Pain and suffering is money that is owed by the defendant in a lawsuit for the emotional harm and suffering the injured person endured. It is a category of the value of a personal injury case. For a personal injury case, the monetary value of the case is:
- Medical Bills
- Wage Loss/Loss of Income
- Pain and Suffering
In legalese, pain and suffering is considered what is called “non-economic damages.” This means that there are no specific numbers that help determine the value of the pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is what a person had to go through because of the harm they suffered that is not related to money.
Because there are no numbers specifically tied to pain and suffering (such as medical bills or wage stubs), there is a lot of different ways to calculate this number. The value is calculated differently depending on the type of firm handling your injury case. There is a range of how pain and suffering is calculated. Here are the different ways, and why they are calculated different.
- The insurance industry calculates pain and suffering as a value related to other calculable values. The insurance value comes from looking at the medical bills and wage loss, and multiplying them by 2x, 3x, or 4x. Insurance companies use algorithms to calculate these numbers. This will be the lowest value.
- Law Firms that handle large numbers of personal injury cases value pain and suffering similar to what they believe they can get from an insurance company. Or what other lawyers have gotten for similar cases. Generally these numbers will be a multiplier or something specific that the law firm picks out as a reason they should get a larger multiplier. This is the second lowest value.
- Trial firms handle pain and suffering completely differently. Trial lawyers know that pain and suffering is the value of the individual events that the injured person endured. These are calculated based on what a jury would award if it went to trial. These numbers are significantly higher than the first two calculations and can make your lawsuit more valuable.