How Do You Calculate Pain and Suffering?

How Do You Calculate Pain and Suffering?When you are involved in an accident, you may decide to take legal action and file a personal injury claim. However, instead of only seeking compensation for your economic losses, you may wish to seek compensation to cover your pain and suffering damages as well.

Even though it is easy to calculate your economic losses by adding up your bills, fees, and expenses, it can be very challenging to calculate non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering. However, an experienced Kansas City personal injury attorney can help in this task.

What is pain and suffering?

After an accident, a person may have pain and suffering if they experience any emotional or physical trauma. This means that if you suffered a spinal cord injury or an amputation in a car accident and became permanently disabled or disfigured, you may have severe daily pain as well as developed depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), insomnia, and amaxophobia, which is a fear of driving or riding in a car. All of these effects from the accident and injury are considered pain and suffering.

Pain and suffering is typically considered physical and psychological pain and effects from an accident and injury. Although it can be difficult to place a direct value on your pain and suffering, it is not impossible with the help and guidance of a Kansas City, MO personal injury lawyer.

The different methods used to calculate pain and suffering

There are two different methods commonly used by insurance companies to calculate your pain and suffering damages. We will go over both of these methods in detail below.

  • The multiplier method: The multiplier method is very popular among insurance companies. This method involves an equation in which you add up all your damages and multiply the total number by a certain number, which can be between 1.5 and 5. The multiplier number is typically chosen by the level of your pain and suffering. Therefore, if your pain and suffering is very bad, your multiplier number may be a 4 or 5. However, if your pain and suffering is less severe or temporary, the multiplier may be between a 1.5 and a 3.

The insurance company may decide on your multiplier number by evaluating your injuries. While you would think that a more severe injury would warrant a higher number, the chances are good the insurance company will pick a lower one. For instance, if you are paralyzed from the waist down or lost a limb from the accident, we would use a multiplier of 5, but the insurance company may try to argue it should only be a 2.5 or 3. It’s one reason why having an attorney is so important.

An example of how the multiplier method works is if your economic damages add up to be $50,000 and your multiplier is a 4, your pain and suffering total would be $200,000 ($50,000×4), plus $50,000 (for economic losses) for a total of $250,000.

  • The per diem method: Another method used to calculate pain and suffering is the per diem method. This method is less popular and not used as often as the multiplier method. The reason for this is because this method places a dollar amount for every day that a person is affected by their pain and suffering. For example, if you missed two weeks of work because you were in too much physical pain or because you felt severely overwhelmed, anxious, or fatigued from the accident or injuries, the per diem method would multiply the value amount by the number of days that you were affected, which in this case would be 14. If your daily dollar amount is $250, the insurance company would multiply $250 by 14, which adds up to $3,500 in pain and suffering for the two weeks that you were out of work.

How can I increase my chances of receiving compensation for pain and suffering in Kansas City, MO?

In order to increase your chances of receiving compensation for pain and suffering, you will need to successfully prove that you experienced a significant amount of pain and suffering and that it was a direct result of your accident and injuries. You will likely need a personal injury lawyer by your side to help you navigate the difficulties and complexities of proving pain and suffering. Once you consult and hire an attorney, they will explain what they may need to prove your pain and suffering, which is usually valuable and convincing evidence, such as:

  • Counseling or psychological reports: If you are attending appointments with a counselor or psychologist to help with your anxiety, depression, PTSD, or a phobia that you have developed since the accident, you may be able to use your counseling or psychological reports as evidence of your pain and suffering. This may include notes or evaluations recorded or documented by your counselor or psychologist, which elaborate on your mental and emotional condition and what may have caused it.
  • A journal, notebook, or any other personal documents: Once you start feeling any signs of physical, emotional, or mental effects from an accident, it is recommended that you immediately begin documenting what you feel, when, where, and how it affects your daily life and activities. You may do this in a journal, notebook, or diary, which can be used as a source of evidence to prove your pain and suffering from the accident.
  • Witness statements and testimonies: If anyone around you has witnessed the pain and suffering that you are dealing with, you can ask them to provide statements and testimonies about what they saw. This may be your family, friends, caregivers, neighbors, coworkers, doctors, and more.
  • Photographs or videos: Photographs and videos may be used as evidence of pain and suffering if you have used these methods to keep track of your injuries since the accident. For example, if you took pictures or recorded videos of the scarring and disfigurement that occurred to your face or body, these pictures and videos may help show how serious and unpleasant your facial and bodily injuries were, which severely impacted your self-esteem and confidence.
  • Medical records or reports: Your medical records and reports may also give the insurance company or jury a detailed look at your medical condition and injuries from the accident. This can help explain some of the aftermath and effects that you are experiencing, which has led to your pain and suffering.

If you or a family member were recently involved in an accident and want to pursue more than just economic damages, Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys is here to legally assist you. Our team is experienced, skilled, and knowledgeable when it comes to pursuing and fighting for damages to cover your pain and suffering. All you have to do is call Kansas City’s Favorite Law Firm or submit our contact form to schedule your free case review, and we will gladly sit down and begin discussing your claim with you. We are available any time during office hours at our Kansas City, MO office and by appointment only at our other offices located in Lee’s Summit, Parkville and St. Joseph (MO); Olathe, Kansas City, and Overland Park (KS).