Calculating Pain And Suffering: An Overview Of The Two Most Common Methods Used By Lawyers

After an automobile accident where the other driver is at fault, you can hire a lawyer in order to seek a monetary award for your injuries. In addition to seeking compensation for medical bills, lost wages and property damage, you can ask for a monetary award for your pain and suffering. However, it is difficult to calculate the monetary value of pain and suffering since you are the only one who experiences it. It is not tangible, meaning you cannot definitively prove the quantity of your pain and suffering. It is therefore up to you and your lawyer to take everything into consideration and place a value on your pain and suffering. Your personal injury attorney will likely use one of two methods. 

Multiplier Method

This method calculates your pain and suffering by taking the amount of your out of pocket expenses, such as medical bills and lost wages, and multiplying it by a number between one and five. If you have $5,000 in medical bills and lost wages and your lawyer decided on a multiplier of two, you will ask for $10,000 in pain and suffering damages as part of your lawsuit. 

The exact number that your lawyer arrives at will depend on the severity of the accident, the type of pain you're experiencing, and your long-term prognosis. For example, your lawyer will likely use a greater multiplier if you will have to deal with pain for the rest of your life and a lower multiplier if you're expected to recover with no ill effects. Other factors may influence the multiplier as well. For instance, if the at-fault driver was operating a vehicle while under the influence, your lawyer may seek a larger award. 

Per Diem Method

The per diem method takes into account the number of days or weeks that you suffer from an injury. For example, if you are in pain and unable to return to work for 30 days, your attorney would give your injuries a daily value and multiply that number by 30. This works well in cases where you expect to recover fully, but not so well in cases where you are expected to have long-term deficits. 

As you can imagine, there are advantages and disadvantages to each method. One calculation may result in a large reward for you while the other one gives you a fairly small award. For this reason, many attorneys will calculate your case using both methods in order to come to a fair and reasonable amount of money to seek for pain and suffering. For more information, contact an attorney that specializes in car accidents, such as Speers Reuland & Cibulskis, P.C.