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Calculating damages for pain and suffering

| Feb 2, 2021 | Car Crashes

If you sustain injuries in a car accident, you may receive one or more types of compensation following a successful lawsuit.

Compensation for damages such as medical bills or vehicle repairs is straightforward since these expenses have a paper trail. Calculating damages for pain and suffering, however, is a bit more complicated.

Compensation depends on many factors

Pain and suffering are highly subjective concepts. What is extremely painful for one person may not be for another. According to FindLaw, courts take the following factors into consideration when awarding damages for pain and suffering:

  • The severity of your injury
  • Your character and personality
  • Any disfigurement resulting from the accident
  • Whether doctors expect long-lasting consequences
  • Your recovery times
  • The amount you will receive in special damages

Different methods to calculate damages

While the courts take the abovementioned factors into consideration, there are other ways to award pain and suffering damages. For example, it is not uncommon for a judge to multiply your special damages award by an integer to determine your compensation for pain and suffering. The multiplier is typically between 1.5 and five, depending on the circumstances of your injury.

Some courts may also use a per-diem rate to determine your pain and suffering compensation. Under this method, a daily rate will apply to however many days you are in pain due to the accident. This method is not necessarily the best method to use for long-term injuries, however.

Compensation for pain and suffering is a complicated matter because of the very nature of subjective pain. The courts try to utilize different methods to fairly compensate you for your suffering.