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Calculating Pain and Suffering in Florida

Posted in Personal Injury on September 30, 2019

If you incurred injuries from an accident that was the result of another party’s negligence, you might face economic damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and more. These damages can be easy to determine by simply looking at your pharmacy and doctor’s office receipts and calculating how much money you’ve lost by not working.

Non-economic damages, however, are more difficult to put a value on, as there are no hard numbers involved. One non-economic damage with value that is particularly challenging to determine is pain and suffering. This is the physical and mental pain associated with your injury, and it often includes discomfort, aches, and other pain that you suffer due to the accident.

If you’re concerned about calculating pain and suffering in your Fort Lauderdale personal injury case, reach out to the Law Offices of David I. Fuchs for help. Call (954) 568-3636, or reach out through the online form to schedule a free, initial consultation of your case.

Factors Considered When Determining the Value of Pain and Suffering

The most common factors that are considered when pain and suffering damages are calculated include:

  • Injury severity – Is your injury a minor cut that you can recover from quickly, or a traumatic brain injury that will require lifelong care and rehabilitation? The more severe your injury is, the more pain and suffering compensation you’re likely to receive.
  • Required medical treatment – While some injuries are treated with pain medication and rest, others involve surgeries, assistive devices, and even home modifications. The more intense and costly your treatment plan is, the higher the value of your pain and suffering damage could be.
  • Recovery period – Will you recover from your injury in a few weeks or months? Or will it take several months or years for you to completely heal? A longer recovery period often leads to greater compensation for pain and suffering.
  • Impact of the injury on your life – If your injury leaves you with a disability and takes a serious toll on the rest of your life, you’re likely to receive more pain and suffering compensation than a victim whose injuries will allow them to return to their pre-accident condition right away.

Types of Evidence Used to Prove Pain and Suffering

Since Florida views pain and suffering as a general damage claim, you can use evidence to help determine its value. Examples of the types of evidence you may want to collect and show to the liable party’s insurance company include:

  • Your doctor’s opinion of your injuries, and how they will impact the rest of your life
  • A prescription history for drugs related to pain, anxiety, and/or depression
  • Testimony from your spouse or close family members about how the injury has affected you
  • A mental health professional’s opinion of your current state of mind
  • Your personal recording of your day-to-day suffering and experiences after the accident

Methods Used to Calculate Pain and Suffering

It’s a good idea to consult a personal injury lawyer who can evaluate your case and help determine the value of your pain and suffering through a logical method. Often, attorneys use the multiplier method to calculate this type of damage. This method uses a number between 1.5 and 5 that is chosen based on the severity of the injury, and multiplies it by the economic cost of repairing the injury.

For instance, if you have $5,000 in medical bills and the severity of your injury is a 4, your pain and suffering value would be $20,000. Another commonly used method is the per diem method, where a certain dollar amount is paid for each day from when an accident occurred until you recover.

Do You Have Questions About Calculating Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering damages can be tricky to calculate on your own so it’s important to seek legal representation as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of David I. Fuchs, an experienced personal injury attorney will work with you to evaluate your case and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free evaluation of your case, call (954) 568-3636 today, or reach out through the online form.