Car Accident You were injured when a car accident occurred. You may be eligible for compensation for any pain and suffering that you have suffered as a result.
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The amount you are entitled to recover will depend on where the accident occurred and the facts of your case. Learn more about pain and suffering in car accident cases.
Different types of damage
In many jurisdictions, damages arising from an injury lawsuit can be divided into two types: general damages and special damages. Specific economic harm is what special damages refer to. This could include lost wages, vehicle damage, or medical expenses. The following types of “non-economic damages” are covered by general damages.
- The two most painful things in life are suffering and pain
- Disfigurement or impairment of the body
- Possibility of a shorter lifespan
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship or consortium
- Loss of enjoyment in life
- Emotional distress
Calculating car accident pain and suffering damages
It is easy to evaluate property damage and hospital bills. These losses can be proved by a victim by presenting a quote from an automobile repair shop or receipts for medical treatment. It is much more difficult to calculate the amount of pain and suffering caused by a car accident. How can an injured person, who may be suffering from the emotional trauma and physical pain of a car accident, prove their suffering is worth it?
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It is possible to experience pain and suffering in a highly subjective way. It is possible for two people to experience almost identical injuries and describe them very differently. It is difficult or impossible to establish standards or guidelines for the treatment of car accident injuries and pain.
There are many factors that courts consider when determining how much damages should be paid for pain or suffering.
- Gravity of the injury
- The location and the nature of any scarring/disfigurement
- Recover time required
- Potential for permanent consequences
- Special damages Amount claimed
- Social and political factors
- The charisma and personality of the party in pain
- The charisma and personality of the attorney
- State damages caps
- The Multiplier Method
Multiplier method Some lawyers use this method to calculate pain-and-suffering damages. This involves adding a multiplier on the total special damages. This calculation assumes that injuries that result from more calculable damages (e.g. hospital bills) are more severe than those that result only in incalcible damages.
This may be true for most car accident cases. However, there are two main criticisms to this method.
Arbitrary multipliers Different attorneys may use different multipliers when using this method. An attorney could double the special damages while another attorney would quadruple them. While neither answer is necessarily correct, the large variation in these calculations can result in inconsistent results.
Potentially misleading results A model who has been disfigured by a car accident could have lower hospital bills that a computer engineer who fractured bones. However, their disfigurement might lead to more psychological and emotional distress as models are heavily dependent on their physical appearance for their livelihood.
This multiplier method is not perfect. It is a good starting point for determining how much damages a victim should receive for their pain and suffering in a car accident case.
Per Diem Method
Per diem is a method that calculates damages for pain and suffering. In certain cases it may be more efficient to use this method. “Per diem” stands for per day.
This method of determining a fixed amount in damages basically quantifies the amount of compensation that an injured victim should receive each day. What is the victim’s injury duration? What amount of pain does the victim need to endure?
To determine a fair amount of daily compensation, lawyers usually assess the injured party’s income and salary. Living with pain should be at least as easy as a day of work. An injury victim would be willing to work for any compensation they get for being healthy.
Here’s an example: 2021 will have 261 days of traditional work. This number will change depending on the individual’s situation and their schedule. Let’s assume that the victim of an accident makes $60,000 annually. In this example, the daily income value would be approximately $230.
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They would multiply the amount by $230 if the injury caused the victim to be incapacitated for 100 days. This per-diem method would yield a settlement of $23,000 in this case. This calculation is best for temporary injuries and not long-term because of how precisely the parties calculate the injury’s duration.
Do you have questions about car accident pain and suffering damages?
It is important to seek qualified legal representation because there is no objective standard for determining car accident pain and suffering damages. An attorney will be able to assess the extent of your damages.
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Talk to an experienced lawyer if you have been in a car accident. They will be able to help you understand the laws and the thinking of local juries and insurers. This expert knowledge is invaluable when filing a claim.