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How is pain and suffering calculated as part of a damage claim?

If you are injured due to the negligence of another person, it can cause you to go through extended treatment and recovery time. You will naturally want to pursue monetary compensation for any losses you incurred. This can include the wages you lost by not being able to work and having medical costs paid for that were not covered by insurance. You may want to even cover losses due to missing out on favorite activities or even the loss of companionship.

Pain and suffering is another way you can receive benefits due to an injury that was someone else’s fault. While we all know what both pain and suffering are, when it comes to personal injury compensation claim, it is viewed as a loss of comfort, happiness and the ability to live a happy productive life after an accident.

There are usually two ways your pain and suffering can be divided up:

  • Physical pain – This can be from the pain caused by the accident or the pain you have in recovery. It can include the pain you experience during physical treatment while rehabbing and from the loss of feeling or permanent numbness in one part of your body.
  • Emotional/mental pain – This can include, depression, fear, anxiety, anger, general listlessness or lack of motivation. 

Calculating pain and suffering

When it comes to determining pain and suffering, it is one thing to say how much pain you were in and how much you suffered, but it really comes down to documenting and proving it. If you are dealing with psychological trauma, you need to work with a therapist who can document through professional opinion how you have been affected. This will be the same for pain. If you can keep a journal about your progress, setbacks, treatments, conversations with doctors and everything you went through dealing with the pain, you can corroborate your experience with a doctor who can concur your experience in writing. The more written documents you can have, the better you can prove your pain and suffering.

Pain and suffering multiplier

There is also a general damages multiplier equation that insurance companies use to calculate your pain and suffering. This is done by adding up all the damages you have faced and assigning that amount to a number between 1.5 and 5. The most serious injuries would be a five and could even be higher. You would then multiply that number by the medical expenses, lost wages and treatment bills your incurred. If that amount equals $10,000 and you have serious enough injuries to equate a five on the multiplier scale, your pain and suffering amount would be $50,000 (5 x $10,000).

The use of the multiplier is usually just used for providing a framework to come to a specific figure. There can be instances where different circumstances come into play. For example, if your suffering is more substantial than what medical costs were. This can be the case if you suffer a large scar on your face.

The compensation you receive after suffering an injury due to someone else’s fault will be very important and critical for you. It is imperative that you have an attorney who can work with you on navigating your pain and suffering claim so you can get the full amount you are entitled to. 

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