Pain and suffering is difficult to calculate as pain is subjective. There is no hard data to look at to prove how badly a person is suffering. However, there are some general guidelines that can be observed when determining how much to award for these damages.
Pain and suffering refers to both physical and mental distress. It can cover short-term or lifelong damage. The money received for these damages can go a long way in helping to get your life back to a state of normalcy after a truck accident.
Using a Multiplier to Calculate Your Damages for Pain and Suffering
One common way in which courts often assign damages for pain and suffering is by using a multiplier. This consists of looking at the total cost of medical bills and awarding damages as a multiple of that financial cost.
For instance, if your total medical bills are $5,000 and your injuries are fairly mild, the court might use a multiplier of two and award you $10,000 for pain and suffering. Alternatively, if your bills are $50,000 and you have suffered damage that will last a lifetime, the court may use a multiplier of ten and award you $500,000 in pain and suffering.
Other Factors that Are Considered Into Your Settlement Amount
Since determining exactly how much pain another person is in is nearly impossible, other factors are looked at when assessing pain and suffering that can shed more light on the matter.
The Seriousness of the Injury
Obviously, more money is rewarded for serious injuries. Permanent disabilities often impact lives far more significantly than reflected in medical bills. That is because there is little doctors can do for patients in many of these cases. A broken leg could result in higher hospital bills than a severed spinal cord.
Any injury that leaves you with a lifelong disability is likely to be awarded a significant payout for pain and suffering.
How the Injury Affects Your Quality of Life
Your previous lifestyle may play a factor in the amount of money you receive for pain and suffering. A person who spent most of their free time playing video games might not receive as much money for an amputated leg as a person who enjoyed engaging in various physical activities. The opposite may be true for a traumatic brain injury.
That is because it may be more difficult for these people to enjoy life at the level they did before because of the limitations of their accident.
The Recovery Timeline
Recovery time from an accident can also play a role in the amount of pain and suffering compensation you receive. The longer it takes for you to return to the life you are used to (or as close as you will get), the more money you will likely receive.
Evidence You Can Use to Support Your Claim of Pain and Suffering
When claiming damages for pain and suffering, it is important to gather as much evidence as possible. Common ways in which your pain can be shown to the court include:
- Testimony regarding your pain and distress from family members or friends
- Testimony from your doctor relating to their observations of your pain
- Testimony from a medical expert who specializes in treating injuries like yours
- Documentation of the medication you are taking to deal with your pain
- A pain journal where you record your pain level daily and how your injury is affecting your life
A Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help You Build a Stronger Case
The best way to recover fair compensation for your pain and suffering is to hire a truck accident lawyer. An experienced attorney will know how to argue your case and demonstrate the pain and suffering you are dealing with in an effective manner.
Your attorney will be able to evaluate your pain and suffering claim based on previous experience and legal precedent. They will work hard to ensure that you recover fair compensation for your truck accident injury.