How Are Pain and Suffering Calculated in a Personal Injury Claim?
You may have heard this term tossed around when doing an internet search about personal injury claims. What does “pain and suffering” actually mean – and how can it help you increase the value of your claim? Our personal injury attorneys explain the role of pain and suffering in your personal injury case.
What Is Considered Pain and Suffering?
In a personal injury claim, the desired settlement amount is usually calculated based on both economic damages and non-economic damages. As one may expect, economic damages encompass monetary losses and expenses directly resulting from the accident and injury. Those may include medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and related repair bills. Economic damages are easily documented through financial statements and bills.
Pain and suffering are considered non-economic damages. This type of damage has a subjective nature and entails the physical and emotional consequences of your injury, taking into consideration whether they had a negative impact on your lifestyle and ability to earn an income. Medical records can demonstrate the extent of your injury, and an expert witness can be brought in to explain how much pain that particular injury typically causes and how that affects your daily activities. You can also present psychiatric reports to show proof of the emotional distress the accident has caused, including any long-term conditions such as PTSD.
What Is the Formula for Calculating Pain and Suffering?
The formula used for calculating pain and suffering can vary depending on each insurance company, but generally speaking, there are two methods that are often used in calculating how much your claim is worth – the multiplier method and the per diem method.
The multiplier method takes the dollar amount of your economic damages and multiplies that by a number between 1.5 and 5. The more severe your injuries, the higher the number used for multiplying. This method is more commonly used, but some prefer to employ the per diem method. With the per diem method, the plaintiff is assigned a dollar amount to each day they spent suffering from the injury, starting on the day of the accident up to the day when they are fully healed physically and emotionally. This method is considerably harder to calculate and thus less popular.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Pain and Suffering Settlement in Maine?
Personal injury claims that include non-economic damages may take an average of 6 weeks to yield a settlement check after your claim is approved. This deadline is just an approximation because every case is different. Cases that go to trial in court tend to take significantly longer to yield a settlement award than those settled out of court.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by negligence in Maine, consider speaking to the attorneys at Gideon Asen LLC free of charge. Call our office to get answers to your questions and schedule a free case assessment.