How are damages calculated for pain and suffering?

Injured Victim Sitting on the Couch With CrutchesInjury victims frequently cope with high medical bills, loss of income, and long recovery periods. In addition, they sometimes endure pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is a legal term that encompasses the physical and emotional pain stemming from accidental injuries.

Special Damages Versus General Damages

A personal injury claim has two primary types of possible compensation, special damages and general damages. Special damages include economic losses, such as property damage, medical bills, and loss of income, while general damages include pain and suffering. Special damages are typically relatively easy to value, since they are based on bills for vehicle repairs and medical expenses. However, calculating general damages, such as pain and suffering, is far more challenging.

Pain and Suffering Calculation Methods

While there are a number of approaches that insurance companies may take when calculating pain and suffering, the two most common are the multiplier method and the per diem method. The following is a brief overview:

  • Multiplier method. The multiplier method is the most frequently used approach for calculating pain and suffering. An insurance company totals all of an accident victim’s special damages and multiplies them by a number of the insurer’s choosing. This number, called a multiplier, depends on many factors that may include: the extent of a victim’s injuries, the prospects for a full recovery, the impact of a victim’s injuries on his life, and the degree of the other party’s fault for the accident.
  • Per diem method. The per diem method requires payment of a fixed dollar amount, or daily rate, for every day an injury victim must live with the pain caused by an accident. While this daily rate may be calculated using a variety of methods, the victim’s actual, daily earnings are frequently used.

An Attorney Can Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve

If you’ve been injured in a vehicle collision, or any other type of accident that was someone else’s fault, you deserve compensation for the physical and emotional pain you’ve suffered. An experienced personal injury attorney can prove the extent of your injuries and demand that you receive fair compensation. To learn more, contact us today by clicking the Live Chat button on this page.