When you are injured in an accident, placing a value on your economic damages is quite straightforward. You keep a detailed file on your medical expenses and out-of-pocket costs you have incurred related to the accident and add them up. Also, the wages you have lost by not being able to work, bonuses you missed, and future earnings you may not receive if your injuries become permanent or require long-term treatment, are also added.
Suppose any property was damaged during the accident, such as your car. In that case, you should also include the amount needed to repair it or replace it and any money you are spending on other means of transportation to get to your appointments. If any of these amounts are difficult to calculate, your personal injury lawyer can explain to you how to put a precise value to your injuries.
However, there are other types of damages that are much harder to calculate, such as the pain and suffering you are experiencing. This is not something that you can easily measure but nevertheless needs to be included in the amount of damages you are seeking.
Understanding Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering cannot be treated by a healthcare professional because it is not a medical expense. What it does address is the generalized loss of comfort, happiness, and will to enjoy life you are experiencing.
Although there may be a generalized belief that people who file personal injury claims get large amounts when it comes to pain and suffering, that is not always the case. This is because, on the one hand, insurance companies are experts at putting a figure on pain and suffering, and, on the other, there are federally and state-imposed caps on damages in place.
Also, if you are a witness to an accident, you are likely not entitled to receive any damages for your pain and suffering since you are not the direct victim of the incident.
Calculating Pain and Suffering
A multiplier of between one and five is used to place a value on pain and suffering. The number chosen is directly related to the extent of your injuries and how much you have spent on medical expenses to recover your health.
If you have spent $30,000 on medical bills and it has been determined that a multiplier of 3X will be used, your pain and suffering damages could amount to $90,000, which would be added to the medical costs.
The hardest part is coming up with the most accurate multiplier for your case. To arrive at this number, it is crucial that you document everything. This means that your pain needs to be clearly documented and that your records show that every time a doctor asks you how you are feeling, you answer honestly and not just answer “fine” by rote.
Learn more here on how to present to the insurance company the clearest picture of your actual pain and suffering. You don’t want them to question the validity of your claim, and you also want them to use the highest possible multiplier when it comes to determining the amount for your pain and suffering.