How are pain and suffering damages calculated?

If you suffer a serious injury or multiple injuries in a bad car accident, your life may forever change. You could have badly broken a leg and now suffer from chronic pain. You may have suffered a severe traumatic brain injury and had to spend months relearning how to eat, write and walk. You may now have a permanent disability because of a spine injury.

Calculating pain and suffering damages

Through a personal injury lawsuit, you can receive money to cover your medical costs and lost wages. You also can receive pain and suffering damages. Calculating pain and suffering damages after a serious accident is difficult and somewhat subjective. One common way to calculate pain and suffering damages is to first add up all of the actual damages from your injuries (your medical costs and lost wages) and then multiply that by the degree of seriousness of your pain and suffering. The multiplier scale runs from 1.5 to 5.

The more severe your pain and suffering has been because of the accident, the higher the multiplier used in calculating your pain and suffering damages will be. For example, if another driver was at fault for the accident and you suffer serious burns in a crash, leaving you disfigured and needing surgery for skin grafts, your pain and suffering multiplier would be 5. So if your injury and lost wages costs were $500,000, your pain and suffering damages would be $500,000 x 5, or 2.5 million.

Some of the factors evaluated for determining how severe your pain and suffering include:

  • How obvious it is that the other driver was at fault for the accident
  • How serious your injuries were (for example, if you suffered a permanent disability)
  • If you can prove your pain and suffering through verified medical documents
  • If you were disfigured in the accident
  • How long your recovery was

Seeking help with a personal injury lawsuit

If you feel your injuries were severe enough to receive pain and suffering damages, you should consult an experienced personal injury attorney. You are much more likely to receive proper pain and suffering damages with an attorney’s help. An attorney can ensure you have proper documentation to show how severe your pain and suffering has been and can help you prove how your life has been altered because of your injuries.

With proper compensation for your pain and suffering, you can move forward with your life. You can focus on rebuilding your life after a long recovery.