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How to Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages in a Personal Injury Case

A serious accident can change a person’s life. Car accidents, slip and falls, dog bites, and other accidents have the potential to leave victims with expensive and permanently disabling injuries. And these injuries are extremely painful both physically and emotionally. If you’ve suffered physically or emotionally after an accident caused by another party, you need to seek pain and suffering damages.

If you suffer from an accident that leaves you temporarily or permanently disabled, you may struggle with mental health challenges, such as depression and anxiety. Additionally, the wreck itself or your resulting medical treatments can result in you developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

These different afflictions often require ongoing mental health treatment, such as therapy and medications, and they can ultimately impact your enjoyment of life. In this blog, you’ll learn about how to calculate your pain and suffering damages in Indiana.

What Are Non-Economic Damages in Indiana?

Before we discuss calculating pain and suffering damages, it’s important to know that pain and suffering is considered a non-economic damage. The two main types of damages in personal injury cases are economic and non-economic.

Economic damages are meant to reimburse you after an injury. You’ll likely face expensive medical bills, and your injuries can potentially prevent you from working temporarily or permanently. For that reason, victims can recover economic damages for past and future medical bills, lost wages, and loss of future earnings. Additionally, you can recover damages that reimburse you if the accident damaged your property, as is the case with car accidents.

Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages are not strictly calculable because they’re not intended to reimburse you. These damages are difficult to quantify because they do not have a direct financial cost. Instead, they’re intended to compensate for your pain and suffering. Of course, no amount of money can truly match what you’ve gone through, but these damages at least aim to help you on your path to healing as much as possible.

What Qualifies as Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering can include many different types of discomfort brought on by your accident. These are:

  • Emotional and/or Psychological Pain: Your accident and resulting injuries can cause emotional and psychological pain including PTSD, insomnia, fear, depression, and anxiety.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If you suffer from temporary or permanent disabilities or mental health issues, you may struggle to enjoy life. You may not be able to enjoy the same activities that you did before your injuries, such as sports, exercise, and hobbies.
  • Loss of Companionship: Loss of companionship is a form of pain and suffering awarded to a victim’s family member. For example, if a victim suffers fatal injuries or injuries leaving them with sexual dysfunction, their spouse may be able to recover loss of companionship damages.
  • Grief: If the victim dies during or after the accident, a family member, spouse, or partner may be able to recover pain and suffering damages.

How to Calculate Pain and Suffering

If you find a pain and suffering calculator online, it will most certainly be inaccurate. Every case is different, and the amount that you can recover will depend on a variety of circumstances that are outside of the scope of a simple Google search.

That said, different considerations can help you understand pain and suffering calculations, and you can consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to get an approximate estimation of how much you could expect.

If you’re wondering, “How is pain and suffering calculated,” the answer will depend on several factors. The factors that will likely determine how much you can recover are:

  • The evidence in your case
  • Whether you were partially at fault for the accident
  • The injury you suffered
  • The medication you’re now on due to your injuries
  • How the injuries impact your life
  • The amount of time it will take for you to recover

If you were partially responsible for your accident, you won’t be able to recover as much in compensation. Indiana uses a modified comparative negligence system, meaning that your percentage of blame directly impacts your compensation. For example, if you’re involved in a wreck and are found 10% at fault, your damages will be 10% less than what you would have recovered if you hadn’t been partially responsible.

Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated

How pain and suffering damages are calculated is through a multiplier method and a per diem method. With the multiplier method, your economic damages are multiplied by your degree of impairment. The court will assign an impairment rating between one and five, with “one” being mild and “five” being catastrophic. Let’s say that your economic damages are $20,000 and you receive an impairment rating of “three.” Your total damages will be $60,000.

The other method is per diem, Latin for “by the day.” With this method, your pain and suffering is assigned a specific dollar amount, and you receive that amount each day on which you’re recovering. For example, if your per diem amount is $70 and it takes you 300 days to recover, the total amount would be $210,000 (70 x 300).

Increase Your Pain and Suffering Damages By Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

If you suffered from an accident caused by the negligence or deliberate wrongdoing of another party, you need to file a claim or lawsuit to recover damages for pain and suffering as well as medical bills, lost wages, and loss of future earnings.

For legal assistance in Indiana, contact the Crossen Law Firm. We serve the residents of Avon, Brownsburg, Carmel, Fishers, Plainfield, Westfield, and Zionsville. We’ll fight to get you the most money possible for your injuries. Call us today at 317-401-8626, or you can contact us online here.