| Read Time: 3 minutes | Car Accidents

A terrible accident will cause more than just your physical injuries. It will also lead to significant pain and suffering. This can lead to both economic and non-economic costs from the emotional trauma and physical suffering you endure. Calculating pain and suffering damages comes with several challenges, but is best performed with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney in North Carolina.

At Ellis Law, our dedicated accident lawyer understands the pain and trauma you are dealing with. We also know how to calculate your damages and pursue the monetary damages you are owed. 

calculating pain and suffering damages

Defining Pain and Suffering Damages

The phrase “pain and suffering” is one most people have heard, but it has a more specific legal context in a personal injury case. After your accident, you will learn first-hand the catastrophic impact of a collision, slip and fall accident, or other incident. This will include economic damages such as medical bills, lost income, property damage, and other easily definable compensation amounts.

It will also include non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. Non-economic damages do not have an easily ascertainable amount. Instead, they are based on the unique circumstances of your case and the impact it has had on your life.

Types of Pain and Suffering Damages in North Carolina

There are many kinds of pain and suffering damages you may endure after a serious accident. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Physical discomfort
  • Mental and emotional anguish
  • Post-traumatic stress
  • Distress
  • Loss of consortium (loss of companionship and support)
  • Anxiety
  • Anger or frustration
  • Sleep problems and mood swings
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Grief after losing a loved one
  • Disfigurement or scarring trauma

No medical bill or single piece of paper will define what each of these costs. This can make it challenging to calculate pain and suffering damages for most people or even inexperienced attorneys.

Overcoming the Challenges: Calculating Pain and Suffering Damages

Juries or judges calculate pain and suffering damages by considering several factors and the unique circumstances of your situation. Some factors they rely upon include the following:

  • Impact on Your Daily Life: More serious injuries have a more devastating impact on your daily life. They interrupt normal activities or even make impossible what you used to do in your normal life.
  • Injury Severity: More severe and painful injuries deserve higher compensation. For example, a paralysis injury is more serious than a broken bone that eventually heals. 
  • Medical Treatment You Receive: While you are likely entitled to compensation for the actual costs of your medical treatment, a jury can consider the nature of the treatment when calculating pain and suffering damages. For example, invasive surgery is more traumatic than a quick emergency room visit.
  • Mental Distress: The jury or judge can consider the emotional and psychological trauma of what you have been through. They can consider your testimony and mental health treatment records in helping make this determination.

Methods Insurance Companies Use to Calculate Pain and Suffering Compensation

North Carolina insurance companies often use specific methods to help them calculate appropriate pain and suffering awards. Two common methods include:

The Per Diem Method

The per diem method is primarily used when you are expected to make a full recovery from the accident, even if it may take some time. It seeks to apply a specific amount to the number of days you suffered from your particular injury. This will consider the severity of your suffering calculated over the number of days you endured it.

The Multiplier Method

The multiplier method considers all of your economic damages and multiplies it by a number that represents the seriousness of your injuries. The multiplier is typically anywhere between 1.5 and 5 depending on how severe your accident and suffering were.

Seek Pain and Suffering Damages in Your Case

The skilled team at Ellis Law is well-experienced handling pain and suffering cases for you. We know the hurdles and challenges ahead but have the knowledge needed to fight for you. 

Contact us today for a free consultation of your case.

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