In a personal injury case, whether it is a slip and fall or car accident, there are two types of damages awarded to the plaintiff. These include economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are those that are easy to calculate and are losses that stem from the accident or injury. These include things like medical costs, lost income, property damage, and other out-of-pocket expenses that are easily proved. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, refer to those that are not easily calculated – which can include stress, pain and suffering, anxiety, and depression associated with an injury.
In a personal injury claim, your compensation is based on both types of damages. However, you may be wondering specifically how your pain and suffering is calculated when it is not as easily calculated as economic damages. What are the factors that are involved in attaching a monetary figure to this emotional damage?
There is no set dollar amount assigned to pain and suffering, but there are numerous ways your attorney or an insurance claims adjuster can calculate the pain and suffering damages for your injury settlement. The two types of methods used are the daily rate and multiplier method.
The multiplier method takes your easily calculated expenses -– lost wages and medical bills mostly – then multiplies this number by 0.5 to as much as 5. The result is the amount you will be rewarded in pain and suffering damages.
For the daily rate method, the number of days you have been in pain are added to the number of anticipated days of continual pain – if you’re still recovering from your injury. Then, a daily rate is applied and multiplied by the number of days that have been assigned to your injury. The amount is the per diem result or the pain and suffering damage amount.
Even after the amount has been calculated, your attorney may use other methods for demanding more than what was found in the per diem or multiplier method. This is because it comes down to negotiation and the type of case. If your case is easy to prove and win, you may receive more for pain and suffering than if your case is harder to prove in court.
The biggest piece of evidence that will help justify your higher pain and suffering settlement will be your medical records. If the records and expert testimony both show that you have had extensive pain and suffering because of your injury, a higher multiplier will be used to determine the amount of damages you will receive. If, however, the pain and suffering is not as easily proved or not documented in medical records, a smaller multiplier may be used.
Calculating damages comes down to experience. The personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kevin J. Roach, LLC can help you with your case. Schedule a free consultation to discuss your potential settlement at 866-519-0085, or fill out an online contact form with your questions.