Calculating Pain and Suffering in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Any comprehensive personal injury claim should account for every financial loss you’ll experience because of your injury—both in the short term and the long term. Establishing the financial value of many losses is straightforward. When it comes to being compensated for non-economic losses, however, things can get a lot more complicated—especially if your injury has caused you debilitating harm that will last for the rest of your life.

There are a few different ways to go about calculating pain and suffering in a personal injury lawsuit. Each is best suited for different situations. Guidance from our compassionate and trusted attorneys at OnderLaw can be vital to making sure you get paid what you deserve. In the meantime, here’s a brief overview of some common ways to estimate the value of pain and suffering.

What Counts as Pain and Suffering Damages?

It’s important to understand that “pain and suffering” doesn’t refer just to physical pain stemming from an injury or from medical treatment. It also includes any mental, emotional, or psychological harm resulting from:

  • Your injury;
  • The circumstances of your accident;
  • The treatment you receive for your injury; or
  • What your life is like in the wake of a permanent and disabling injury.

It’s sometimes possible to establish the value of pain and suffering in personal injury claims through clear evidence. For example, if a traumatic accident left you with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the costs of therapy and other specialized treatment to help you manage that condition could be factored into your calculation of value for that psychological harm.

Most of the time, though, the value of these losses is completely subjective and based entirely on your unique needs and experiences. This makes calculating a fair amount of compensation to make up for them a difficult task.

Two Ways to Calculate Pain and Suffering

There are a couple of established ways to put a price on someone’s pain and suffering.

By Multiplier

One of the more common ways legal professionals calculate the value of non-economic damages is by using a specific number to multiply the economic damages that the injured person sustained. The logic behind this method is that pain and suffering is directly connected to the financial losses resulting from an injury. Damages can then be calculated in direct relation to those losses.

Depending on how long an injury is expected to last and how severely the injury is expected to affect your life, the multiplier applied to economic damages may be anywhere from 1.5 to five or more. Determining the right multiplier to attach to a particular claim is something one of our experienced personal injury attorneys can help you accomplish.

Per Diem

Another common method used to calculate pain and suffering damages is the “per diem” method. This involves estimating how much pain and suffering the injured person will experience on an average day, and then translating that into a specific amount of money. Usually, that amount is based on how much the injured person normally earns from work each day, but it can also be based on other factors—especially in situations involving permanent and debilitating injuries.

Our Injury Attorneys Can Help You Calculate Pain and Suffering

These are just two of many ways to calculate pain and suffering in a personal injury lawsuit. Call OnderLaw today to discuss what options might be available in your specific situation. We will be by your side every step of the way throughout the legal process, fighting for the total compensation you deserve.