How Are Pain & Suffering Damages Calculated in a Personal Injury Case?
Pain and suffering are what you feel when you’ve been injured in a horrific car accident and your medical condition is fragile, or the anguish you suffer when a loved one dies. Pain and suffering are either physical or mental anguish resulting from an accident that wasn’t your fault. You can’t see the emotions of pain and anguish, but they are real.
And they deserve compensation. They are considered general damages in your personal injury civil lawsuit.
When you file a personal injury case against the negligent party whose wrongful conduct led to your pain and suffering, damages are one area we will seek to compensate in an attempt to make you whole.
Your Alabama personal injury lawyer J. Allan Brown will fight for the compensation you are due from the other side, the at-fault party who caused the accident.
Pain & Suffering Calculations
Alabama does not set a fixed monetary formula to compensate someone for pain and suffering in a personal injury case.
One option in a personal injury lawsuit is to calculate pain and suffering according to the “Multiplier Method.” Simply stated, we add up the medical bills that resulted from the accident, including, but not limited to, medical bills, the cost of the ambulance, medication, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
That number is multiplied by a number between 1.5 and 4 or 5.
The value of pain and suffering can be calculated up or down depending on:
- The severity of the injuries
- Whether or not you are expected to make a quick recovery
- How are you able to maneuver your day-to-day life
- Whose fault was the accident
- How has the trauma-impacted you emotionally
Less often used is the “Per Diem” calculations for Pain and Suffering. Under this formula, every day that the claimant suffers from an accident, the insurance adjuster will award a dollar amount. The problem with this calculation is that it does not put a value on pain and suffering or consider long-term and permanent injuries.
A third method for calculating pain and suffering may be to look at previous case results. Your lawyer may find similar cases where the claimant suffered similar injuries under a similar circumstance.
The previous settlement award may serve as a guideline for the value of your specific injuries.
You will need documents to support your claims of pain and suffering. They may include:
- Medical bills
- Ambulance bills
- Bills to a mental health professional
- Prescription bills
- Medical records, including limits on your physical activity before and after the accident
- Photos of your injuries
- Calculations of your lost time from work from your employer
- A journal or notes you’ve taken about your recovery, the accident, and injuries, how you feel today, and looking into the future. Keeping notes or a diary chronicling the accident’s aftereffects is a good idea.
- Witnesses’ statements from friends or family who have observed the impact the injuries have had on your life
Your Mobile, AL Personal Injury Lawyer
The date of your accident is when the clock starts in Alabama. You must file a personal injury action within two years to be compensated. Outside of that time, you will lose your option to do so.
Moving forward sooner is always best because evidence must be gathered as soon as possible before it disappears.
Attorney J. Allan Brown can consult with you on how you want to proceed with a trial or an insurance claim. If insurance refuses to recognize your injuries or blames you for the accident under Alabama’s contributory negligence rule, you may have to file a lawsuit.
Whichever course you choose, Mr. Brown recommends you do not take the first offer from the insurance company as it is almost always a lowball offer. Pain and suffering are not as visible as a broken leg or a back brace, but that does not make them any less important when seeking compensation for an accident that was not your fault.
Let Mr. Brown’s experience represent your interests at this difficult time.
Call our Mobile office, and we can set up a complimentary consultation to explore your legal options. You can reach us online or by calling (251) 473-6691.