“Pain and suffering” is a phrase commonly associated with tort law. Personal injury attorneys are well versed on the topic and how it applies to victims who seek their expertise. However, if you are in a position that has insurance companies discussing pain and suffering, then it is helpful to know a bit about it yourself.
This is a legal term that simply puts words to the emotional and mental effects of a tragedy. This can encompass the lasting grief, fear, loss of sleep, and nightmares that result in loss of enjoyment of life.
Insurance companies – and the courts — have more difficulty putting a number on this kind of damage than they do on medical bills, repair costs, and lost wages, for obvious reasons. There is no clear-cut formula for determining the compensation due to a victim.
A Multiple of Actual Damages Method. Due to the fact that the legal system has not set forth a consistent calculation method for pain and suffering, many have simply taken it to be a multiple of the calculable damages done. That is to say that, if the medical- and repair expenses total $15,000 and the lost wages add up to $5,000, then the total calculable damages are $20,000. The $20,000 is then multiplied by some figure to determine how much additional compensation should be paid out for the mental and emotional anguish suffered. This multiplier is generally between one and five. The correct figure is determined based on the severity of the case, the longevity of the injuries sustained, and other similar factors. So, while the actual damages would be $20,000, the pain and suffering owed could be as much as $100,000.
Pay Per Day Method. A per diem approach is much simpler, in that a daily amount of pain and suffering is assigned to the case, then this is multiplied by the number of days between the time of the accident and the day when recovery was/will be achieved.
Neither of these methods is foolproof and there is no guarantee that courts or insurance companies will use either. Today, there are also several computer programs that have been created for this purpose. The best way to ensure that you get what you deserve after a Tampa auto accident or tragic event is to hire a personal injury attorney ready to fight on your behalf.