Monetary damages are awarded in a car accident injury case to compensate victims for economic and non-economic losses. Economic losses are easy to quantify. But the same cannot be said for non-economic losses. One of the non-economic losses that are difficult to calculate is physical pain and emotional suffering associated with a car accident injury.
As anyone who has been in an accident involving serious injury can testify, the accompanying emotional distress and physical pain are real. The emotional and physical aspects of an injury generally have a more devastating effect on the victim as compared to financial losses such as medical bills, lost property, and loss of wages.
At Christopher Jackson Law, our car accident attorneys help clients get the compensation they deserve for their physical and emotional ordeal due to an injury caused by another person. In this post, we will explain what exactly is meant by pain and suffering and also how it is calculated.
Pain and Suffering - What Does It Means in the Car Accident Injury Context?
Pain and suffering is a legal term that refers to injuries that a person suffers due to an accident. The injuries relate to not just physical discomfort, but emotional pain as well, such as grief, fear, worry, insomnia, and reduced quality of life.
Car accident attorneys at our firm help plaintiffs get compensation for pain and suffering damages. We do our best to ensure that our clients get the maximum possible compensation for the pain and suffering.
How Are Damages for Pain and Suffering Calculated?
As mentioned previously, it's not easy to calculate the damages caused to pain and suffering. A number of factors influence the amount of compensation received by the plaintiff. Two common methods that are generally used in this regard include the daily rate (per diem) method and the multiplier method.
1. Daily Rate Method
The daily rate method is one approach to determine compensation for non-economic losses after an injury. The idea is to demand a certain dollar amount for everyday the victim has to live with the pain and discomfort caused by the accident.
Calculating the daily rate is not that easy. You have to use a 'reasonable rate' for quantifying the non-economic losses. Generally, daily earnings are used to determine the compensation amount. The basis of using daily earnings is that the emotional pain is comparable to the effort made in going to work each day.
A simple example can further clarify how the daily rate method works.
Suppose that your car was struck from behind and you sustained a whiplash injury. You were forced to take pain tablets and wear neck braces for three months. You continue to suffer pain for another three months. This makes a total of six months or about 180 days of pain. At your current job, you earn $200 per day, which means that you can claim $36,000.
The method is applicable for short-term or temporary injuries. It is not suitable for long-term or permanent injuries. For such injuries, you should get the help of an experienced car accident lawyer in Kentucky. The compensation will be based on pain and suffering for related cases in your area. This data is only available to lawyers who have subscribed to expensive services.
2. Multiplier Method
Another method that can be used to calculate compensation for the pain and suffering is the multiplier method. This is, in fact, the most common method used to determine special damages in a car accident injury case.
The method involves adding economic losses and multiplying the resultant figure by a number between 1.5 and 5. The multiplier chosen for a specific case will be determined by different factors that relate to your case. Some of the factors that influence the multiplier include the following.
· The seriousness of the injury
· Expectations of a recovery
· Time period of recovery
· The fault of the other party
Most insurance companies and car accident attorneys use the multiplier method to determine the settlement amount. The contentious point is what multiplier to be used to determining the compensation amount. Your vehicle accident attorney will argue for a higher multiplier while the insurance company and the defendant's lawyer will press for a lower multiplier. The court will determine what multiplier to use after hearing the point of view of both the parties.
Proving Pain and Suffering in a Vehicle Accident Injury Case
Many factors determine the pain and suffering in a vehicle accident injury case. You should document everything related to your injury to establish the physical and emotional pain suffered (or continue to suffer) due to the injury.
Make sure that you fully report any physical pain and discomfort to your doctor. If you believe that medication is required to ease the pain, you should request it from the physician. You should schedule an appointment if the injury continues to cause physical pain and discomfort. This is important as prescription medications and doctor's appointment can be used as an evidence of pain and suffering due to the injury.
Consider photographing the injury and indicate any discoloration, swelling, or wounds in the affected area. Also, you should note down in your journal the difficulties you face due to the injury.
If you or someone you know have sustained an injury in a car accident, you should not wait long to contact a car accident attorney.
Christopher Jackson Law firm provides assistance and advice to clients in all types of car accident injury cases in Kentucky. For more information about our services, you can contact us for a free, no-obligation initial consultation. You can rest assured that we will provide qualified advice pertinent to your car accident injury case.