Unfortunately, experiencing pain and suffering after a severe personal injury is not uncommon.
The physical, mental, and emotional pain you face can cause anxiety, depression, grief, insomnia, fear, and even post-traumatic stress disorder, all of which can be worse than the injury itself.
You probably know that collecting compensation for your doctor bills and lost wages is possible.
But did you know that in North Carolina, injury victims grappling with emotional and psychological hardships may also be entitled to pain and suffering damages?
However, calculating pain and suffering can be difficult. Determining a settlement amount for expenses like doctor bills and lost wages is easy because they have an assigned monetary value.
However, pain and suffering can be different for every person, so unsurprisingly, it is difficult to estimate how much pain and settlement compensation to ask for on your own.
At Mehta & McConnell, PLLC, we have over 30 years of combined legal experience handling pain and suffering settlements.
Our skilled team can help you ascertain your losses and damages and come up with a fair number that rights some of the wrongs your injury caused you.
Our compassionate advocates will fight for the compensation you deserve and stand by you at every step of the settlement process. You’ve suffered enough.
Let us help you seek a settlement that will set you on the road to recovery.
How Much Can You Get for Pain and Suffering?
Pain and suffering damages are part of a larger category of damages called noneconomic damages.
Noneconomic damages are designed to compensate you for non-monetary losses caused by your injury.
Calculating how much your pain and suffering are worth can be challenging, and the exact amount you can seek will depend on the unique facts and circumstances of your case.
However, in many cases, pain and suffering settlements include awards for the following noneconomic damages:
- Emotional distress—this category of losses includes anxiety, depression, fear, sleep disturbances like insomnia, and other emotional and psychological conditions caused by your injury;
- Loss of enjoyment of life—if you’ve stopped doing the things you love because of your injury, such as playing in an ultimate frisbee league, painting, or hiking in the mountains, you can be compensated for that loss; and
- Loss of consortium—if you can no longer engage in the activities related to companionship with a partner or loved one at the level you once enjoyed, you may be eligible for compensation for that loss.
We can review your case, help you determine your pain and suffering damages, and assist you in determining what a just settlement amount is for your case.
Is There a Pain and Suffering Calculator?
Because pain and suffering damages vary from person to person, there is no pain and suffering calculator that will accurately determine your damages.
Attorneys generally use two methods to calculate pain and suffering: the multiplier method and the per diem method.
Neither is exact, but these methods are more likely to fully capture your losses than a pain and suffering calculator you find on the internet.
Either method will help you and your attorney develop a fair estimate that reflects your pain and suffering damages.
The multiplier method adds up all of your economic damages and uses that number as a base to calculate your noneconomic damages, including pain and suffering.
Economic damages include medical bills, current and future lost wages, and property damages.
After adding these damages together, your attorney will multiply the total by a number between 1.5 and 5.
The number in that range that is selected is called the multiplier and should correlate with how extensive and severe your noneconomic damages are.
Other factors attorneys often consider when determining a multiplier include:
- Whether permanent disability or paralysis is involved;
- The recovery timeframe for the injury;
- The certainty of the negligent party’s fault; and
- Expert testimony, such as therapist and doctor opinions providing clear proof of pain and suffering.
In general, the more severe your injury, the higher multiplier, and vice versa. For example, if your injuries paralyze you or you go blind, your multiplier is likely five.
If you suffered temporary injuries, like a broken arm, your multiplier is likely one or two.
Per Diem Method
Per diem is a Latin phrase that means “by the day.” With the per diem method, your attorney and the insurance company or jury will attempt to determine a daily rate to pay you for your pain and suffering.
The timeline starts at your accident’s date and runs until the day you no longer need medical treatment or care.
The amount must be based on a concrete factor, so your attorneys may suggest using something like the daily amount you make at work to calculate your per diem amount.
For example, if you make $100 a day and are in pain for 200 days, your attorney may ask for $20,000 in pain and suffering damages.
What Factors Affect a Pain and Suffering Settlement?
Numerous factors can affect a pain and suffering settlement in North Carolina. Some of the most common factors that are considered include:
- The egregiousness of the at-fault party’s negligent behavior,
- Your injury’s severity,
- The type of medical treatments you need and will continue to need,
- How your injury affects your daily life,
- How your injury affects your mental health,
- Your kind of employment,
- Your age and general health, and
- The way your pain and suffering affect your relationships with friends and family.
Every pain and suffering claim is different, which means that the factors that are most influential when calculating damages will depend on the unique facts of each case.
However, in every case, correctly calculating your claim’s value is one of the most vital and challenging parts of the pain and suffering compensation process.
This is just one reason why it is essential to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer who is skilled at determining pain and suffering compensation.
Working with a lawyer who thoroughly understands North Carolina personal injury law and who is familiar with pain and suffering awards can make all the difference in securing a just settlement.
Contact Mehta & McConnell Today
The lawyers at Mehta & McConnell understand the complex formulas that are used to determine pain and suffering compensation.
If you’re hurting after being injured in an accident, our compassionate team is here to help you secure a fair pain and suffering settlement.
We can help you fully understand what your injuries are worth and fight for an outcome you can feel good about.
At Mehta & McConnell, we pride ourselves on our professional and cost-effective services and on providing every client the attention they deserve.
Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.