How Pain and Suffering is Measured in a Personal Injury Case

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In a personal injury case, people can often be compensated for pain and suffering – and even emotional distress. But these are, in some ways, abstract concepts. How can you really know how much pain a person is in? How do you know if they are lying? So you have to turn to some kind of calculable measurement.

To put a dollar value on your pain, you can place that burden on looking at the actual medical expenses that were incurred. The reason being, the more damage to your body or emotional state, the more expenses you will have when seeing a medical doctor, specialist, or therapist related to the incident. Often people will add up all these expenses and add a multiplier to include compensation for the pain and suffering aspect. Multipliers range from 1.5 to 5.

You can also justify the amount of suffering you have by daily rate. You can charge per day on the amount of suffering you endure. For example, if you spend 6 months in pain from an ankle injury, you can choose a daily rate and get paid a certain amount for all 182 days spent in time. How do you pick a daily rate? Some people turn to their salary and charge what they earn each day as the value of that pain.

Each case is unique, and you may want to charge on the lower end of daily rate or multipliers for small injuries such as a slip and fall accident – and higher rates for large accidents such as a highly damaging car accident incident involving a drunk driver. PTSD symptoms and other pain and psychological suffering from an incident like that can be high.

It can help your case if you can provide evidence of pain for your doctor. If you were prescribed pain medications or told that you can/should be taking a certain amount of ibuprofen or other over-the-counter pain medications, bring those records to justify your case that you were in pain. Maybe you can even use the length of the prescription or the amount of time you were taking daily pain medications as a length to calculate the amount you are owed under the daily rate method.

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