It is obvious that you are entitled to pain and suffering damage if your injury was the result of someone else’s carelessness or negligence. These damages are termed as ‘intangible’ by the court. In this article, I will walk through all the possible scenarios which will help you to understand how much you can sue for someone for pain and suffering.
Insurance companies use a range to calculate how much your pain and suffering as related to personal injury case is worth. Typically, they will not be rejoicing and tell you that you can sue $30000 or $50000 for your pain and suffering. It is not an established value, that is why the insurance companies use a range.
The most significant influence in a personal injury case that you can recover is pain and suffering is the level of damage. In a serious personal injury case, the settlement award percentage can be considerable.
The process of recovering from an injury can be a long and excruciatingly painful process. And the worst part is that there is a high chance of incurring emotional and mental distress during the process.
It is essential to know that pain and suffering claims can be claimed only if it was a direct result of someone else’s carelessness or negligence.
The amount of money you can sue for pain and suffering cannot be approximated. There is no right or universal answer. It is determined by the extent of the injuries and damages, the insurance company, and the state you live in.
There are some states which limit the amount of damage you can recover from pain and suffering. So, it can be said that it is not an exact science. It may be higher in a serious personal injury case, and much lower in a not-so-serious injury case.
How much are your pain and suffering worth?
For instance, they may say that the amount of money you can sue for pain and suffering may sum up to $20000 to $50000. There are several factors which determine the total damages you can recover.
However, you can be certain that the cost of your pain and suffering is going to be higher if the severity of your injury is higher. This can mean that the injury caused you to get more treatment, physical or mental.
Also, if the accident resulted in disability or death, the cost of pain and suffering will be much higher.
The purpose of pain and suffering is to take you back to the place where you were before the accident occurred. The court decides on whether the pain and suffering is truly a genuine case to be taken into consideration.
There have been many cases where the plaintiff exaggerated his existing condition, making it look worse than it actually is.
A person can claim a damage settlement for pain and suffering if he gets a visible scar on the face as a result of an accident. This may be considered a particular case, as a visible scar can lead to long term insecurity and feeling of embarrassment.
There are other factors which determine the amount of money that a person can claim for pain and suffering.
1.Type of medical treatment received.
There are some medications which can cause a person to suffer severe side effects. In such a case, higher recovery may be claimed by the individual.
The question of how much money you can sue for pain and suffering also varies from place to place. When these types of claims are made, everything is carefully scrutinized, the political, and socio-economic factors of a community may also have an effect on the damage recovery amount.
The personality of the victim, personality, and power of the lawyer also plays an influential role in determining the damage award.
Some states have laws which limit the amount of money a person can claim regarding pain and suffering. In the State of Maryland, the maximum limit is $350,000, $875,000 in New Hampshire, and $250,000 in the states of Ohio and California respectively.
2. Duration of recovery time.
How time taken by a person takes to recover fully is an essential factor which decides the number of money damages a person can recover. As stated, pain and suffering were designed to try and restore the victim to his/ her earlier state before the accident. So, if a person suffers physically and mentally for a more extended period, higher compensation can be expected.
3. Type of injury.
The court considers most catastrophic injuries like disfigurement, disability, and lifelong pain, and the victim is entitled to a large sum of money as compensation for pain and suffering.
4. Victim’s age.
Based on the assumption made by the court, younger victims are bound to endure more prolonged periods of pain and suffering than older victims. In case of lifelong pains, disability or disfigurement, younger victims are awarded more substantial compensation than older victims.
The court will award pain and suffering recovery if it is satisfied that there will be future pain and difficult after examining the medical records of the victim, supported by testimonials of the medical examiner.
Pain and suffering damages may not be rewarded to a plaintiff in case of minor injury cases. For example, if a plaintiff experiences inconveniences such as the inability to attend swimming class or a soccer practice due to fractured bone or torn muscle, the court will consider it like a minor case.
However, if the plaintiff suffers excruciating pain due to physical injury, he or she will be awarded a damage recovery by the court.
Calculating pain and suffering
The depth and level of pain and suffering are typically measured by the multiplier method. Multiplier method uses medical bills, property damage, and loss of wages. These are then multiplied by 1.5 up to 5 times, putting into account several factors such as the severity of the injury. In short, the more severe your injury, the more the number is multiplied.
The second method is called per diem, which is not so popular. This method is better illustrated with an example. If a person gets injured and misses his work days for 100 days, a certain amount of dollars is paid for each day. Let’s say $150 is paid for each day, then 150 is multiplied by 100.
What type of pain and suffering is liable for damage recovery?
The first thing that must be understood is that pain and suffering do not relate to the medical expenses in any way. Although, the medical expenditure is crucial when calculating the amount.
Pain and suffering simply mean the inability to function and carry out daily activities or the inability to live life normally with joy and comfort. It also means the pain and discomfort resulting from physical injury.
The emotional distress, and mental anguish caused by losing a loved one, stress, depression, anger, and lack of enjoyment. These can be termed as pain and suffering if physical injury is the root cause.
Pain and suffering do not always come as a direct result from the accident or injury, such as bone fracture, dislocations, torn muscles, etc. When a person suffers from any emotional trauma or physical illness as a result of side effects from the medication or medical treatment, it can be legally termed as pain and suffering.
It can be quite a challenge to prove pain and suffering to the jury. The insurance companies will do everything in their power to minimize the number of the court grants pain and different award.
For example, they may point to social media updates of the victim to prove that despite his or her claims, they seemed fine and were having a good time. To support pain and suffering claims, the following things are required.
- Diaries or journals of the victim which serves as a written proof and contains a detailed document of injuries, trauma, stress and other related issues.
- Family and friends who support the victim by giving testimonials on how the injury is affecting his or her life.
- A written document from the patient’s doctor or psychologist.
It is important for your lawyer to be able to present your case in a detailed manner. Also, the dates have to be accurate. So there is a better chance for you to win the damage recovery if you provide everything to your lawyer accurately.
If you are to include pain and suffering in your personal injury claim, make sure you document both. Pain and suffering are two different things.