Calculating the Pain and Suffering Damages
Whether you were injured in a car accident or slip and fall, you may be looking at a long road to recovery. A serious injury comes with surgeries, weeks to months of physical therapy, and costly medication. While a personal injury claim can help you recover these medical expenses, you deserve compensation for the physical and emotional impact of your trauma. With the expertise of a skilled lawyer, you may be able to recover not only your medical bills and lost wages, but also pain and suffering damages from an at-fault party.
What Is Pain and Suffering?
Pain and suffering is a term that refers to a type of non-economic damage an accident victim has suffered at the hands of a negligent party. Pain and suffering refers to both the physical pain and discomfort of an injury, as well as the emotional and mental stress caused by an accident. While economic damages are meant to cover the financial costs of an injury, pain and suffering covers the personal costs.
Pain and suffering can include:
- Pain caused during an accident
- Lingering pain during recovery
- Chronic pain as a result of a serious injury
- Difficulties sleeping, sitting, or standing due to an injury
- Discomfort while performing daily tasks
What Is My Pain and Suffering Worth?
It may seem difficult to put a price tag on your physical and mental trauma, but there are techniques for calculating pain and suffering in a personal injury claim. California insurance companies and courts often accept two types of calculations:
- Multiplier Method: With the multiplier method, you can assign a number between one and five for your injuries, with one being the lowest amount of pain and discomfort and five being the highest. Then, you will take the total economic costs of your injuries and multiply it by that number. If you suffered $15,000 in economic damages and your pain number was 3, then your pain and suffering damages would be $45,000, which would make your claim’s total value $60,000.
- Per Diem Method: The per diem method applies a monetary value to each day you suffered from an injury, stopping at the date you have fully recovered. If you assigned $100 to each day you had an injury and you recovered in 180 days (6 months), then your pain and suffering damages will be $18,000.
How Do I Prove Pain and Suffering?
Whatever method you use to calculate pain and suffering, the at-fault party’s insurance provider will try to fight your claim. Non-economic damages are not supported by obvious evidence like medical bills and pay stubs, and insurance companies like to haggle over the total price of an accident to avoid paying up to a policy’s limit. An insurance company may argue that your injuries were minor or that your claim is frivolous and attempt to low-ball you at every offer.
However, there are ways to support your damages and get the highest possible award. Pain and suffering may be a type of intangible damage, but our team at HN Injury Lawyers is well-versed in collecting evidence to support it.
First, we can look at your medical records and speak to your physician about your treatment. Doctors have a general understanding of how serious an injury is, how it can impact a patient’s life, and the overall pain of an injury. Their testimony can help show that your pain is real and that you deserve compensation for your trauma.
Testimony from your friends and family is also helpful in these cases. If you have difficulties playing with your children, your spouse or partner may be able to testify that your injury was the cause. Your friends may be also able to testify that you are not able to play sports, enjoy an active lifestyle, or struggle with hobbies.
Your own testimony can play a major role as well, especially if you keep a journal or diary about your day-to-day routine. Journal entries that talk about how you are dealing with your injuries and your daily pain levels can go a long way to support your claim.
In any case, it is important to discuss your claim with an experienced Santa Ana injury attorney. We have experience advocating for pain and suffering damages in personal injury claims and will not rest until we get you the highest possible award. We have more than 50 years of experience in personal injury law and have recovered millions of dollars in case results for our clients. Let us do the same for you.
Call HN Injury Lawyers at (657) 333-5726 to talk about your case in a free consultation.