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How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated?

December 23, 2020

If you or somebody you care about has sustained an injury caused by the careless or negligent actions of another individual, company, or entity, there is a good chance you will receive compensation for your injuries and other losses. However, securing this compensation can be complicated, particularly when it comes to calculating how much you should receive. Here, we want to briefly discuss the difference between economic and non-economic compensation as well as how “pain and suffering” damages are calculated in a personal injury claim.

Economic Damages and Non-Economic Damages

Personal injury victims often sustain various types of losses following an accident. We regularly see that injury victims receive both economic damages and non-economic damages following an incident.

  • Economic damages refer to the types of compensation that are reasonably easy to calculate following an injury. This includes things such as an injury victim’s medical bills, lost wages, household out-of-pocket expenses, property damages, etc.
  • Non-economic damages refer to the types of losses that are not as easy to quantify in terms of monetary value. These are often referred to as an injury victim’s mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering.

Calculating Pain and Suffering After an Accident

There are various ways that a personal injury victim’s non-economic damages (or pain and suffering) may be calculated following an accident. Attorneys who help victims in these cases often use one of two methods.

The first method, and generally the most common, is referred to as using a “multiplier.” When an attorney uses a multiplier to calculate pain and suffering, they will first add up all of the injury victim’s economic damages. They will then take that total and multiply it by a set number (usually 1.5 to 5).

For an example of how this could work, suppose an injury victim sustained $100,000 in medical bills and lost wages after suffering from a temporary brain injury. To properly calculate the pain and suffering damages for this victim, an attorney would take that $100,000 and multiply it by three to arrive at $300,000 for pain and suffering. In total, the injury victim and their attorney would ask for $400,000 from the at-fault party.

The second method for calculating pain and suffering damages is using a per diem approach. Under this method, a set amount of money will be assigned to every day after the date of the accident until the injury victim has reached maximum medical recovery. For example, if $300 is assigned to each day between an accident and full recovery, and it takes 300 days for a victim to recover, then the total pain and suffering losses would be calculated at $90,000.

You Need to Work With an Attorney

If you or somebody you care about has sustained an injury caused by the careless or negligent actions of somebody else, you should work with a skilled Lexington personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. These cases can become very complex, particularly when trying to properly calculate economic damages and pain and suffering damages. Let an attorney use their resources to conduct a complete investigation into the incident and help you obtain maximum compensation.