Pretty much everyone knows what the words “pain” and “suffering” mean. Not everyone, however, knows the depth of pain and suffering the victim of a severe accident suffers. Reality of life as it was and as it will henceforth be makes everything change forever. But in a lawsuit, because pain and suffering cannot be wiped away, there must be an attempt to quantify them in terms of money damages. No definite yardstick exists to do this, but there are some broad categories used to assign a monetary value to these items in lawsuits.
There are two broad categories of pain and suffering: physical and mental. Physical pain and suffering is the pain and discomfort that the victim feels in his body. It could be external or internal but it involves the whole body or part of the body.
Mental pain and suffering includes negative emotions that are the natural byproduct of physical pain and suffering. Examples include anger, lack of energy, insomnia, loss of appetite, emotional tension, fear, and humiliation. In severe cases, mental pain and suffering—in forms such as depression and anxiety—can prevent the accident victim from being able to work, thus contributing to lost wages.
Lawyers and insurance claims agents often use a “multiplier” to calculate the value of pain and suffering in personal injury cases. Using this process, the victim’s medical bills and lost earnings are multiplied by a factor of 1½ – 5. However, this measure cannot be reliably used to calculate damages, as many different factors can affect the value of a case. Only a very experienced injury attorney can properly evaluate the value of pain and suffering in a California personal injury case.
If you or a family member was involved in an accident resulting in serious injury or death due to the fault of someone else, contact us at the Alexander Law Group, LLP or call 888.777.1776. We believe that wrongdoers should be held accountable when they irresponsibly hurt others. All calls are free and confidential.