How is Pain and Suffering Calculated?

Injured client enduring pain and suffering

Pain and suffering is a legal term that refers to the physical and emotional stress occurring following an injury. When a client files a lawsuit because of an injury, it is common for them to seek compensation for their experiences. There are two main types of “damages” available to the injured person during the lawsuit. These are economic or special damages, and non-economic or general damages. Special damages are easy to calculate as these are medical bills, lost income, or any other cost due to the injury sustained. When it is time to calculate general damages, things can get tricky. Since general damages consist of physical pain, discomfort, and emotional distress, it is hard to calculate the exact monetary value. There are a few ways to quantify pain and suffering.

How to Calculate Pain and Suffering

It certainly is not easy to find an exact dollar amount to place on general damages. After all, how do you put a price tag on someone’s pain, emotional distress, and suffering? However, there are two approaches that most insurance companies take when calculating pain and suffering as part of a settlement.

The first and most common approach is the multiplier method. This approach adds all special damages (bills, lost income, etc.) and multiplies that between 1.5 and 5. The second number used, called the multiplier, will help calculate the pain and suffering in the case. The exact multiplier will depend on several factors that relate to the case. These include the seriousness of the injuries, recovery time, day-to-day complications, and if the other party was clearly at fault.

The second most common method to use for calculating pain and suffering is the “per diem” method. “Per diem,” meaning per day, sets a dollar amount for every day pain was experienced. However, this approach can become tricky when others demand an exceedingly high amount for the pain experienced. So, when using this approach, attorneys often designate a reasonable rate by using your actual daily earnings. This approach is useful when it comes to short term injuries. However, when injuries are long term or permanent, the method becomes unsustainable.

When calculating pain and suffering in lawsuits, it is best to use both methods to start to establish a baseline for each method. You can then adjust based on what’s reasonable. Ultimately, the numbers and financial amounts all boil down to the negotiations during the settlement.

MLG Attorneys Fight for Your Compensation

Any accident the leaves you or a loved one with debilitating injuries can be devastating from both a physical and emotional perspective. At MLG, our attorneys are leaders in the realm of Personal Injury, recovering several multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements for our clients who have been wronged. Let our attorneys fight for you and your family to ensure you are fully compensated for your losses.

Contact MLG by completing the form or calling (909) 345-8110 today for a free consultation with our Personal Injury team.

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