How are pain and suffering calculated?

If you’re suffering from the pain of a personal injury caused by another person’s negligence, you shouldn’t have to bear the burden alone. Your injury can leave you with an immense amount of inconvenience, pain and suffering. 

Physical, emotional and psychological pain are all symptoms of your injury that can completely take you out of your everyday life. 

You may have heard the term “pain and suffering” concerning personal injury before, but what does it really mean? Learn more about what “pain and suffering” is, how it’s calculated and how you could be eligible to receive compensation for pain and suffering.

What Is “Pain and Suffering?”

Pain and suffering” is a term used to describe the physical and mental distress you experience after a bodily injury. Lingering pain and suffering symptoms that you can experience can include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Pain in the affected area
  • Aches
  • Depression
  • Scarring

“Pain and suffering” fall into the category of non-economic or “general” damages that are paid to the plaintiff, as opposed to “special” damages that are awarded based on medical bills, property damage and lost wages.

How Are Pain and Suffering Calculated?

Pain and suffering are usually calculated in two ways: the multiplier method or “per diem.”

The Pain and Suffering Multiplier Method

A pain and suffering multiplier method takes the total dollar amount of economic damages you suffered, adds them together and multiplies them by a number. The number, called the multiplier in this instance, is the determined amount of pain and suffering you’ve endured. 

The multiplier method is the most common way that insurance companies and attorneys alike calculate pain and suffering. The biggest problem with this type of calculation is the difference in perceived pain and suffering. If the defending party believes that pain and suffering were minimal, they will use the lowest multiplier. An experienced personal injury attorney will craft an evidence-based argument about how they reached the number they did. 

“Per Diem” Calculation

The “per diem” calculation is based on the idea of paying the plaintiff a daily amount of how much the injury is costing them. If your pain and suffering are calculated this way, it usually takes the average amount you make per day and multiply it by the amount of time the injury affects you. 

The problem with this type of pain and suffering calculation is it usually isn’t conducive to long-term injuries.

Am I Eligible for Pain and Suffering Compensation?

Pain and suffering compensation isn’t easy to define. Laws for compensation vary by state, so It’s critical to talk with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. They can help you see what your options are when pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. 

Your typical pain and suffering awards are based on evidence of your pain. Due to the complex and abstract nature of pain and suffering, the more proof you can produce, the more quantifiable it becomes. A strong base of evidence is the foundation to prove to the judge, jury or defending insurance company that you need compensation to make yourself whole. 

  • Keep a detailed record of any conversations you’ve had with medical professionals. As cases and compensation amounts get more extensive, you will need more documentation to prove your position.
  • Include conversations you’ve had with mental health professionals. Just like your bodily pain, documenting your discussions with a counselor or therapist can help demonstrate the mental pain and suffering you are experiencing as well.
  • Journal how your pain and suffering have affected your work and personal life. Clear examples of how you can’t return to work or carry out other daily tasks due to your pain help build your case.

If you are dealing with the aftermath of a personal injury, contact Tolbert Beadle today. Our combined law expertise and dedication to delivering winning results can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call, fill out a contact form or start a chat with us today to see how we can help.