Damages for your personal injury claim following your auto accident include economic damages, such as your medical expenses and lost wages. These are calculated according to your actual losses along with expert evaluation as to what your expected future losses will be. You are also entitled to noneconomic damages like your pain and suffering. Two major types of calculations are commonly used in determining compensation for pain and suffering.
Using a Multiplier
One method used to calculate an appropriate pain and suffering award is to add up the actual monetary damages and multiply by three. If your medical expenses are $5,000 and your lost wages are $5,000, your economic damages are $10,000. Multiply those damages by three and your pain and suffering is valued at $30,000.
With the advance of technology, software is often used instead of a specific number as a multiplier. The software considers a number of factors to come up with a multiplier. The problem is that generally, the number arrived at by the software program undervalues the claim. Your personal injury lawyer at Campbell & Associates will work on adjusting the number based on the specific facts surrounding your case. If you were permanently disabled, will need ongoing medical care, are unable to return to your former employment, lost a limb or suffered any other aggravating factor, the amount of damages you are entitled to for your pain and suffering will be adjusted upward.
Per Diem Method
Another method for determining pain and suffering damages is the per diem method, which is based on a daily rate of compensation. An amount you lose every day due to your injury is calculated. Then, that amount is multiplied by the number of days it takes you to recover from your injury. If you use the per diem method, you have to have a good reason for the amount you have come up with. For example, if you earned $200 a day, and are losing that amount daily due to your inability to work, you may use that as your per diem rate.
Combination of Multiplier and Per Diem Rate
A compromise between the multiplier and per diem rate methods may be the best approach. If the multiplier method comes up with $30,000 and the per diem rate comes up with $20,000, $25,000 may be a reasonable amount for your pain and suffering. Again, as in the multiplier method, individual circumstances must be considered. Damages increase when there is no hope of a full recovery or returning to full employment. They decrease if the damage was slight and time off work was, or will be, at a minimum.