multiplier Method: The multiplier method is an equation used to determine the value of pain and suffering. Basically, you add up the compensatory damages such as loss of earnings, property damage, and medical expenses. That number is then multiplied by a number between 1 and 5 depending on the severity of your injuries. For example, if your medical bills were $9,000 and your lost wages were $1,000, and your injuries were very severe, these numbers would be multiplied by 5, giving your $50,000. This method is usually done by a software program that uses a complex algorithm based on all the factors involved in your case.
● Daily Rate Method: Another way that pain and suffering is calculated is with the daily rate method. The daily rate method uses a per diem where an amount is assigned for everyday. The daily rate method is limited by a timeline. So for example if you are seeking medical treatment for six months after the accident, your daily rate may extend through that time period. Assigning a daily rate uses a variety of factors to determine the value per day. Most often it is based on your income or another tangible compensatory loss.
In most accident injury claims, both methods are used to get an estimate of what you should claim. With these figures in mind, you will have to present your case to the insurance company. This number is just the starting point for negotiation. Most of the time insurance companies will take your number and then offer you a counter. This is where a lawyer comes in handy.
How An Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Negotiating a pain and suffering settlement is difficult. First, there is a lot of factors that impact the figure that you can receive from the severity of your injuries to the circumstances of the accident. An attorney can help you understand all of these factors and help you calculate a fair settlement. Then they can negotiate with the insurance company for you. If the insurance company undervalues your pain and suffering claim or denies your pain and suffering claim, an attorney can put together the evidence for a strong counter argument.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, you need the help of an attorney. Getting a fair settlement amount often requires a lot of expertise. Also, pain and suffering is just one of the damages you may be owed after your accident. The St. Peter’s Lawyer can help. Our expert legal team can help you determine what your pain and suffering is worth and find the proof needed to get a fair settlement. Contact us today to learn more!