Pain and suffering are most certainly experienced after you are in a severe accident. The injuries incurred in an accident can put you in physical pain and mental distress, especially when someone else’s negligence or fault caused the accident.
Mental and emotional pain may include grief, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and fear. Pain and suffering entail the emotional, physical, and mental stress that the victim goes through after the accident and recovery. And sometimes, it may last a lifetime, mainly if the accident results in paralysis or permanent disability.
By state law, accident victims have the right to seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages. Pain and suffering fall under the latter, which means you may be eligible for compensation, but how much is the real challenge. Medical treatments lost wages, and property damage are simple to calculate as they comprise measurable items like medical bills and receipts. As they are easier to document, you can easily justify your claim amount.
The challenge occurs when getting compensation for pain and suffering, as they are challenging to document. This is where you can count on our seasoned auto accident lawyer in North Carolina. Our experience and extensive knowledge about the laws and legal procedures enable us to help our clients pursue the compensation they deserve for economic and non-economic damages. Simply stated, we fight for you to be compensated for physical injuries and pain and suffering.
Factors to Consider For Calculating Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering may be hard to pin down in a number, but some critical factors can help determine a quantifiable amount. These include:
The severity of Injuries Sustained
The severity of the injuries can serve as a relevant factor for calculating pain and suffering compensation. For example, someone with broken bones is likely to experience more pain and suffer greater than someone who has minor injuries.
Types of Medical Treatments Received
The type of treatment you receive can also help with calculating your compensation for pain and suffering. Medical treatments fall under two categories—diagnostic and therapeutic treatments. Diagnostic treatment comprises MRIs, CT scans, and X-rays, while therapeutic treatment consists of physical therapy and chiropractic treatment. Depending on the treatments, duration, and recovery process, your lawyer can pinpoint an estimated figure for pain and suffering.
Impact on Your Life
Another factor that plays a pivotal role in calculating a rough estimate for pain and suffering is the impact of the accident and injuries on your life. In other words, how have the injuries affected your daily routine and quality of life? For example, a victim’s quality of life with a permanent disability will be more affected than someone who fully recovers from the injuries.
Therefore, factors like how the accident impacted your ability to socialize, perform job-related duties and household chores, enjoy hobbies, and look after children (if any) can help calculate pain and suffering compensation.
More Ways to Document Pain and Suffering
Besides the factors discussed above, according to our seasoned personal injury attorney, here are some more ways to document pain and suffering. These can help justify the money that you want to claim:
- A written opinion of a medical professional or mental health expert. This will testify to the victim’s state of mind and mental health issues that have resulted from the accident.
- A mental health expert or doctor’s written opinion attesting the victim’s and the intricacies of the pain and suffering involved after an accident
- Medication prescribed for the victim for mental issues and physical pain
- Your verbal and written testimony for the pain and suffering that you are going or have gone through
- Family and friends wrote testimony for the pain and suffering that you’re going or have gone through
Methods to Calculate Pain and Suffering
There are two methods that are usually used to calculate a rough estimate for pain and suffering. However, by no means are they exact or reliable. They are only used for rough calculations.
This method works by adding up all economic damages. Once the damages are added, the amount is multiplied by a number ranging between 1.5 and 5. The selected number from this range is the multiplier. This number indicates the degree of seriousness of the non-economic damages (including emotional trauma, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering). The more severe the injury, the more your number is multiplied by.
The formula is as follows:
(Medical bills both current and future) x (multiplier selected) + (Total of Economic Damages) = Case Value
To determine the right multiplier, the following factors are considered:
- The obviousness of the other driver’s fault
- The seriousness of the injuries such as permanent disability or paralysis
- Expert written opinion showing clear proof of pain and suffering
- Recovery timeframe
Per Diem Method
This is another approach used to quantify pain and suffering. Using the per diem method, the insurance company attempts to determine a daily rate at which they owe you for pain and suffering. The timeline is calculated from the accident date until the date you are released from medical treatment/care.
Per diem in Latin means ‘by the day.’ Hence the method uses a daily pain and suffering calculator. Please note that the amount calculated with this method is only for pain and suffering. You can be awarded an additional amount for income loss, property damage, and medical treatment.
Limits on Pain and Suffering Damages
As the dollar amount on pain and suffering is subjective, lawmakers might fear abuse by sympathetic juries in the form of high compensation—higher than the actual economic damages. Thus, states like North Carolina place limits on pain and suffering to keep awards in control. These caps may sometimes not reflect the compensation that the injured person deserves. However, with our experienced lawyer for case representation, be assured that we will fight for you to get the maximum compensation.
For more information or assistance with filing a personal injury claim, contact us. We strive to get our clients’ justice and full and fair compensation for injuries, pain, and suffering.