In an accident of any kind, there are many things that go through a person’s mind. In a car accident, for instance, there are worries about getting the vehicle back to working condition (if that is even possible) and then there are concerns about health. The more serious the accident, the more likely there will be some serious injuries—perhaps even injuries that may preclude you from returning to work or other daily activities as quickly as you would like.
There is also a question about your pain and suffering, which can seem minor at the scene but may intensify as time passes. You might need long-term medical care such as therapy and pain management. It is likely that you will have to pursue a legal settlement with the insurance companies which can become a long and drawn out battle as well.
What are Damages?
In law, damages refer to the award that an injured party is given. This can be a one-time payment based on a number of factors, or it can be an ongoing payment that is typically sent directly to medical providers for a set amount or a fixed amount of time.
How do You Define Pain and Suffering?
The term pain and suffering refers to the amount of discomfort that someone endures after an accident. This can apply to pain both during recovery and after something is deemed as “healed.” The recovery process after a serious injury also tends to include prescription painkillers. These are highly addictive, which can have long-term consequences for the user, including the need for medically assisted detox. Beyond that, suffering can also refer to the loss of the ability to do the things that you enjoy including hobbies and even going to work because of your injuries.
Calculating the Damages
The attorney for the injured person may multiply the plaintiff’s actual damages medical bills and lost wages by a certain number, generally between one and five depending on the severity of the injury, and then may add more for attorney fees and for the replacement of property if that is necessary. The severity of an injury can depend on a number of factors; for instance, a broken bone in an older person may qualify for a higher multiplier while the same injury in someone that is younger may not.
It is important that the attorney argues for the higher multiplier, especially if you are not yet recovered because complications can arise and some injuries can cause future aches and pains that will not reveal themselves for many years. It is also safer to assume that most if not all medical bills will end up being slightly higher than estimated.
For most situations, having a simple calculator will be enough to help you do the math yourself. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to calculate pain and suffering damages. It will depend on a number of factors. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, make sure you speak with professional attorneys who are qualified for helping determine the appropriate amount of pain and suffering damages to pursue.