How Pain and Suffering Is Calculated

If you’ve been injured in a car accident or as the result of medical malpractice, one of the key types of compensation that you could receive from a personal injury lawsuit is pain and suffering, which is more difficult to quantify compared to other forms of compensation that are based on lost wages and medical expenses. There are a couple of methods that are used to calculate pain and suffering, which should help you understand how much you might be able to receive from a personal injury lawsuit.

What Is Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering is a kind of legal term that refers to the physical, emotional, and mental pain that an individual has suffered from because of their injuries. It encompasses such emotional injuries as grief, fear, insomnia, and worry. The amount that’s awarded for pain and suffering can vary substantially depending on the case and how the amount is calculated.

Multiplier Method

This is the most common approach that’s used to calculate pain and suffering in a personal injury case. When using this method, all of your economic losses like medical expenses and lost wages will be added up and then multiplied by a certain number to arrive at the amount of compensation that you should receive. The multiplier is intended to take your pain and suffering into account. The multiplier that’s used in your case can range from 1.5 to 5.0, which typically depends on the severity of the injury as well as how you’ve been impacted by the injury. The end number after your economic losses have been multiplied will be what you receive from the lawsuit.

Per Diem Method

This method uses a daily rate to calculate how much you’re owed in pain and suffering. The goal of this approach is to use a singular dollar amount for every day that you’ve suffered because of the injury. If the effects of your injury were keenly felt for around four months, the compensation you receive for pain and suffering would take 120 days into account. In many cases, the daily rate is determined based on how much you received each day while working. If your daily rate is set at $140, this amount would be multiplied by 120 days to reach the pain and suffering settlement amount, which would be $16,800. While this method is used regularly for short-term injuries, it doesn’t work well when taking long-term or chronic injuries into account.


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