car accident

How Is an Award for Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated?

There can be a range of losses associated with a car accident. There is property damage. There is physical injury. Additionally, there is the mental and emotional trauma that can be sustained. That is why, when you have been injured in a car accident caused by the negligent action or inaction of someone else, you have the legal right to not only pursue compensation for economic harm you have suffered such as medical bills but also for non-economic harm you have endured such as pain and suffering damages.

How Is an Award for Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated?

Pain and suffering damages reflect the emotional trauma and mental distress that a person can experience due to being injured in a car accident. It refers to more than just being involved in the accident itself, although that alone can be traumatic. It can include the pain the injury victim endured and may continue to endure. It can include the discomfort of living with injuries and related restrictions on physical activity as well as having to undergo sometimes invasive and intensive medical treatment of those injuries.

Pain and suffering may be the result of physical pain and discomfort experienced by an accident victim. It may also involve depression or anxiety resulting from the accident or injuries sustained. In sum, pain and suffering may include a range of emotional or psychological harm sustained by a car accident injury victim.

While it is relatively simple to calculate economic damages such as medical bills and lost wages, after all, you can look to the outstanding medical bill amounts and pay stubs to support these damage amounts, calculating pain and suffering damages can be very difficult. How do you quantify pain and suffering? There are actually several different methods of calculating pain and suffering damages.

The multiplier method for calculating pain and suffering is by far the preferred method employed by insurance companies when calculating settlement awards. With the multiplier method, a person’s economic damages are multiplied by a multiplier ranging from 1.5 to 5. To determine what the multiplier will be, many factors may be considered such as the severity of the injuries involved and the severity of the accident as well as the level of treatment needed to address the injuries.

There is also the far less commonly employed “Per diem” method. Per diem is a Latin phrase meaning “by the day.” With the per diem method, a dollar value is assigned for one day. This dollar value is commonly the injured party’s daily wages earned. This dollar value is then multiplied times the number of days the injured party was impacted by the car accident injuries.

Personal Injury Attorneys

Pain and suffering damages represent real harm suffered by a party injured in a car accident. Substantiating a claim for pain and suffering damages, however, presents unique challenges and can often lead to a battle with an insurance company. They try to exploit the fact that pain and suffering damages can be difficult to calculate to their advantage and that means making every effort to devalue your claim. At SoCal Injury Lawyers, we stand up to the insurance companies and fight for your legal right to full and fair compensation for your losses, including pain and suffering damages. Contact us today.