Updated on May 23, 2019.
How can the suffering that you experience from an injury ever truly be quantified? How can a dollar amount ever be set for the pain that you have gone through? These are the questions that injured parties, insurance companies, and attorneys must struggle with when trying to ascertain how much you deserve to get paid.
Pain and suffering are considered to be general damages, which means they are distinct from the economic or special damages that you might request in a personal injury claim. Special damages are easy to quantify because they are the monetary losses that you suffer, such as medical bills, lost income, etc. General damages describe the type of losses that are not so easy to assess, such as the loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, and pain and suffering. This does not mean these damages do not exist. Your pain is very real; and if it was caused by the negligence or recklessness of another party, then they should compensate you monetarily.
The difficult part lies in equating how much money should equal the amount of pain and suffering that you’ve gone through.
Figuring Out the Amount for Pain And Suffering
There are several different methods that lawyers, insurance companies, and courts may utilize when attempting to come up with the general damages amount for pain and suffering:
- Daily Rate: One method is to use a daily rate. A dollar amount will be placed on every day that the defendant suffered, and this number will be used as the general damages amount. The daily rate is often calculated by the defendant’s daily earnings.
- Multiplier: Another common method utilized to ascertain general damages for pain and suffering is to take the amount of special damages (medical costs, lost wages, etc.) and multiply that amount by a certain factor.
In either one of these cases, the contentious part comes in figuring out either what the daily rate should be or what the multiplying factors should be.
Other factors also will affect the amount of damages that are likely to be recovered. For instance, the type of case can impact the general damages amount. If you are the plaintiff in the case where the liability is uncontested, or at least nearly uncontestable, then the general damages are likely to be greater. An example of this would be a case where a police report clearly puts the blame for a car accident on the defendant. In such a case, the general damages the plaintiff will request would start at a much higher amount. When proving the defendant’s liability is an issue, however, the initial general damages a plaintiff might request would likely start at a lower amount. This is because the plaintiff cannot prove that the defendant is liable for his injuries, and may not recover anything for his losses.
If you want the compensation you deserve, you need to contact the experienced legal team at Colorado’s Tenge Law Firm, LLC. Our attorneys will work with you and your doctors to calculate how much restitution you need to make yourself whole again. We charge no upfront fees for our services. We only get paid if we win your case. Contact us for a free case evaluation. We have offices in Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins.