How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated?Published: Sep 11, 2017 in Personal Injury
During a personal injury claim, certain types of damages are relatively easy to calculate, like your medical expenses and lost wages. You can review your medical bills and your recent pay stubs to quickly determine how much compensation you deserve for these financial injuries. However, you are entitled to a number of other types of damages during a personal injury claim, including pain and suffering.
These are much harder to calculate.
Alabama does not have one set rule on how to determine pain and suffering. Instead, your best solution is to work with an experienced Alabama personal injury lawyer from Belt & Bruner, P.C. who understands the various potential calculation methods and how to review what is appropriate for your specific circumstances.
Contact us today at (205) 933-1500 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about personal injury damages.
What Does Pain and Suffering Include?
Pain and suffering is an umbrella term that includes a number of unique injuries, including temporary or permanent:
- Physical pain or discomfort
- Physical limitations
- Emotional distress, which may include a diagnosable disorder such as depression or anxiety
- Other emotional or psychological trauma
One of the first steps of calculating pain and suffering is to fully document what you are physically and emotionally experiencing. Keeping a daily diary and working with an experienced attorney can be helpful. Without skilled legal advice, you may not include every relevant aspect of your pain and suffering into your calculations. This could lead to you to accepting a settlement offer that is far lower than what you deserve under the law.
Ways to Calculate Pain and Suffering
There are multiple ways attorneys, insurance companies, and courts use to calculate pain and suffering.
- The multiplier method: Under this method, you initially calculate all of your economic losses, including your medical expenses and lost wages. Once you have this baseline, you multiply it by a number between 1.5 and 5. Using a multiple of 1.5 is for minor injuries, multipliers of 2 or 3 are common for moderate injuries, and a multiplier of 4 or 5 are for significant and permanent injuries. You should speak with an attorney about whether this is method is appropriate for your situation and if so, which multiplier your case calls for. Which multiplier is appropriate is a common negotiation issue with insurance companies.
- The per diem method: A different method of calculating your pain and suffering is through determining a per diem, or per day, rate. An experienced attorney can help you determine an amount that is reasonable based on the physical pain, limitations, and emotional suffering you experience each day. This method is often most appropriate when you have suffered an injury you are likely to fully recover from. A per diem may not reasonably compensate you for a permanent or long-term injury.
- Utilizing previous case results: Determining an appropriate monetary sum is not always as simple as a math equation, particularly if you have suffered a life-altering injury. When you were significantly injured, an attorney will review previous similar cases to determine what others have received through settlements and jury awards. This can provide a great deal of insight into what your specific injuries and case are worth.
Contact Our Alabama Personal Injury Lawyers For Help
If you were injured in an accident, call our experienced Alabama personal injury lawyers at Belt & Bruner, P.C. right away. After getting hurt, you benefit from having a knowledgeable and skilled attorney by your side. We will thoroughly investigate what happened and work with your medical team and expert witnesses to gauge your physical, emotional, and financial damages. With a full understanding of your injuries and what you are going through, we will move forward with insurance settlement negotiations or a personal injury lawsuit. We will continuously strive to obtain the maximum amount of financial recovery possible in your situation.
Contact us online or call (205) 933-1500 today to schedule your free consultation. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury or negligence in Birmingham, Mobile, Huntsville, or Montgomery, call our law firm. We are here to help you.