When someone is injured in an accident, it can seem like an insurmountable task to put a price on pain and suffering. After all, two different people can sustain similar injuries in similar accidents but have very different experiences of emotional trauma and pain.
That’s why, in the court of law, pain and suffering are considered a non-economic damage, which means that there is no precise dollar amount assigned – it’s decided on a case-by-case basis.
However, just because it’s non-economic doesn’t mean the state of New York lacks a method for figuring it out. Here’s what you need to know about how “pain and suffering” is calculated after a New York car accident.
The Multiplier Method
This is one of the procedures employed most commonly to help calculate pain and suffering: the multiplier method.
When it’s used, the amount of economic damage is assessed with considerations such as the past and futures costs of medical care and treatment, lost earning capacity, and lost wages. This can include property damage as well. The amount is then multiplied by a number based on the severity of the injury, normally between 1.5 and 5.
The Per Diem Approach
Using the per diem approach, a dollar amount is assigned to each day the victim has suffered from the injury, from day one until they are fully recovered. It sometimes takes into account a person’s daily wages as well.
It’s important to understand that insurance companies and lawyers don’t have to calculate any settlement you are entitled to this way. Plus, unexpected factors may be considered when using this approach to calculate pain and suffering, like the recommendations of the physician treating your injuries.
Often, insurance companies use software programs to determine a settlement amount that takes into account the injury you are suffering as well as the medical treatments you have both received and may seek out in the future.
What Factors Are Used to Calculate Pain and Suffering?
Several factors are measured when it comes to calculating a person’s pain and suffering. They may include:
- Any post-traumatic stress disorder that has resulted
- Sexual dysfunctions
- Loss of appetite
These factors also play into considerations:
- Whether or not the victim’s daily life has in some way become limited or altered
- How relationships are impacted
- How long the effects of the injuries are expected to last
- If it’s a possibility that life may be shortened as a result of these injuries.
Permanent injuries that significantly impact a person’s life have a higher value when calculating pain and suffering.
What About Loss of Enjoyment?
If your attorney can show that the impact your injury had in your life has reduced the performance or enjoyment of things you used to like doing, then that can also increase any compensation you receive from pain and suffering.
This can include hobbies, socializing with friends, sports and other recreational activities, travel, and even volunteer work.
Pain and suffering may seem like an abstract concept to those who aren’t living with the result of a New York car accident every day. If you believe you have a case when it comes to pain and suffering, then pursue it so you can get the compensation you deserve.