You have probably heard the phrase “pain and suffering” before, but you may not know that this is a key part of many personal injury cases. How are pain and suffering defined legally? How can pain and suffering be calculated when a lawsuit or insurance claim related to an injury comes up?
Pain and Suffering Defined :
There are two main types of pain and suffering. The first is physical pain and suffering, which relates to physical injuries or illnesses that a person endured. The second is mental pain and suffering, which refers to emotional trauma or turmoil that a person underwent.
Definitions of pain and suffering tend to be vague. When the term is used in personal injury claims, the claimant must prove that suffering occurred and that the suffering was caused by the defendant.
To claim that physical pain and suffering occurred, a claimant would need documentation of their physical injuries. The full suffering includes all of the discomfort and pain that has been endured, along with any effects the claimant is likely to experience in the future.
To claim that mental pain and suffering occurred, a claimant needs documentation of their mental state. Mental pain might include:
- Post-traumatic stress
- Anxiety and shock
- Any emotional distress and mental anguish
All negative emotions that a plaintiff has suffered due to an injury or a defendant’s negligence are considered to be mental pain and suffering.
Documents Needed for Proof :
No matter the circumstances, you will need to gather a great deal of documentation to prove that pain and suffering occurred:
- Receipts for prescriptions
- Official medical reports
- Receipts for over-the-counter medications
- Relevant medical bills
- Proof of time lost from work or school
- A detailed log of all missed activities, pain, and medical treatment
- Injury photos
Calculating Pain and Suffering :
There is no standard algorithm to calculate pain and suffering. Different insurance companies will calculate it in different ways. However, there are a few standard methods.
The multiplier method is used when a company multiplies a person’s total medical bills by a number ranging from 1 to 5. 1 is for minor injuries, while 5 is for more severe injuries. This is the amount of compensation the plaintiff receives.
The per diem method is used when a company uses formulas based around the daily suffering a person experiences. A person who was greatly inhibited in their daily function would gather an estimate of all of the activities they cannot do. They would then calculate a cost of compensation for each day. This figure would be multiplied by the amount of days the person had been injured.
Insurance companies might also estimate a generalized cost.
Final Thoughts :
Personal injury attorneys are best suited to handle your personal injury claim. They know the ins and outs of pain and suffering, and they can help you gather the necessary documentation to win your case.
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