Average Pain and Suffering Settlement Amount

Average Pain and Suffering Settlement Amount

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Average Pain and Suffering Settlement Amount

When someone else's negligence injures you, you can recover damages that include economic and non-economic losses. Compensation for pain and suffering falls under the category of non-economic losses. The average pain and suffering settlement amount is challenging because several factors will impact how much you may get. These include the severity of your injuries, how long recovery takes, what kind of medical treatment you received, and whether your injuries will have a long-term impact on your life.

Other factors include what type of insurance the other party has, the policy limits, whether the fault is clear, and the state where the claim is filed. Unfortunately, workers' compensation does not pay for pain and suffering if you are injured while on the job. Whatever the case, Morgan and Morgan's personal injury attorneys are here to help you get the maximum compensation possible for whatever type of claim you have.

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

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  • What Is the Formula for Pain and Suffering?

    A common technique used to calculate pain and suffering is adding up the injured party's medical bills and multiplying the number between 1.5 and 5. Whether on the low end or the high end will depend on the factors mentioned previously, like the severity of the injuries and the long-term impact on your life. However, this formula is extremely simplified. Insurance companies often use much more complicated formulas to calculate the value of your claim.

    Still, let's look at how this might work in a car accident. Suppose you were rear-ended. Usually, this type of accident makes the fault clear. The person who hit you from behind is responsible and thus liable for your damages. You have to go to the emergency room because you have cuts, bruises, and a possible head injury. Your medical bills total $6000. The insurance claims adjuster decides the factors of the accident warrant using a multiplier of 2 because they judge your injuries aren't serious. In that case, the pain and suffering award would total $12,000.

    Another form of calculating pain and suffering is the "per diem" method which calculates per day. Using this method, the insurance adjusters assign a dollar amount based on the number of days your injuries have an impact on your life. This method would likely not be used if you suffered permanent or long-term injuries.

  • How Do You Prove Pain and Suffering?

    To prove pain and suffering, an insurance company will want to see a variety of evidence as proof of your pain and suffering which may include:

    • Medical records that include what kind of impact your injuries have on your quality of life
    • Medical bills, including any expenses for mental health treatment
    • Prescription drug records, particularly any medication you take to manage pain and anxiety or depression resulting from your injuries
    • Photographic evidence of your injuries
    • Receipts for any over-the-counter drugs you've used
    • Employment records that document any time off of work due to your injuries
    • Any personal documentation you've kept, such as notes or a journal, that details how your injuries have affected you.
    • Any witness statements in writing from family and friends that document how your injuries have altered your lifestyle.
  • What Is the Difference Between Pain and Suffering and Emotional Distress?

    Typically, pain and suffering are used to describe the physical impact of your injuries. It's literally referring to the physical discomfort you've had to endure. On the other hand, an accident or wrongdoing can cause emotional distress or mental anguish. However, an emotional distress claim will usually fall under the umbrella of pain and suffering in a personal injury lawsuit.

  • What Are Examples of Pain and Suffering?

    It's important to note that an award for pain and suffering will usually require a significant injury such as permanent disfigurement or disability. Here are some examples of pain and suffering:

    Physical impairment - Anytime you suffer a physical impairment due to the negligence of another party, it's a good reason to file a personal injury claim. Physical impairment can result in significant inconveniences and are among the easiest to prove since there will be hard evidence such as police reports, medical records, and photographs. People that suffer a physical impairment may have issues with mobility and cannot perform routine tasks that were once easy.

    Physical pain - People who have been injured will often experience physical pain, which can sometimes be debilitating. Even after recovery, physical pain could become something a victim has to endure daily, perhaps permanently.

    Disfigurement - After an accident, while your body heals, you may have permanent reminders of your injuries, such as scarring from cuts or burns and loss of limbs. This type of pain and suffering is hard to dispute because providing evidence is straightforward.

    Loss of quality of life - Serious injuries can change how much you're able to enjoy your life. You may spend your days going to doctor's appointments, and different types of therapy or medications may have unpleasant side effects that change your quality of life.

    Loss of enjoyment of life - An accident can impact how much you enjoy your life. You may no longer be able to participate in hobbies and activities you once enjoyed, which hinders how much you will enjoy living your life. Loss of enjoyment of life should not be considered a minor inconvenience. It can have significant consequences.

