Understanding Pain & Suffering in a Personal Injury Case
Pain and suffering due to personal injury are intense, and often the cause of involvement in legal cases. Medical costs (or economic losses) associated with an accident are often recovered, but it is often not known if the ‘other damages’ incurred are claimable as well.
Personal injury cases range from car accidents, truck accidents, or even on-the-job injuries. Such legal cases are primarily revolved around the involved parties’ “pain and suffering” to a great extent. These two terms are, in fact, a major component of most personal injury cases.
Reason behind pain and suffering
Accident cases that result in minor or major injuries are quite painful and involve suffering. More so if the accident occurred due to no personal fault. The subsequent days (sometimes, even months) can be spent visiting hospitals, doctor clinics, buying medicines, taking appointments, undergoing treatments, and more.
Work suffers and so does the claimant’s personal life. Primarily, there is much anxiety, depression, pain, and stress involved.
The current article will talk about what pain and suffering legally imply, calculating pain and suffering, and understanding pain and suffering settlement.
Pain and Suffering: What are they?
Broadly speaking, pain and suffering are thought to be of two types, namely, physical and mental. Understanding these two different categories of pain and suffering is important to grasp what they imply legally.
Let us look into what these two types are, in a little more detail.
Type 1: Physical pain and suffering
Physical injuries can cause physical pain, discomfort, and suffering. These are borne by the claimant and have negative impacts on the health of the person. The negligence of the defendant has resulted in physical pain undergone by the claimant.
Type 2: Mental pain and suffering
Claimants also suffer mentally from physical and bodily injuries. The pain and suffering experienced mentally can take the forms of emotional distress, detachment from daily life, fear, humiliation, anger, and shock.
All negative emotions resulting due to the accident suffered by the claimant are included under mental pain and suffering. Emotional and cognitive capacities are also bound to suffer greatly. Some major accidents are more traumatic than physically hurting. One of the common results of major accidents is the victim’s developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
What you can do - Pain and suffering damages
In case of personal injury, people can ask for a personal injury claim. In fact, they are also entitled to compensation in return for the pain and suffering they have gone through.
Here comes the role played in the personal injury claim.
Calculating pain and suffering
Calculating the pain and suffering claim is not easy. That is because there is no legal jury responsible for determining the amount. It is simply decided by the jury (under the judge’s orders) to calculate the personal injury claim amount, keeping in mind common sense, case details and personal experiences.
The amount must be fair and reasonable for compensating the claimant. A common method used here is the “multiplier” way. In personal injury cases, the claimant’s medical bills given by the hospital or doctor’s clinic are considered. Taking the pain and suffering experienced by the person into account, the amount is determined as a multiple of this total bill value. This gives a rough estimate.
In case the accident results in a severe disability, the exact amount for the pain and suffering damages is calculated keeping in mind the long-term medical care required. The cost of future medical care and treatments is also taken into consideration to calculate the value.
The idea behind this multiplication is the fact that the accident caused a hindrance to the claimant’s happy life and usual life routine.
Let’s look into this matter in a little more detail here.
Factors that help determine pain and suffering settlement
Most generally, for calculating pain and suffering, the total bills are multiplied by a number between 1.5 and 5. The actual number depends on the claims made, and the severity of the injuries suffered.
Here’s a short list of some factors that were considered before coming to a conclusive claim amount:
1. Likeability of the person taking legal action (plaintiff)
2. Credibility of the plaintiff
3. Consistency in the testimony
4. Medical or doctor’s claims
5. Relatability of the injuries and diagnosis claimed in the accident
6. Criminal record of the plaintiff
Contact a renowned and trusted personal injury lawyer at the earliest in case you or your loved ones are suffering mentally or physically. The mental and cognitive as well as physical loss incurred due to an accident is aptly calculated by Maryland’s personal injury attorney.