How are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated for Car Accidents?
When attempting to claim an auto accident settlement in Arizona, some damages are easily valued. Medical expenses, car repair costs, and lost wages are all part of your compensation and can be readily proven with the proper documentation. However, the greatest cost of an accident is always the pain experienced by the victim. These intangible damages, such as physical suffering and emotional distress, have no price tag associated with them. Calculating how much you deserve for your pain and suffering is an extremely difficult task, which is best left to an experienced accident attorney.
What Counts as Pain and Suffering?
Specific damages refer to all the things you can prove the specific worth of, which are generally costs incurred from an incident and other direct financial losses. General damages, on the other hand, include everything you deserve compensation for that doesn’t have an exact monetary value. In the context of an auto accident, common general damages might include:
- Physical suffering and pain.
- Difficulties with activities or loss of enjoyment of life.
- Depression, anxiety, and emotional distress.
The exact method used to calculate your pain and suffering claims varies based on the intensity and duration of the pain.
“Per Diem” Approach
Though less common, when your suffering is deemed to be less severe, or only lasts a short time, some attorneys opt for the “per diem” approach, meaning “per day.” With this method, an insurer will assign you a flat, per diem rate for a day in pain, the size of which varies based on your circumstances. That rate is then multiplied by the number of days that you were injured or suffering, resulting in a final settlement amount for your general damages.
Most insurers handle pain and suffering calculations by applying a multiplier to your total specific damages. This multiplier generally ranges from one to five based on the severity of your suffering, in addition to several other factors.
For example, if your anguish was minor, such as if you had to deal with pain during a week-long recovery, your multiplier will be very close to one. If your specific damages totaled to $2,000, a multiplier of one would give you a general damages payment of $2,000 as well, which is added to your specific damages separately. This means that even though a low multiplier might sound insignificant, it can more than double your settlement. In more severe cases, such as permanent disfigurement or a complete lifestyle change as a result of your injuries, your multiplier will rise, meaning that the majority of your compensation will stem from your pain and suffering rather than any immediate expenses.
Arizona Auto Accident Lawyers Can Help
Without a strong foundation of knowledge and experience to reference, it’s nearly impossible to calculate, and then prove, how much compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering. ELG ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS can help ensure you receive a fair settlement that accounts for all of your losses following a car accident. You deserve a knowledgeable representative, so don’t hesitate; contact us today at (623) 877-3600 to schedule a free consultation.