When a person is injured in a car accident, he or she may recover money for their damages from the party who caused the crash. A portion of the claim in an injury case is based on the pain and suffering caused as a result of the accident.
However, a specific “calculator” for pain and suffering does not exist. In injury cases, an attorney uses factors from the case to determine the pain and suffering portion of a settlement. Financial damages are easy to calculate by using receipts, invoices, and other bills. Placing a dollar value on a person’s pain is much more difficult, however.
It would be easier to value a claim if a calculator existed to put a value on a person’s pain. However, each accident case is different, and each victim is unique. To use one formula to calculate pain and suffering damages would be unfair to accident victims.
An attorney generally uses two categories of damages to value an injury claim. The categories are economic damages and pain & suffering damages. Calculating the value for each category involves a different approach. Below is a discussion of how damages may be calculated in an accident claim.
Economic damages are typically the expenses related to the accident, injury, and recovery. The value of economic damages may include the total of:
The second category of damages in an accident injury claim is much more difficult to calculate. These damages compensate an injury victim for the suffering and stress caused by the accident and injuries. These damages are different for each person. Because a “bill” for noneconomic damages does not exist, lawyers may use several factors to calculate the value. Factors used might include:
Experienced injury attorneys understand how to use the evidence in the case to present a convincing argument for maximum compensation. In addition, expert testimony from physicians can also help to describe the level of pain a person may endure who suffers from the same injuries. Physicians could also testify whether the person’s case was “normal” or worse than typically expected for the given condition.
Injury victims may be able to receive compensation for:
A statement or testimony from the injured victim is used to describe the level of pain and anguish suffered because of the accident. Details about pain level, nightmares, panic attacks, and other stressors can help. Photographs and statements from family members can also help to substantiate the level of suffering and pain.
It does not exist. A wise “calculator” could be the use of an attorney with experience handling accident claims. It is not in the victim’s best interest to place a value on damages until the victim has recovered fully from his or her injuries. Attempting to value an injury claim before a person has healed from their injuries may result in a lower settlement amount.
Injury lawyers who use pain and suffering calculators may not be acting in the best interest of their clients. An attorney should carefully evaluate every aspect of a case to determine the amount of a settlement demand. Plugging in numbers and using a “one fits all” formula does not take into consideration the accident victim’s unique experience.
Amar Esq. PLLC is a law firm located in Scottsdale, AZ.