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How are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated after a Car Accident?

car accident pain and sufferingBefore understanding how pain and suffering damages are calculated after a car accident, it’s important to know what constitutes as pain and suffering. Simply put, pain and suffering refers to both physical and emotional stress that comes after an accident, along with the injuries the accident caused. For instance, if you get a third-degree burn, rather than only receiving compensation for the hospital bills, you would also seek compensation for the pain of going through the pain, the discomfort during healing, and the implications and effects the injury had on your daily life.

Pain and suffering covers the stress and limitations that come after an accident, which is an important part of the recovery process. After all, compensation for medical bills may help with immediate costs, but personal injury affects lives beyond the physical treatments needed. Even shorter-term injury recovery processes affect the daily life of victims, creating more stress that medical bills don’t cover.

Two Methods of Calculation

While there is no set way in which insurers must calculate pain and suffering, there are two methods of calculation that are generally used. The first method is based on the actual damages, which include medical bills and lost wages. Pain and suffering is calculated by taking the total of those costs and multiplying it by a number that typically falls between 1 and 5, depending upon severity. If, for instance, your medical bills and lost wages total at $4,000 and it is surmised your pain and suffering falls around the middle at 3, your pain and suffering damages would be calculated at $12,000. If your pain and suffering was less severe at a 2, the damages would be calculated at $8,000. For severe pain and suffering, this method would put pain and suffering damages at $20,000.

In other cases, a plaintiffs’ attorney will use a per diem calculation. With this method, an amount is put on each day of suffering. In some cases, this is based on what salary would have been earned. Using $100 as an example, if it took 90 days for full maximum recovery, $9,000 would be rewarded for pain and suffering. For longer recoveries, that amount would increase by $100 per day. Depending on the specifics of a case, calculation of pain and suffering will vary. Contact our team today to get proper representation from a legal team with your interests in mind.