How to calculate pain and suffering for your personal injury settlement
Damages in a personal injury case refer to the losses that the at-fault party has to compensate for. There are two basic types of damages in a personal injury or a slip and fall case: economic (special) damages or non-economic (general) damages. Special damages include you medical bills, loss of income and property damage. General damages include discomfort, pain, anxiety and suffering caused by an accident. The pain and suffering is then quantified commonly by two methods; the multiplier method and per diem method.
It is advisable for one to go for a multiplier approach while calculating special damages. The most common method is to add up all the losses and multiplying them with a number between 1.5 or 4 or 5. The second number, or the multiplier, would depend on the extent of the injuries, time of recovery and the effect of the accident on the plaintiff’s daily life. This method is frequently used by insurance companies. During court hearings, the plaintiff usually argues for a higher multiplier and the defendant opts for a lower one.
The idea behind the per diem matter is to calculate and ask for a certain amount of money for every day the plaintiff has suffered or borne pain because of the accident. One should use the actual daily earnings while calculating the per diem rate. This method is not ideal for long term injuries as such injuries heal with time and one needs an attorney because such settlements are based on related verdicts and settlements which only certain attorneys have access to.
It is advisable for a plaintiff to use both methods at the same time to make the most out of an accident. The approach should be to use both methods to start and then adjust the demand from that certain range. The plaintiff may end up on totally different sums while calculating the settlement money but one should also keep in mind how the accident occurred. For example, if a person is involved in a DUI accident, the drunk driver or the company involved will definitely have to pay for the damages and medical bills as well as the general damages. In such a case, it is advisable to go for the higher sum calculated for the settlement. There are certain cases in which the settlement is not that easy to determine. For example, if one slips and falls on ice, it could be a result of personal negligence or it could be the company’s fault. In such cases, one should go for the per diem method as the pain caused by such slip and fall accidents does not retain for long.
It is equally important to be very thorough with the hospital and medical staff after an accident. Make sure that all injured parts have been checked. One should report all kinds of pain and discomfort following the accident. A doctor’s report is thought of as genuine by the court and it makes it easier for the plaintiff to get a higher or deserved compensation. It is advisable to contact an attorney while calculating the settlement amount in such cases to avoid injustice.