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How are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated?

When you or a loved one is injured because of someone’s negligence, you have a right to seek compensation from those who are at fault, not only for damages but for pain and suffering as well. You can seek such damages for almost every type of personal injury case, including medical malpractice, slip-and-fall, car accident, or another incident. The term “damages” refers to the money you collect in the case.

With the help of a Florida personal injury lawyer, you can determine who is liable for your accident and obtain the money you need to put your life back together after the accident.

In Florida accident cases, damages will be calculated based on financial hardships (e.g.,) medical costs and lost wages, as well as pain and suffering damages. 

Do Pain and Suffering Calculators Work?

A Florida personal injury attorney will help you to recover the maximum compensation for pain and suffering after an accident. By calculating all your damages, a personal injury attorney can give you a sense of what your compensation may be. Your personal injury attorney will use a formula to account for your pain and suffering.

They will multiply your damages by one to five, depending on your injuries. However, the insurance company will use its own calculation as it attempts to pay out the lowest amount of damages possible.

Often, accident victims look to online calculators to determine the compensation they are entitled to for pain and suffering claims. An online calculator is never fully accurate. A proper accounting of your claim requires an understanding of the accident, the injuries sustained, and how those injuries affect you now and in the future. No online calculator can do that for you, but an experienced personal injury attorney can.

Insurance Company Pain and Suffering Calculations

An insurance company will use its own calculations to determine the amount of pain and suffering damage that an injury victim deserves. They typically do this by multiplying a victim’s medical bills by some predetermined figure.

This approach almost always undervalues the severe pain and suffering that an accident victim experiences. Because each case is unique, accident victims deserve an accident award that will accurately compensate them.

How are Pain and Suffering Defined?

Generally, the individual responsible for your injury is responsible for paying both your economic and non-economic damages. Pain and suffering damages are non-economic, meaning they have a subjective calculation. They are not tied to specific monetary values or losses.

Pain and suffering damages encompass an accident victim’s emotional and physical suffering. It is a measure of the trauma, anguish, and other pain that a victim suffers from an accident. 

Physical injuries can cause pain that can last days or even months and years. The injury may even cause pain that can last a lifetime.

Physical injuries qualifying for compensation related to pain and suffering may include the following:

According to Florida law, emotional distress occurs when a person’s negligent actions result in mental harm to the injury victim.

Emotional distress that qualifies for compensation includes:

  • PTSD
  • Cognitive changes
  • Insomnia
  • Anger
  • Grief
  • Fear
  • A loss of one’s quality of life

What Damages Can Be Added to a Florida Personal Injury Claim?

Typically, a Florida personal injury claim will include economic and non-economic damage claims, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Non-economic damage claims can be more challenging to calculate.

Personal Injury Economic Damages

It is easy to calculate economic damages because they usually have a measurable dollar amount associated with them. These damages can easily be presented to jurors using records of lost wages and medical bills. Often, juries are ready to compensate for these measurable losses. Proving non-economic (general) damages can be more difficult.

Personal Injury General Damages

These damages are non-economic. These pain and suffering damages may include emotional trauma or loss of consortium. These claims have no receipts with specific dollar amounts, but they still represent a severe loss for a victim and deserve compensation.

Settlement Damages vs. Trial Damages

Economic damages are usually pretty clear-cut. However, nearly every Florida personal injury victim suffers some form of non-monetary pain and suffering due to their accident. It is not easy to put a price tag on these damages. That is why these cases often go to trial so that the court, either through judge or jury, can set fair damages for all parties involved.

During a trial, victims and their attorneys can request non-economic damage compensation for the following:

  • Pain and suffering that results from a bodily injury
  • Pain and suffering that results from a physical impairment or disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Inconvenience
  • Mental anguish
  • The loss of an ability to enjoy life

How To Prove Damages from Pain and Suffering

Documented evidence will be required to establish either emotional or physical pain and suffering.

This documented evidence can include:

  • Written opinions or oral testimony from a medical expert or someone in the field of mental health
  • Notes from a therapist or other professional in the field of mental health
  • Personal documentation of any pain or suffering you have experienced (journals, notes, and diaries)
  • Photographs
  • Medical evidence
  • Personal testimony
  • Testimony from family and friends

All parties involved in the case (from the insurance company to the judge and the jury) will assess the scope of your pain and suffering based on the evidence you can provide.

Hiring a Personal Injury Law Firm to Handle Your Pain and Suffering Claim

Suppose you or someone you care about has experienced pain and suffering resulting from an accident. In that case, you may be able to receive compensation not only for medical bills and lost wages but for the anguish resulting from someone else’s negligence. Contact a personal injury lawyer for help with your claim.