A personal injury takes more than medical bills, productivity, and repair costs from you. It also affects your quality of life, whether it’s for a few days or for the rest of your life. It’s impossible to place a monetary value on those losses, but that’s exactly what pain and suffering damages do. By providing compensation for the suffering, you go through after an accident, the liable party can attempt to make things right.
Pain and suffering is just one part of a personal injury claim. Learn more about your legal options by calling Reeves & Mestayer at 228-374-5151.
Types of Pain and Suffering
There are many ways an accident can negatively affect your life. The term “pain and suffering” serves as a catch-all phrase to describe them all. Different components of pain and suffering include:
- Physical effects. A serious accident can leave you with long-term or lifelong pain. Even with proper pain management, chronic pain can seriously inhibit your independence and keep you from the activities you used to enjoy.
- Emotional and mental pain. Accidents leave significant mental trauma in their wake. You could be left with PTSD, debilitating anxiety, or shame related to changes in your appearance or independence.
- Loss of quality of life. Major accidents have an overall negative impact on your quality of life. Not only may you have to navigate life with physical pain, but you may also no longer enjoy favorite activities, continue in your line of work, or engage in meaningful relationships as easily as you once did.
- Difficulty with daily tasks. Physical pain can limit your independence, leaving you unable to do laundry, care for your home, or take care of your children.
- Loss of consortium. If you can no longer support and care for loved ones the way you did before the accident, that loss is considered part of your pain and suffering.
Measuring the Effects of an Accident
As you may imagine, measuring the effects of pain and suffering is much harder than calculating medical bills or lost wages. It’s crucial to do whatever you can to document how your injuries have affected your life. Your attorney may have more specific instructions, but here are some ways to document your pain and suffering:
- Personal injury journal. Keeping a daily log of how much pain you’re in, tasks you are able to complete or need assistance with, and changes you have to make to your daily routine is one way to show how an injury has changed you.
- Pain level tracking. It’s difficult to look back and describe your pain levels if you don’t track them. If your pain tends to stay consistent throughout the day, just log it once each day. If it fluctuates dramatically throughout the day, try documenting your pain level when you wake up, halfway through the day, and before bed.
- Documentation of limitations. Keep track of everything you are no longer able to do because of your injuries. These tasks seriously affect your independence, but it’s hard to remember them unless you actively document them. If you go to change a load of laundry but can’t bend down to reach the washing machine door, add that to the list. If you have to ask a neighbor to pick your child up from school because your pain is too bad, jot that down.
How Pain and Suffering Damages Are Calculated
Pain and suffering damages are generally calculated in one of two ways. The first is the multiplier method. This involves adding up the calculable damages of the crash, including property damage, medical expenses, and lost wages. A multiplier of one to five is applied to that number to get the amount you receive for pain and suffering. The more serious your injuries are and the more they affect your life, the higher your multiplier will be.
The other is the per diem method. A set dollar amount is used for pain and suffering. That number is multiplied by the number of days your injuries affect you to calculate your pain and suffering damages.
Reach Out to Reeves & Mestayer Now
If you’re ready to start on your personal injury claim, let’s set up a time to talk more about your accident and how we can help you. Get in touch online or call us at 228-374-5151 to schedule a meeting with one of our attorneys.