Pain and suffering is a legal term which refers to an array of injuries
a plaintiff may suffer due to a
slip and fall, or any type of
personal injury. Not only does it encompass physical pain, but also emotional and mental
anguish such as depression, anxiety, grief, fear, insomnia, and even the
loss of enjoyment of life.
In nearly every personal injury case, the plaintiff is eligible to recover
some amount for pain and suffering damages. But how are these non-economic
How Insurance Providers Determine Pain & Suffering Damages
It is not so simple to put a dollar amount on pain and suffering, but there
are a few ways that insurances companies calculate these damages as part
of an injury settlement. The two most common are the multiplier method
and the “per diem” (daily rate) method.
The multiplier method entails adding up all the special damages (economic)
and multiply those by a number between 1 (low end) and 5 (high end). The
second number depends on several factors related to your injury, including
the severity, your prospects for a quick and full recovery, the impact
of your injury on your day-to-day life, and whether or not the other party
was clearly at fault for the accident.
On the other hand, the per diem method is determining a certain dollar
amount for every day you had to live with the pain caused by the accident.
An effective way to ensure your daily rate is “reasonable”
is to use your actual, daily earnings because having to deal with the
pain caused by your injury every day is at least comparable to the effort
of working each day.
However, insurance companies are not obligated to consider these types
of methods in determining pain and suffering. Many providers use computer
programs to calculate what amount of any settlement offer should be allotted
for pain and suffering.
Proof of pain and suffering may take many forms, such as medical records
and witness accounts from your family. The more evidence you have to support
your claim, the better your chance of recovery a favorable amount.
If you suffered a serious injury caused by a negligent party,
contact our Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys at
Metzger Wickersham today.