If you have been injured in some type of accident, whether it be a car accident, a slip and fall, or something else, you know that the pain involved can extend far beyond the physical. Being in pain, living with pain, undergoing sometimes invasive medical treatment, and the impact all of this can have on a person’s life can be substantial. That is why injury victims can make a claim for pain and suffering damages in a personal injury action. While pain and suffering is very real, it can also be more complicated to calculate. Unlike economic damages, such as past and future medical bills, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering falls into the non-economic category of damages. This is because these bills and receipts, the hard numbers, used in calculating economic damages are not available in determining pain and suffering damages. How then are pain and suffering damages determined? We will discuss the answer to this question here
How are pain and suffering damages determined?
There are several methods that can be employed in order to determine pain and suffering damages. The most commonly used method is referred to as the “multiplier method.” In the multiplier method, the total actual damages award is calculated. Actual damages are those deemed necessary to properly compensate the injured person for the harm sustained as a direct result of the injuries incurred. Actual damages are also referred to as “compensatory damages. Once the actual damages have been calculated, the amount is multiplied by the “multiplier.” The multiplier is meant to reflect the degree of seriousness associated with the injured party’s pain and suffering, as well as other damages suffered. The multiplier generally falls in the range of 1.5 to 5. For extreme injuries, the multiplier may even reach upwards of 6 or 7.
In the multiplier method, there are several factors that are considered when determining what multiplier should be used. The clarity with which a driver’s fault can be determined may be a factor. The severity of the injuries sustained and the period of recovery are significant factors. Additionally, the level of proof to substantiate the level of pain and suffering experienced can also play a significant role in determining the multiplier.
To substantiate a claim for pain and suffering damages, there is a variety of evidence that can be employed. For instance, medical records and notes from treating physicians may be presented in support of pain and suffering damages. Furthermore, the injury victim’s testimony, as well as testimony from friends and family members, can play a critical role in the determination. Doctor testimony, as well as testimony from other experts in the medical field, may also be used to support a claim for pain and suffering damages.
Personal Injury Attorney
Pursuing full and fair compensation for the losses resulting from being injured in an accident can feel like an uphill battle. The insurance companies will be fighting you at every turn. At the Law Offices of Bryce Cook, we stand up for our clients and fight to see to it that they are properly compensated for their losses. Contact the Law Offices of Bryce Cook today.