How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated?
Posted on Friday, June 10th, 2022 at 10:07 pm
As you and your legal team build a personal injury case, you should consider your “pain and suffering.” By claiming pain and suffering, you are asking for compensation for the physical pain and emotional stress that directly resulted from the accident. Pain and suffering is a non-economic loss, and it can be difficult to calculate a monetary value for these claims. This post will discuss how your legal team calculates pain and suffering.
Pain and suffering is just one element among many others you will work to obtain compensation for. The Beaumont personal injury lawyers of Portner Bond, PLLC can build a case to recover the cost of medical bills, lost wages, and other compensation you deserve. We take an aggressive but compassionate approach that defends your rights while seeking to hold the party that caused your injuries accountable. If you have pressing questions about your case, call us today at (409) 838-4444, or reach out online for a free initial consultation.
Step 1: Know the Definition
To calculate pain and suffering accurately, it’s important to know what can and cannot factor into a pain and suffering claim.
Pain and suffering claims in Texas can include (but are not limited to:)
- Chronic pain
- Disability or disfigurement
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Inability to enjoy the same spousal companionship as before due to your injuries (also called loss of consortium)
- Inability to enjoy your favorite pastimes as before due to your injuries
- Lost life expectancy
Due to each plaintiff’s unique circumstances, the elements of a pain and suffering claim will vary from case to case. While you could use a list of items to consider when building a claim, discussing what to claim with your lawyer and trusted loved ones is best. Contact us today.
Step 2: Begin Early and Document Well
Preparing to make any personal injury claim requires you to gather evidence proving your losses. The most prudent thing you can do for a successful claim is to begin documenting your pain and suffering as soon as possible.
Ways you can document pain and suffering include:
Make a pain and suffering diary – A pain and suffering diary can be a powerful tool. You can create regular documentation detailing how and where you experience physical pain. Also, document how you feel mentally and emotionally, including the time and intensity of depressive episodes, anxiety attacks, or panic attacks.
Build a relationship with a therapist – A certified and well-trained therapist can help by creating formal documentation of anxiety, depression, PTSD, or other mental health problems you may experience after the accident. This documentation should include the root causes and intensity of your emotional pain and suffering,
Obtain medical documentation of physical pain – Today, pain management is a common component in the treatment of serious injuries. If you keep a pain and suffering diary, your doctor could incorporate it into their medical documentation and will consider it when designing or optimizing your treatment plan.
Be honest when documenting your pain and suffering. For example, don’t rank pain as more severe than it is or list panic attacks that you did not have. Exaggerating or lying about your pain and suffering will weaken your case.
Step 3: Choose a Calculation Method
There are two standard methods that plaintiffs use to calculate pain and suffering. Once you have documentation to prove your pain and suffering, you and your lawyer will decide which method is best for your case.
The Multiplier Method
The multiplier method is the more straightforward and commonly used option. It considers the relationship between your economic and non-economic losses to arrive at the amount you should claim.
To use the multiplier method, you must first total your economic losses. These include:
- Medical and hospital bills
- The cost to repair/replace property damaged in the accident
- Renovations, home care, or other services to aid you in your daily life while you recover
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
After you find the total, you will multiply it by a number from 1.5 to 5. Which multiplier you use will depend on the severity of your injuries, with five being the most severe.
The Per-Diem Method
Plaintiffs in more nuanced personal injury cases may use the per-diem method to calculate pain and suffering. To use this method, you and your lawyer determine or estimate the cost of your pain and suffering on a single day (per diem.) You then multiply this number by how many days your recovery took/will take.
Contact a Beaumont Personal Injury Lawyer Today
To maximize your possible pain and suffering compensation, it is best to find professional legal counsel right away. The team at Portner Bond, PLLC can help you gather evidence of your pain and suffering and pursue the fair compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, reach out online, or call us today at (409) 838-4444.