What Is Pain and Suffering Worth in a Lawsuit?
When you’ve been involved in an accident, it’s more than just your physical body that needs to heal.
Pain and suffering are unique human experiences, and the courts recognise that the quality of a person’s life can be significantly altered due to the negligence or criminal intent of another person. Personal injury law seeks to retrieve damages from a responsible party for economic and non-economic damages.
What are economic damages?
Economic damages are those that can be calculated based on the tangible expenses that you incurred as a result of being in a car accident, slip and fall, or another type of accident. Examples of economic damages include:
● Property damage: The vehicle that you were driving at the time of the accident, or any other damage to your property as a result of the accident.
● Medical expenses: The total of your medical bills from receiving treatment for your personal injury.
● Lost earnings: If you were unable to work after your car accident but have been able to return, then the amount that you would have made had you been able to to work is calculated when determining your settlement.
● Lost future wages: However, if you have not been able to return to work, or you were disabled and will not be able to return to your prior employment, then the lost future income you would have earned is calculated based on your salary or hourly wages.
● Estimated future expenses: If your injuries will require ongoing medical treatment, such as physical therapy, then the amount that you will need to continue will be calculated.
What are Non-Economic Damages?
Non-economic damages are those that cannot be calculated as easily as the ones that have been listed above. These include pain and suffering, such as disfigurement and a loss of normal life. With a diminished capacity to work, engage in family activities, and live an independent life that was enjoyed before, the quality of a person’s life can be significantly diminished as well.
How Are Pain and Suffering Calculated?
After all of your economic damages are calculated, they are then multiplied by a number between 1.5 and 5. The insurance adjuster is not going to tell you which number they choose when determining how much to offer. If there has been a loss of life or if someone is disfigured, the multiplier may be higher.
For example, if you have a job where you earn $900 a week and have been out of work for two weeks due to your injuries, then your compensation for missed time at work is $1,800. You also have a total of $3,000 that you owe for your medical care after your accident. Between your medical bills and missed work, you are owed $4,800. Your compensation would typically be somewhere between $7200 and $24,000, which is $4,800 multiplied by 1.5 and 5, respectively.
Why You Need a Personal Injury Attorney
Your attorney can present your case in a way that maximises your chances of receiving the maximum compensation possible for your injuries. But keep in mind that insurance companies are trying to save money for themselves, so you need someone on your side who is fighting for your best interest. Specialist personal injury lawyers can answer questions you may have about your personal injury.