An Overview of the Personal Injury Pain and Suffering Calculator
If you have been injured in an accident, you may be wondering how much money you can recover for your pain and suffering. While there is no precise formula to calculate this amount, there are online tools that can help provide a ballpark estimate.
In this blog article, we will give an overview of the personal injury pain and suffering calculator, discuss the factors that go into calculating damages, and offer some tips on how to maximize your compensation. Let’s get started!
Understanding Pain and Suffering
The compensation paid for an injury can be divided into two different categories: economic and non-economic damages.
A claim for economic damages covers out-of-pocket expenses and wages lost due to the incident. The value of these items can be determined by a jury or an insurance adjuster.
The term non-economic damages refers to damages that do not have an inherent value. You can refer to them as different areas of your life where your injuries have had a profound effect.
The following facts will give you a better understanding of pain and suffering damages and how they are calculated.
The Concept of Economic Damages
Economic damages include all of your out-of-pocket expenses, such as:
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Lost income
- Diminished earning capacity
Economic damages ensure that you will not have to pay for medical treatment, mental and physical therapy, or medication that is necessary as a result of your injury. They also ensure that you receive the income that you would have lost while you recover from your injuries.
Economic Damages Limitations
When someone is injured in an accident, their life can be forever changed, whether they suffer from physical pain or mental decline. While emotional distress and physical pain are difficult to quantify, they can have a profound impact on a person’s quality of life. As a result, many victims of personal injury seek compensation for these “noneconomic” damages.
For instance, economic damages cannot compensate you for the panic attacks you suffer as you relive the accident. They also cannot compensate you for insomnia caused by the severe pain of your injuries. Those losses are very real and deserve compensation through non-economic damages.
Determining Non-Economic Damages
The idea of “pain and suffering” damages is often skewed out of context. After all, it sounds like something that lawyers invent to get more from insurance companies and negligent parties. Nevertheless, pain and suffering are real, and they are not covered by ordinary economic damages.
It is important to understand what pain and suffering cover before using the pain and suffering calculator. It could be thought of as all the ways in which your injuries have changed your life. Pain and suffering can be associated with a number of non-economic losses. Below are examples of some of these losses.
Pain will change your life. You might hurt every time you move. You might not be able to find a comfortable position. You will probably lose sleep. You might even become depressed, feel sad, lose hope, or have suicidal impulses. Non-economic damages cover all of these effects of pain.
Pain damages are calculated both economically and non-economically. For example, the economic damages for pain cover the prescription cost of pain medication, while the non-economic damages cover your subjective experience of pain and its impact on your life.
Another name for suffering is mental anguish. After an accident, you might experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, or other mental health problems. If a close relative or friend died or was injured in the accident, you might also feel grief.
If you suffer from insomnia or other sleep disorders as a result of your injuries, you will be compensated for these types of suffering through non-economic damages.
The calculation of economic damages and non-economic damages can be illustrated with another example. The therapy sessions to overcome your PTSD would be covered by your economic damages. The panic attacks that caused you to give up driving would be covered by your non-economic damages.
Being injured is inconvenient. You need to go to doctor appointments and therapy sessions. You have to install grab bars in your bathroom. You may even need to have someone else drive you to the grocery store and doctor’s office. These types of inconveniences are compensated through non-economic damages.
Diminished Quality of Life
As a result of your injuries, your quality of life may be diminished. You may dwell on your injuries. You may lose interest in your hobbies. You might have a shorter life expectancy. You can claim non-economic damages for all the ways in which your quality of life has been impacted.
Loss of Activities
After your injuries, you may be unable to carry out your normal daily activities. You might lose the ability to dress, shower, cook, or drive. You might not be able to bend over to pick up your child or sit down to watch a movie. The pain and suffering calculator can estimate your non-economic damages for your loss of activities.
Proof of Pain and Suffering
It is hard to imagine how anyone would develop a formula for pain and suffering compensation. Pain and suffering losses have no inherent value. After all, how much would one night of pain-free sleep be worth? Many economists have theories for calculating pain and suffering. One of the most common methods is the multiplier method.
The Multiplier Method
The multiplier method is the easiest theory for calculating damages. A pain and suffering compensation calculator that uses the multiplier method simply multiplies the economic damages by a “multiplier” to arrive at the total damages, including non-economic damages.
Let’s break that down even more. To begin, the multiplier is determined. It is a rating between 1.5 and 5.0 based on the amount of pain and suffering you have experienced.
An insurance adjuster will assign a multiplier based on your pain and suffering and your medical bills when you file an insurance claim. The pain and suffering compensation calculator will use the same assumptions. Alternatively, a jury will consider evidence of your injuries’ severity and duration rather than assumptions based on the size of your medical bills.
After assigning a multiplier, the insurance adjuster or jury will multiply your economic damages by the multiplier to determine your total damages. So, for example, if an insurance adjuster selects a multiplier of 2.1 and your economic damages are $12,000, the insurance adjuster’s formula for pain and suffering settlement would give you $25,200, of which $13,200 represents pain and suffering.
How Do Lawyers Figure Pain and Suffering?
One of the most common questions that personal injury attorneys are asked is, “How are attorneys able to prove pain and suffering?”
There are several methods that lawyers can use to prove pain and suffering. First, medical records can be used to establish the severity of the injury and the amount of pain that the victim has endured. Second, witnesses can testify as to how the injury has affected the victim’s daily life. Lastly, experts can provide opinions as to the future effects of the injury and the likely amount of pain and suffering that will be experienced.
Whether you are dealing with a claims adjuster or a jury, you will need to present proof of your physical and mental anguish. Evidence of physical and mental anguish may include:
- Pain prescriptions
- Mental therapy records
- Testimony from relatives
- Notes from medical records
By carefully gathering and presenting this evidence, lawyers can help victims obtain the compensation they deserve for their pain and suffering.
Maximize Your Settlement With Goodnow and McKay
Having worked on behalf of clients who have suffered personal injuries in several different circumstances, Goodnow McKay has extensive experience recovering compensation. In the event of an accident, injury, or wrongful death claim, our attorneys are committed to obtaining the best possible outcome for our clients.
We can help you move forward with your accident and injury case as quickly as possible and recover the compensation you deserve by scheduling your free consultation. Contact us today to get started!