  • What Are Examples of Emotional Distress?

    Emotional distress may arise as a symptom of a physical injury or the intentional or negligent infliction of mental suffering. Here are some examples:

    Grief - The loss of a loved one, whether it's a parent, spouse, child, or another family member, can cause the survivors to experience intense grief that will impact their daily lives. Grief doesn't necessarily have to be the result of a fatality. Suppose someone survives but is no longer the same person. In that case, family members can still experience grief because their loved one is altered. For example, a spouse with a traumatic brain injury may have personality changes.

    Depression - Accidents can cause serious depression, negatively affecting how you feel, think, and act. You may be overwhelmed with feelings of sadness and lose interest in things you once enjoyed. It can cause changes in appetite, which could lead to weight loss or gain, and you may sleep too much or too little. Depression can lead to feelings of unworthiness or guilt and can result in thoughts of suicide or death. People experiencing depression may also have difficulties making decisions, thinking, and concentrating.  

    Anger - Everyone gets angry now and then. However, victims of accidents can develop chronic anger, which impacts not only them but everyone around them. Anger is also a symptom of PTSD, which can arise from a serious accident. Anger issues may also be the result of a traumatic brain injury.

    Anxiety - Individuals that have been in an accident may suffer from anxiety which is an intense, persistent, and excessive worry or fear of everyday occurrences. A person suffering from anxiety may experience rapid breathing, a fast heart rate, feeling restless and tense, and start sweating. Car accident victims may not be able to handle riding or driving in cars. A dog attack victim may develop an intense aversion to being around dogs. Anxiety may need to be treated by a mental health professional.

    Inconvenience - It may sound minor, but from a legal perspective, inconvenience can arise when an injury or incident impacts your ability to engage in business and social activities. It could be damaged personal relationships, the inconveniences of having to go through rehabilitation, or the inconvenience of repeatedly repairing a defective product.

    Embarrassment or humiliation - An incident may cause a victim to feel emotionally vulnerable or distraught. For example, a victim in a defamation case may feel ashamed of untrue allegations made against them. For another example, a nursing home abuse victim may feel humiliated by the treatment of their abuser.

    Sexual dysfunction - An accident or incident may leave an individual with an altered sex drive or hinder their ability to engage in sexual activities, which will affect relationships. Although it may be an uncomfortable issue to talk about, your attorney needs to be aware of any sexual dysfunction you're experiencing so you can be compensated for it.

    Loss of companionship - Married couples aren't the only ones who can suffer from loss of companionship. Children and other dependents can feel the loss of a parent's guidance, love, security, and all the care that falls under a parental role. Spouses and dependents can file separate claims for these kinds of losses. Morgan and Morgan's attorney's can help.

  • Is There a Limit to Pain and Suffering?

    When covering the average pain and suffering settlement amount, it's important to understand that the state you live in may have limits on the amount you can recover. In some states, there is no limit on the amount you can ask for pain and suffering. However, in some states, there are damage limit caps, meaning you can only be awarded damages up to the maximum under the law. Currently, there are eleven states with caps on non-economic damages: Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Maryland, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Tennessee.

    Furthermore, depending on your claim type, you may have damage limit caps. For example, medical malpractice lawsuits commonly have damage caps. Twenty-six states limit the amount you can recover in a medical malpractice claim. In comparison, six states have total caps, which puts a limit on how much can be recovered for both economic and non-economic damages. These are Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Virginia.

  • Contact Morgan and Morgan About Your Personal Injury Claim

    We understand that there's likely nothing you wouldn't do to have your old pre-injury life back. However, turning back time isn't an option. Instead, we can help you get compensation for your pain and suffering in an attempt to make up for the hardships you've been through. With our experience, we can discuss the average pain and suffering settlement amount for injuries similar to yours to give you some expectations.

    Morgan and Morgan have been around for over 30 years, and personal injury is the foundation of our law firm. We handle various claims with lawyers specializing in everything from car accidents to Veterans' benefits being denied. We provide our clients with compassionate, expert legal counsel to ensure you recover the maximum compensation for your injuries. If we don't win, you don't pay, so there's nothing to stop you from exploring your legal rights with one of the largest and most successful law firms in America. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

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