How to Calculate Your Pain and Suffering in a Florida Personal Injury Case?
If you were injured due to another person’s negligence – in a car crash, slip and fall accident, or any other situation – you can obtain compensation by filing a claim against the at-fault party.
Then, after establishing the other party’s fault, you can receive both economic and non-economic damages. While economic damages are quite straightforward and easily calculable (medical expenses, loss of wages, etc.), non-economic damages, which include pain and suffering, do not have a set dollar amount.
Non-economic damages are difficult to calculate, which is why injured individuals often seek help from personal injury attorneys to help them determine the value of their pain and suffering damages.
Economic and Non-Economic Damages
When you become injured due to someone else’s negligence, your personal injury settlement will be broken down into two elements:
- Economic damages
- Non-economic damages
As mentioned earlier, economic damages are easy to calculate because all you need to do is add up your medical bills, lost wages, and other tangible losses.
As for non-economic damages, however, they are not as readily calculable because they are based on the person’s pain and suffering and other subjective consequences of the accident. Often, courts rely on expert testimony to justify a pain and suffering settlement in Florida.
Factors That Affect Your Pain and Suffering Settlement
Typically, the value of pain and suffering in a personal injury case is based on your physical injury and how you feel following the accident. Factors that affect how much pain and suffering is worth include:
- The severity of your injury. The more serious your injury is, the higher the settlement.
- Fault. Whether another party caused or contributed to your pain and suffering.
- The strength of evidence. You need to gather compelling evidence proving the other party’s fault and document your pain, injury, medical expenses, and treatment.
- The length of your recovery. How long it has taken or will take you to recover plays a major role in calculating pain and suffering.
- The effects of the injury. You can maximize your pain and suffering award if your injury prevents you from enjoying your pre-injury activities and interests as well as affects your relationship with the spouse.
- Legal representation. As a rule of thumb, those who are represented by an experienced attorney are more likely to receive a higher pain and suffering settlement.
- Negotiation skills. Your lawyer’s ability to negotiate in a convincing manner will maximize your pain and suffering award.
How Do Florida Courts Calculate Pain and Suffering?
It is vital to speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to examine your particular case and calculate pain and suffering damages. The methods used to determine the value of pain and suffering vary from one case to another.
The multiplier method is the most popular one to calculate these non-economic damages. To calculate pain and suffering with the help of the multiplier method, your attorney will identify the most appropriate number between 1.5 and 5 based on the severity of your injury and other factors. Then, your economic damages will be multiplied by that number.
For example, if your economic damages total $10,000, and the severity of your injury is a 3, your pain and suffering will amount to $30,000. Another popular method of determining the value of pain and suffering is the per diem method. When using this method, a specific dollar amount will be paid to the victim for each day until he or she recovers.