The pain and suffering award is the most negotiable part of your personal injury settlement. Your medical bills are easy enough to calculate from the actual amount of the medical bills. If you can return to work, then your lost wages are as simple as calculating a few weekly paychecks.
Pain and suffering is different. While the law recognizes that what you went through was real and difficult, there is no hard and fast rule for measuring how much harm someone has been through.
Instead, we try to rate the suffering on a scale of 1.5 to 5, and then multiply the resulting number by your economic damages. 1.5 is the least amount of suffering a person can go through, whereas a 5 is the greatest possible suffering. There is also a per diem method that pays you a dollar amount for every day you were injured, using your wages, though this method is used less often.
The multiplier is what your personal injury attorney must negotiate for you. We use several facts of the case to do this, including:
- The impact your injuries have had on your daily life.
- Whether or not you are suffering from mental health conditions as a result of your injury.
- The impact on your career and work prospects.
- The length of expected recovery.
- Whether or not your injury could shorten your life expectancy.
One thing we ask you to do is to document your pain on a daily basis, as well as whether or not you have trouble completing any activities.
We may also bring in expert witnesses, such as doctors, to testify about changes in your health. If your injury has left you with a limited range of motion, for example, then the doctor would be able to make that clear during the settlement process. We’d take a deposition that we could later refer back to when questioning the doctor at trial, if necessary.
We might also use statements from family members or friends to document how they perceive the changes that have been made in your life after the accident.
There is no cap on pain and suffering compensation, though there may be similar cases that could limit whether or not we can set the multiplier higher or lower.
The faster you hire a personal injury attorney the higher your award is likely to be. This is because we can move faster to secure vital evidence in your case before it disappears, and can deal with insurance companies on your behalf so that you don’t run the risk of making an innocent mistake which could weaken your case.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, don’t delay. Call RLF today.
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Meet Mr. Richman
SCOTT B. RICHMAN, ESQ.
Mr. Richman is the Managing Member and Founder of Richman Law Firm PLLC. In his role as Managing Member, Mr. Richman oversees the day-to-day operations of the firm and handles the litigation of the most complex legal matters across a vast array of practice areas and disciplines.