Filing a personal injury lawsuit against a person or organization isn’t an easy decision to make. You probably aren’t filing a lawsuit to get even with someone—you’re doing it because you’ve suffered real losses. Your losses could include financial hardships like the cost of medical treatment or the time you’ve missed at work.
But what about the mental anguish you’ve experienced because of your accident? What about the physical pain you went through due to your injuries? For good reason, you’re probably wondering how pain and suffering is calculated in lawsuits. You can turn to a personal injury law firm for help with this important task.
What Does Compensation for Pain and Suffering Mean?
If you suffered an injury from another party’s negligent actions, you can seek compensatory damages. Personal injury awards generally fall into two categories: monetary (economic) damages and pain and suffering (non-economic) damages.
Economic damages compensate victims for tangible expenses, such as their medical expenses. Non-economic damages cover an accident victim’s intangible losses related to how your injury affects your physical, mental, and emotional well-being and overall quality of life. You can pursue pain and suffering damages for the following:
- Severe and chronic pain
- Mobility loss
- Permanent and disabling injuries
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Impaired quality of life
Pain and Suffering Can Be Subjective
There’s no perfect way to calculate or place a monetary value on your pain and suffering. Everyone experiences situations differently, and injuries affect people differently because everyone’s pain thresholds and life experiences differ.
For example, you and a friend could have a broken arm, but that doesn’t mean the injury will affect you the same. One of you could take longer to heal. One could suffer more difficulty because you have more responsibilities. One could experience more pain than the other.
Professionals Can Use Two Methods to Calculate Pain and Suffering
There are two common methods to calculate pain and suffering damages. The first is to add up your monetary losses and multiply that figure by a number between one and five. The multiplier used will depend on several factors, including the severity of your injuries. Other factors are as follows:
- The length of your recovery
- Whether you can make a full recovery
- How your injuries affect your daily life
- How much physical pain you’ve endured
- How your injuries have affected your mental and emotional health
The second commonly used method is to designate a per diem calculation. A figure will be assigned to each day of your suffering, and you’ll seek the sum of that daily rate until you’ve fully recovered.
These calculations can’t always fully reimburse you for everything you’ve endured, but they can help your recovery process.
What Damages Can You Seek in Addition to Pain and Suffering?
As mentioned, in addition to pain and suffering, you can pursue monetary awards for expenses arising from your personal injury. Economic damages can include compensation for the following:
- Emergency medical transportation and treatment
- Hospital and doctor’s fees
- Prescription medications
- Mobility aids and medical equipment
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Long-term nursing
- Lost wages, earnings, and benefits
- Loss of future earning capacity if your injuries prevent you from returning to your job
- Household services
If your loved one suffered a fatal injury, a wrongful death attorney can help their personal representative (executor) can pursue compensation for their estate and qualifying survivors. Recoverable compensation includes many of the economic damages listed above and funeral and burial expenses. You could also seek awards for the pain and suffering the deceased experienced before they died.
How Long Do You Have to Pursue Pain and Suffering Compensation?
According to Michigan Compiled Laws § 600.5805, you have three years from your injury or your loved one’s death to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. If this deadline passes, the court will likely refuse your case.
An expired statute of limitations can also reduce your insurance bargaining power, so starting on your claim as soon as possible is a good idea.
Can a Personal Injury Attorney Get More Money for Your Pain and Suffering?
Hiring an attorney does not guarantee you will recover more for your pain and suffering. However, working with a lawyer means having a compassionate legal ally with years of experience looking out for you. We will identify your losses and negotiate maximum compensation for your pain, suffering, and monetary damages.
We can also do the following to relieve your legal burden and guide you through your insurance claim or lawsuit:
- Investigate your accident. Proving negligence and establishing your right to compensation can take much time and effort. We have decades of legal experience we can put behind constructing a solid person injury case. We will collect evidence, locate, and interview witnesses, identify liable parties, and hire and consult with experts when necessary.
- Handle case details. We will manage the details of your case so you can focus on getting your life back on track. We will prepare and file paperwork, track and follow deadlines, and handle case-related phone calls, emails, and meetings.
- Negotiate on your behalf. Insurance companies aim to make a profit, and they increase their bottom lines by keeping payouts as low as possible. We will not allow insurance agents to pressure our clients into accepting a hasty settlement or an offer that is less than they deserve. We will take your case to trial if we cannot resolve your legal matter outside of court.
- Keep you informed. We are here to answer your questions, address your concerns, and listen to your needs so we can tailor your case to suit you. Along the way, we will provide frequent and timely updates.
We assist with many personal injury cases, including but not limited to the following:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle collisions
- Boating accidents
- Bicycle wrecks
- Pedestrian accidents
- Construction accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Product liability
- Nursing home abuse
Call Christensen Law About Your Personal Injury Case Today
If you or a loved one suffered injuries because of another person’s negligence, Christensen Law can calculate your pain and suffering awards and other damages.
Contact us online or call 248-900-9000 for a free evaluation to learn more about how our accident lawyers can take your case on contingency.