How Much Pain and Suffering is Enough to Sue?
Pain and suffering refers to the injuries a plaintiff may incur as a result of an accident. It can encompass everything from physical injuries to emotional and mental injuries. But putting a dollar amount on pain and suffering can be difficult, how do you appraise someone’s well-being? How do you know when you’ve endured “enough” pain and suffering to bring forth a claim?
Pain and suffering isn’t always apparent on the surface, it can often take the form of:
- Loss of consortium
Pain and Suffering is a General Damage
If you’ve been injured in an accident, and your injuries have prevented you from living your life as you once used to, it is common to experience symptoms like depression or irritability. Your life has been disrupted through no fault of your own and you are probably eligible to receive compensation for your pain and suffering.
Pain and suffering is a general damage, which means it is a noneconomic damage. Unlike loss of property and loss of income, which have specific dollar amounts tied to them, general damages are unique to each plaintiff and must be individually assessed. A personal injury or car accident lawyer Phoenix Az trusts will include pain and suffering damages along with the actual damages in your case.
Methods of Assessment
To ensure a settlement offer that includes compensation for pain and suffering is reasonable, attorneys use assessment methods like those below:
Multiply the plaintiff’s actual damages (medical bills, lost wages) by a certain number, generally between 1 and 5. For example:
- A plaintiff incurred $5,000 in medical bills
- The number determined is four (based on the severity of the accident)
- $5,000 x 4 = $20,000
- The plaintiff’s attorney will seek $20,000 in damages for their client
Per Diem Method
A certain dollar amount is assigned for every day from the day of the accident to the day the plaintiff has reached maximum recovery. For example:
- It takes a plaintiff 180 days from the day of the accident to the day of their maximum recovery
- The plaintiff’s attorney assigns $100 to each day
- 180 days x $100 a day = $18,000
- The plaintiff’s attorney will seek $18,000 in damages for their client
The truth is, it doesn’t matter how much in actual damages you have, or how many days it takes you to fully recover, pain and suffering is a part of every personal injury lawsuit. When a plaintiff has been negligently injured, physical, emotional, and mental pain can be immediately apparent, or they can take years to manifest. Don’t wait until the symptoms become unbearable before you decide to seek compensation.
If you’ve been negligently injured, call an experienced personal injury attorney who can fairly assess your case and your pain and suffering.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Kamper Estrada LLP for their insight into pain and suffering.