How is Pain and Suffering Calculated During a Personal Injury Case?

You’ve been injured, badly. Perhaps you were hurt in a car accident, or you slipped and fell in a supermarket. Maybe you were the victim of medical malpractice or a defective product. Whatever caused your injury, if it involved negligence or recklessness on the part of another person or business, you have the right to pursue a personal injury claim. This type of claim will seek compensation for both the economic damages that you’ve suffered and the non-economic damages.  Economic damages are easy to understand – they are what your accident has actually cost you in terms of medical and hospital bills, time out of work and unpaid, any property damage such as a wrecked car, and other out-of-pocket expenses like help around the house. Non-economic damages are less clear-cut – they are the monetary expression of the pain, suffering, psychological damage, and grief that you’ve endured.

Economic damages are straightforward. They are calculated by simply adding up the bills that you’ve already received as well as those that you can anticipate receiving as you continue to heal. But quantifying pain and suffering is much more challenging. Fortunately, both the legal system and the insurance industry have developed two formulas that have proven to be extremely helpful One applies a multiplier to the already-calculated economic damages and the other is to calculate a value per day of suffering and then multiply that value by the number of days that the injury is expected to endure.

Using the multiplier method, the various damages that make up the real economic losses are multiplied by a number that generally falls between 1.5 and 4 or 5. That multiplier number is based on how serious the injuries are, how emotionally or physically devastating, how long they are expected to last, and the degree of recklessness or negligence that the injuring party exhibited.

The value-per-day method first establishes a dollar amount that the injured party should be paid per day of suffering and pain. This is usually represented by daily earnings. That number is then multiplied by the number of days that the victim endured the pain or is expected to endure the pain.

Determining pain and suffering is a complicated process, but an experienced personal injury attorney will be able to help you identify a fair and reasonable number and work to make sure that you receive the amount of compensation that you deserve. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.