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What is ‘Pain and Suffering’ in a Personal Injury Case?


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    Pain and Suffering

    Accidents are gruesome – they can create havoc in your lives in a matter of seconds. If you or your loved one has been injured in one, you know how it causes an immeasurable amount of pain and suffering to the victim and their family members.

    Pain and suffering – two intangible words that are often thought of in terms of how one feels. However, these terms mean much more in a legal scenario.

    Pain and suffering case law contributes as a key factor in personal injury cases. They determine a big aspect of how to allocate the pain and suffering compensation.

    Let’s get to know what pain and suffering mean in legal aspects and how they are calculated for personal injury insurance claims or lawsuits.

    What Do Pain and Suffering Mean in a Car Accident?

    Pain and Suffering Definition

    The term “pain and suffering” is used in personal injury cases to represent compensation for physical and mental suffering caused by the injury. This compensation is different from that provided for economic losses in medical bills and lost wages.

    Pain and suffering are divided into two types: physical pain and suffering and mental pain and suffering.

    • Physical Pain and Suffering

      What is 'Pain and Suffering' in a Personal Injury Case

    The carelessness of someone else while driving can cause an injury and lead to physical pain and suffering. It includes initial pain, discomfort, and trauma, such as limb loss, broken bones. Moreover, the long-term pain and suffering and other detrimental effects the injury caused is included in it.

    Physical Pain and Suffering Examples:

    If you get into a car accident because of someone else’s carelessness and end up with a broken hand or leg, you may be entitled to compensation for the initial and ongoing pain and suffering you face. If your injury requires rehab or physical therapy to get back to your normal life, it is also considered a part of physical pain and suffering.

    • Mental Pain and Suffering

    It is harder to document mental pain and suffering than physical pain and suffering, but it is equally important to the overall well-being of a person. Any mental distress or negative emotion initiated because of an accident is considered mental pain and suffering, and you may be entitled to compensation for it.

    For instance, if you need consultation from a psychologist to overcome the fear and anxiety of driving your car again, that can be considered as mental pain and suffering in your injury case.

    It is observed that when people get injured because of someone else’s carelessness, they are diagnosed with acute conditions related to their mental health. They may suffer from:

    • Anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
    • Impulse control issues; as a result of your anger over how your injuries have changed the circumstances in your life.
    • Symptoms of depression, such as loss of appetite, sleep disorder, sexual dysfunction, and loss of interest to enjoy life.

    How to Calculate Pain and Suffering?

    One of the important steps to take after a car accident is to file a claim with the insurance company of the person at fault. This third-party claim is to seek compensation for losses of both your physical and mental pain and sufferings.

    Different insurance companies have different ways to calculate pain and suffering. Therefore, it is important to consult with an attorney you trust to advocate your rights with insurance companies. The insurance officials want to close your case as soon as possible, providing you less compensation. In contrast, your attorney works to seek the largest settlement they can by looking at relevant facts closely.

    Insurance companies usually use one of two methods for pain and suffering calculations –

    • Multiplier Method

    In this method, economic damages, including medical bills, property damage, wages loss(current and future), earning capacity, are calculated first. The total amount is then multiplied by any number between 1.5 to 5. The result is considered as the total compensation. The more severe the injury is, the higher is the multiplier.

    For example, say your total economic loss adds up to $100,000. You have serious injuries but are unlikely to cause long-term suffering. In this case, the multiplier number of 2 is appropriate to use.

    • Per Diem Method

    In this method, a dollar amount is assigned to each day the plaintiff suffers the injury. The date is counted from the day of the accident to the date they completely healed mentally and physically. The rate is usually the victim’s actual, daily earnings.

    The per diem method is complicated. Therefore, most companies prefer the multiplier method.

    How to Prove Pain and Suffering?

    To prove the pain and suffering and get the appropriate compensation, you need to hire a South Florida Personal Injury Attorneys at Law Offices of Wolf and Pravato. Our experienced Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers work transparently with you to get you the compensation you deserve. With every move planned, we deal with all the paperwork and legal challenges.

    Visit our website and book a free attorney consultation with us.

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