Car accidents can be traumatizing experiences that cause both physical pain and emotional distress. If you’ve ever been injured in a crash, you know how painful and life-altering the aftermath can be. But how do you put a price on that pain and suffering?
Determining the value of non-economic damages like pain and suffering can be a complex process that depends on various factors. Keep reading to learn what qualifies as “pain and suffering” and how attorneys calculate it.
What Counts as Pain and Suffering?
In a personal injury claim, there are two types of damages that a plaintiff can seek: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage are easy to quantify.
On the other hand, non-economic damages are intangible losses that are more difficult to calculate, such as physical suffering, emotional pain, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Pain and Suffering Is a Non-Economic Damage
The pain and suffering category is a major component of non-economic damages. It can encompass physical, emotional, and psychological injuries that a victim experiences due to the accident.
This can include physical discomfort, activity limitations, emotional pain, anxiety, and depression.
The Value of Pain and Suffering Is Highly Subjective
It is important to note that estimating the value of pain and suffering can be challenging, as it is subjective and varies from case to case. Factors such as the severity of the injuries, their impact on the victim’s daily life, and the duration of the pain and suffering will all be considered when calculating damages.
If you have been injured in an accident and are experiencing pain and suffering, you might need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. A car accident lawyer from our team can help you navigate the legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve, including damages for pain and suffering.
Pain and Suffering Calculation Methods
Calculating pain and suffering damages in a personal injury case can be complex. Different methods can be used to determine the value of these damages, including the multiplier method and the per diem method.
Each method has its strengths and weaknesses, and the best approach will depend on the specific circumstances of your case.
What Is the Multiplier Method?
The multiplier method is commonly used to calculate pain and suffering damages. This method involves multiplying the total economic damages (such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage) by a certain number to determine compensation for the victim’s pain and suffering.
That number, called a multiplier, is typically between 1.5 and five. The number used as the multiplier depends on various factors, including the severity of your injury, the severity of your pain and suffering, and the impact on your life.
A severe physical injury with significant long-term consequences will warrant a higher multiplier than a minor injury.
It is important to note that the multiplier method is just one of many ways to calculate pain and suffering damages, and the specific method used may vary depending on the circumstances of your case.
What Is the Per Diem Method?
Another way to calculate pain and suffering damages is using the per diem method. This method assigns a daily monetary value to the pain and suffering you experience. Then, that amount is multiplied by how many days you suffered from the injuries.
For example, if the per diem value is $100 and you suffer for 100 days, the pain and suffering damages would be $10,000. This method is often used when the injuries are expected to be long-lasting or permanent.
It’s worth noting that using either the multiplier or per diem method is not an exact science and is subject to the interpretation of the jury or judge. Fortunately, the South Carolina Non-Economic Damage Awards Act provides a lot of leeway for personal injury claims that do not involve medical malpractice.
Proving Non-Economic Damages
Proving non-economic damages like pain and suffering is often more challenging than proving economic ones like medical bills or lost wages.
Since there are no objective measures for pain and suffering, it’s ultimately up to your attorney to convince the judge or jury that you have suffered in a way that warrants compensation.
One approach to proving non-economic damages is to present evidence of how the accident has impacted your life. For example, you could testify about your daily struggles with pain, difficulty sleeping, or the inability to perform activities you enjoyed before the accident.
Another way to prove non-economic damages is to present expert testimony from medical and mental health professionals. These expert witnesses can explain how your car accident injuries will likely cause pain and suffering in the short and long term.
Getting Help from a Car Accident Lawyer
Proving non-economic damages in a car accident case often requires a combination of evidence, expert testimony, and persuasive argumentation from your attorney. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you build a case for maximum compensation for your pain and suffering.
If you have been injured in an accident and are seeking compensation, don’t go through it alone. The Thumbs Up Guys at Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward Injury Attorneys can help you navigate the legal process, gather evidence and testimony, and negotiate with insurance companies to obtain a fair settlement or court award.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation.