When you have experienced pain and suffering, it can be difficult to determine what fair compensation you should be eligible for.
No two cases of pain and suffering are the same, but there are certain guidelines that can be used to help you decide what is fair.
These factors include the severity of your injury or illness, the length of time it took for your condition to improve, and any long-term effects that may be associated with your injury or illness.
In addition, you should also consider any financial loss associated with medical bills or lost wages.
If you’re ready to pursue legal action to recover compensation for your pain and suffering, it’s important to contact an experienced attorney today. Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law are here to help and have helped countless people recover the damages they’re owed.
To schedule a confidential, no-obligation case review today, simply call us at (559) 878-4958 or contact us online.
Pain and Suffering Settlement Examples
A pain and suffering settlement is a type of compensation awarded to a plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit. The settlement is designed to compensate the injured party for the physical and emotional pain and suffering they experienced as a result of their injuries.
Pain and suffering settlements aim to provide financial compensation for the non-economic damages that a plaintiff has experienced, such as the physical pain, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life resulting from their injuries.
In this way, pain and suffering damages are separate from economic damages, which compensate the plaintiff for financial losses, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
Common pain and suffering claims in personal injury cases may include:
- Physical pain: This includes any physical discomfort or pain you experience as a result of your injuries, such as headaches, back pain, or chronic pain.
- Emotional distress: Emotional distress includes mental and emotional suffering such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), fear, and humiliation.
- Loss of enjoyment: This refers to the loss of enjoyment of life activities due to your injuries, such as hobbies, sports, social events, and family activities.
- Disfigurement: Disfigurement refers to any physical changes or scarring caused by the injury or accident, which can cause embarrassment, anxiety, and self-consciousness.
- Loss of consortium: This refers to the loss of companionship, intimacy, and support from a spouse or partner as a result of the injury.
- Loss of quality of life: This includes any long-term or permanent changes to your quality of life, such as being unable to work, travel, or perform everyday activities due to your injuries.
The Definition of Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is a legal term that refers to the physical and emotional distress experienced by an injured party due to an accident or other occurrence for which they were not responsible.
This includes pain caused by the injury itself, as well as any associated physical, mental, and emotional anguish (such as anxiety or depression).
The concept of pain and suffering has long been accepted in the court system, but it can be difficult to quantify and, therefore, difficult to determine appropriate compensation.
In general, compensation for pain and suffering will depend on both the severity of the injury, as well as its effect on the injured party’s life.
For instance, if the injury is so severe that it prevents them from working or engaging in activities that bring joy, they may be entitled to a higher amount of compensation than if the injury simply causes temporary discomfort.
However, all injuries are unique — so it’s important to consult with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney when seeking fair compensation for pain and suffering.
Compensatory vs. Non-Compensatory Damages
There are two main types of damages when it comes to determining fair compensation for pain and suffering: compensatory and non-compensatory.
Compensatory damages are intended to reimburse an injured party for their losses. This includes payments for medical or legal bills, lost wages, lost future earning capacity, disfigurement costs, and other tangible financial losses incurred as a result of an injury.
On the other hand, non-compensatory damages cover emotional trauma and loss of life’s enjoyment due to physical pain or emotional distress incurred from physical injuries. These types of damages can include depression, insomnia, PTSD, loss of companionship, etc.
Non-compensatory damages can also cover other intangible losses, such as psychological harm caused by lost relationships or career opportunities due to the injury.
Such awards are often more subjective than compensatory damages since they are based on individual experience rather than easily identifiable costs associated with the injury.
How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated?
When a person is injured due to the negligence of another party, they may be entitled to monetary compensation for the costs of their injuries and pain and suffering.
Calculating pain and suffering damages can be difficult, as there is no one-size-fits-all approach to these calculations. For this reason, courts typically rely on two methods.
The Multiplier Method
This method involves multiplying the victim’s economic damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages, by a certain factor, known as a “multiplier,” to arrive at a reasonable estimate of the victim’s pain and suffering.
The multiplier is typically determined by various factors, such as the severity of the injury, the length of time the victim experienced pain and suffering, and the impact of the injury on the victim’s quality of life.
The multiplier is usually between 1.5 and 5, with higher multipliers generally used in cases involving more serious injuries or where the victim’s pain and suffering were particularly long-lasting or severe.
Suppose a victim was involved in a car accident caused by the defendant’s negligence and suffered a broken leg and several broken ribs, resulting in medical expenses and lost wages totaling $50,000.
The victim also experienced significant pain and suffering for six months after the accident, which affected their ability to work, engage in hobbies, and enjoy their daily life.
In this scenario, the court may consider the following factors when deciding what multiplier to use:
- The severity of the injuries: A broken leg and several broken ribs are considered serious injuries that would cause significant pain and suffering.
- The duration of the pain and suffering: Six months is a substantial amount of time for a victim to experience pain and suffering.
- The impact on the victim’s daily life: The victim’s pain and suffering impacted their ability to work, engage in hobbies, and enjoy their daily life.
Based on these factors, the court may determine that a multiplier of 3 is appropriate. This would result in a total pain and suffering award of $150,000 ($50,000 in economic damages x 3 multiplier).
The Per Diem Method
Unlike the multiplier method, which uses a fixed multiplier to determine the value of the victim’s pain and suffering, the Per Diem Method assigns a dollar value to each day of the victim’s pain and suffering.
Under this approach, the victim’s pain and suffering damages are calculated by multiplying the number of days the victim has suffered by a specific dollar amount, known as the “per diem” rate.
The per diem rate is usually determined based on various factors, including the severity of the injuries, the nature of the pain and suffering, and the victim’s age and occupation.
For example, if a victim suffered a broken arm in a car accident and experienced pain and suffering for 120 days, and the per diem rate was set at $100 per day, the pain and suffering damages would be calculated as follows:
120 days x $100 per day = $12,000
One of the advantages of the Per Diem Method is that it can be more flexible than the multiplier method, as it takes into account the specific length of time the victim suffered rather than relying on a general multiplier.
However, the Per Diem Method can also be more difficult to apply in practice, as it requires a subjective assessment of the daily value of the victim’s pain and suffering.
What Does the Average Pain and Suffering Settlement Look Like?
While settlement values are bound to fluctuate based on the specifics of the case, most pain and suffering settlements will include both economic damages as well as noneconomic damages.
Common economic damages could include:
- Reimbursement for medical bills
- Replacement of lost wages
- Payment to repair or replace damaged property
Common non-economic damages might include:
- Awards for physical pain and emotional anguish
- Awards for mental anguish
- Awards for loss of consortium or companionship
- Awards for loss of enjoyment in life
Although there is no exact formula for calculating pain and suffering awards, having a good grasp of the legal principles can help victims evaluate their potential claims and ensure they receive the compensation they deserve.
This is why it’s so important to pursue your claim with the help of a qualified attorney. The right team will be able to tap the legal guardrails designed to protect your rights to ensure you receive a fair settlement for your pain and suffering.
So don’t hesitate to reach out to Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law, today. To schedule your first confidential, no-obligation consultation, simply call (559) 878-4958 or contact the team online.