pain and suffering

How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated in a Personal Injury Case?

The full impact of a personal injury may take days, weeks, or even months to show up. While some losses can be calculated financially—including medical bills, time away from work, and property damage—others are much harder to put a price tag on. If you have endured a significant injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering.

Learn more about the ways you may calculate pain and suffering, and for more personalized advice regarding your claim, call Mann & Potter at 205-879-9661.

The Physical and Emotional Consequences of a Serious Injury

The compensation you get for pain and suffering is meant to make you whole for all of your non-financial losses after an injury. After a serious injury, you could spend hours, days, or months in excruciating pain.

Can you put a price on that? That is exactly what a pain and suffering settlement is for. You can never get that time back, but you can get some compensation to help you navigate the consequences of it.

Serious pain can have a negative impact on your mental health. People who suffer major injuries often struggle with anxiety, mental anguish, depression, or even PTSD after their accident. Not only does this significantly decrease their quality of life, but they also often have to spend a substantial amount of money on mental health treatment to reach maximum improvement.

There are no hard and fast rules regarding pain and suffering settlements. A wide variety of factors are considered, and many specialists use one of two methods to get a ballpark figure when negotiating.

Per Diem Calculations

Per diem means “by the day.” It is usually used to refer to payments made on a daily basis, and it means the same thing in the context of pain and suffering payouts. Using this method, the attorney appoints a specific dollar amount for each day from the accident until the victim reaches maximum improvement. The amount set per day depends largely on the severity of the injuries, how much they interfere with the individual’s daily obligations, and how much the victim’s quality of life decreases.

Multiplier Calculations

Insurance companies and attorneys may also use the multiplier method to determine how much compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering. They take the total amount of calculable damages and then multiply that amount by a number between one and five to determine your pain and suffering payout. Calculable damages include medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. The more extensive your injuries are and the more they affect your daily life, the higher multiplier your attorney or insurance company will use.

Proving Pain and Suffering

It’s clear that calculating a pain and suffering settlement is more of an art than a science. The more evidence you have to back up your claim and demonstrate the extent of your suffering, the more room you have to demand a full and fair payout. People often fail to document their pain levels from day to day, assuming that their injury speaks for itself. However, unless you intentionally write down the ways that your accident has affected you, you’re likely to forget the small details as time passes. To prove your pain and suffering, consider these tips:

  • Keep a personal injury journal. This doesn’t have to be an in-depth journal that explores your feelings and concerns. Just take a few minutes each day to write down how your injury affected your day and anything you were unable to do because of your injury. You’ll also want to write down a retelling of the accident, including as many details as possible.
  • Take note of specific accommodations you make every day. If you have to hire a housekeeper because you can no longer do laundry or mop, write that down. If you need to pay a babysitter because you are unable to take your kids to activities, write that down. Anything that you can no longer do should be documented.
  • Put a specific number on your pain level each day. A 1-10 scale is the most commonly used pain scale. Be honest but practical. Marking down a 10/10 every day will make your claims seem insincere.

Explore Your Claim Options with Mann & Potter

Proceeding with a personal injury claim might seem overwhelming in the aftermath of a serious accident. The team at Mann & Potter can support you throughout this entire process. Give us a call at 205-879-9661 or reach out to us online to set up a consultation now.

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