In personal injury claims, there are many levels of hurt and losses to consider and account for. There are physical injuries. There are property damages. There are also those intangible losses. The hurt that comes from the trauma of being involved in an accident and living with the pain of sustaining injuries. While these mental and emotional damages may not be as visible and may be more difficult to calculate than others, they are still very real. That is why you can include a claim for pain and suffering damages when you pursue a personal injury case.
Calculating Pain and Suffering Damages
Damages can be classified into two main categories, economic and non-economic. Economic damages are those that are readily calculable. You can usually present receipts and bills to support an economic damages claim. Economic damages may include:
- Medical bills
- Cost of future medical care
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity.
Non-economic damages are much more complicated because there are no real hard numbers to present in support of them. How do you quantify someone’s pain and suffering? Pain and suffering refer to both the physical and mental anguish that can be caused due to an injury. It can include the discomfort caused by living with injuries or even the need to undergo sometimes extensive and invasive medical care to address those injuries. It can include the fear that can come with considering that your life may have been shortened by your injuries. It can account for things like the embarrassment of having to live with scarring or disfigurement due to your injuries. Essentially, pain and suffering damages refer to monetary compensation you may receive for having to live with your injuries and experience all sorts of unpleasantries due to being involved in the accident.
To prove pain and suffering damages, you can present a variety of evidence. This evidence may come in the form of a treating doctor’s testimony as to your pain. It may also include testimony from an expert in the mental health field or a medical expert on the type of injury you sustained and the kind of pain a patient with such an injury may experience. You may also present documentation such as your medical records. Oftentimes, you yourself may be able to provide compelling testimony regarding your own pain and suffering stemming from the accident and resulting injuries.
To calculate pain and suffering damages, insurance companies most often use the multiplier method. With the multiplier method, your economic damages are multiplied by a multiplier between 1.5 and 5. The multiplier depends on a number of factors, primarily including the severity of your injuries. Another method, the per diem method, is not often used. With the per diem method, a set dollar amount is paid to the victim for each day from the date of the accident until he or she reaches maximum medical improvement.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys
If you have been injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another, you have a legal right to seek compensation for those injuries and associated losses. Pursuing your right to full and fair compensation often requires detailed knowledge of the personal injury process and a tireless dedication to pursuing the legal rights of the injured. That is what the trusted personal injury attorneys at Cooper Schall & Levy are here to do. Contact us today.