You might have heard the term “pain and suffering” in association with lawsuits, but what is it — and is it prudent to go for pain and suffering in your car accident claim?
Pain and suffering is a legal word that describes a wide range of injuries you might have suffered if you were in a car accident. That’s not just physical pain. It could also include emotional and mental trauma, like losing sleep, depression, worry, inconvenience and loss of quality of life.
Pain and suffering is included in the “non-economic” side of damages, i.e., it’s not easily seen on paper in the form of medical bills, lost income, the cost to fix your car or buy a new one, and other things like that.
Pain and suffering isn’t an easy thing to calculate.
How do you put a number on emotional distress, anxiety and fear? Although there’s no written statute on how exactly it is determined, there are ways that it can be factored in, and with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney you should receive a fair amount of money for your pain.
What factors are considered in pain and suffering?
Here are some of the things insurance adjusters, lawyers and judges look at when calculating pain and suffering:
- How severe were your injuries?
- How much physical pain and overall discomfort are typically associated with your injuries?
- How have your injuries affected your life? Are you unable to play sports? Are you unable to be a good partner in your relationship? Does your injury prevent you from your hobbies?
- How long will it take you to completely heal from your injuries?
- Are you on pain medication for the long-term, or are you required to have long-term physical therapy?
What methods do adjusters and lawyers use to determine pain and suffering?
There are two popular methods that lawyers and insurance adjusters use to calculate a starting point for pain and suffering:
- Per-diem – they set a dollar amount for each and every day you lived in pain
- Multiplier – this is a number based on your economic damages — a multiple of your medical bills and lost income.
How do you negotiate a higher amount of pain and suffering?
Getting the most for your injuries, as well as your pain and suffering, is a job best left up to an experienced personal injury attorney. He or she is able to better gauge the severity of your injuries and the potential monetary value of your pain and suffering.
These monetary awards can vary from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. There’s a lot at stake.