It is difficult to put a monetary value on non-economic losses like pain and suffering; such a process is subjective to each accident and related injuries. There are generally two common methods that personal injury lawyers use to determine the extent of pain and suffering damages.
- The multiplier method
- The “per diem” (the daily rate) method
These methods consider the severity of your injuries, fault, economic damages, and other factors of your case.
The Multiplier Method Explained
The multiplier method adds all special damages and multiplies the total by a specific number—typically between one and a half and five, with three being the most prevalent. Wage loss, medical expenditures, and other expenses are examples of special damages. In a nutshell, special damages are any easily calculable economic losses.
The magnitude and duration of the victim’s injuries will decide the exact value utilized as a multiplier. For instance, if you have severe injuries requiring lifelong care and continuous medical bills, lawyers will likely multiply the financial needs by five.
The Severity of Your Injuries
If, on the other hand, you were hurt but can recover in a few weeks, we will calculate your pain and suffering using a lower value like one and a half or two.
Alternatively, suppose you suffered severe but not life-altering injuries, such as lacerations and broken bones. You can likely recover entirely in months. In that case, your multiplier may be closer to three (the average).
Who Is At Fault for the Accident
Aside from the injury’s severity, attorneys also consider how much the other party is to blame. The multiplier may be the main topic in settlement talks. You and your lawyer will argue for a greater multiplier (such as three, four, or five), while the defendant and their insurer would fight for a lesser multiplier.
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The “Per Diem” or Daily Rate Method Explained
The “per diem” or daily rate method seeks a specific monetary sum for each day you were in agony due to your accident. “Per diem” means “per day” in Latin.
Your lawyer may use the daily rate method to quantify the value of your pain and suffering, although it is less likely. Justifying the daily rate to employ is tricky. One common way is to use your daily earnings to determine your daily rate, as you may be missing out on income due to your injuries and recovery.
One issue with the “per diem” or daily rate technique is that it would come apart if you had a permanent or long-term injury; your pain would likely last the remainder of your life, usually indeterminable. In this instance, your lawyer may negotiate a settlement based on previous verdicts and your jurisdiction’s laws.
What Is Pain and Suffering?
The term “pain and suffering” refers to the physical discomfort and the psychological and emotional misery that a person may feel following a personal injury. It can include physical pain and other forms of anguish, such as psychological trauma, anxiety, and humiliation.
Enduring injuries come with the shock of the event that caused the damage, the fear of the pain you are in, and the uncertainty of how quickly you will heal. You might also wonder when you will be able to do the activities you enjoy again and how you will pay for the bills that can pile up.
With all of this on your mind, you have little or no time to consider how you might resolve your claims with the at-fault party. In this situation, you can rely on a personal injury lawyer. Personal injury attorneys from Loncar Lyon Jenkins can assist you immediately and help you receive financial compensation for any injuries.
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Is a Pain and Suffering Settlement Subject to Taxation?
According to the IRS, personal injury awards, including pain and suffering compensation, usually are not taxable. However, there may be some exceptions, such as compensation for lost wages, which may be subject to income tax.
Your specific circumstances will determine whether you have to pay taxes on your settlement. To establish your prospective tax obligations, you can speak with an attorney.
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What Is the Value of My Injury Claim?
The worth of your case depends on the type of injury you sustained. A settlement for a fractured ankle is unlikely to be as large as a settlement for a traumatic brain injury.
Determining the exact costs of your medical care and related expenses will help calculate the value of your pain and suffering, primarily if your lawyer uses the multiplier approach.
Loncar Lyon Jenkins Can Help Calculate Your Pain and Suffering
Have our personal injury lawyers review your case to determine what a fair settlement for pain and suffering would be for you. Call in the Strong Arm at Loncar Lyon Jenkins for a free consultation today.