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How is "Pain and Suffering" Measured?

Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, PLLC

If you recently sustained injuries that were caused by someone else’s negligent or careless actions and are beginning to look into filing a personal injury claim, chances are you might be aware that you can be compensated for something known as pain and suffering. Unlike the monetary losses associated with your accident, such as medical bills and lost wages, pain and suffering involve non-economic damages, such as loss of enjoyment of life and grief.

Defining Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering encompass far more than just the physical pain that is associated with an injury. It also includes emotional and mental injuries, such as fear, insomnia, worry, and even inconvenience. Generally, most injured parties are able to recover some compensation for pain and suffering, even if it is a small amount.

How Do Insurance Companies Calculate Pain and Suffering?

There is no single steadfast rule that is universally used to calculate pain and suffering, though there are a few common approaches to how it is done. In some cases, the injured party’s actual damages, such as medical bills and lost wages, is multiplied by a number between 1 and 5, which is dependent on how severe the injury is. It is also possible to calculate pain and suffering by using a per diem approach. Using this method, a certain amount would be assigned to each day, starting on the day of the accident, until the injured party reaches maximum recovery.

That said, insurance companies are not obligated to use any specific methods to calculate an injured party’s pain and suffering. In fact, oftentimes, companies use computer programs to assess the value of pain and suffering, which often do not take several factors into account, such as the nature of the injury, the type, and the medical treatment that was necessary.

Proving Pain and Suffering in a Personal Injury Claim

It can be challenging to prove pain and suffering in a claim if you do not have any evidence to support it, so make sure your injuries are thoroughly documented through photos, personal journals, statements from friends and family, and proof of treatment by a mental health professional if you are claiming increased anxiety or depression.

Is the Offer Fair?

It is not uncommon for an insurance company to attempt to settle a personal injury claim. If the offer includes pain and suffering, how would you know if it is fair? You could use the multiplier method or the per diem method to get an estimate, but generally, the most effective way to know if an offer is fair is by hiring a personal injury attorney with extensive experience in negotiating settlement offers. He or she will be able to calculate a fair value for your injuries, including pain and suffering, and advise you on whether or not it is in your best interests to accept a proposed settlement.

Personal Injury Attorneys in Texas and Oklahoma

If you sustained injuries that were caused by another party’s negligence, it is crucial that you seek the legal advice of an experienced personal injury attorney. At Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, PLLC, our team of attorneys is committed to fighting on behalf of the injured to ensure they receive the compensation they deserve and need during this difficult time. Backed by a proven track record of success, you can be confident in our ability to represent you.

Get started on your case today and contact us at (918) 347-6456 to schedule your free initial case evaluation. You will not owe us any legal fees if we cannot win your case.