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How Do Lawyers Determine Pain and Suffering - morgan and morgan
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How Do Lawyers Determine Pain and Suffering?

How Do Lawyers Determine Pain and Suffering?

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How Do Lawyers Determine Pain and Suffering?

If you’ve ever been injured in an accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, you might be aware that you could be entitled to collect compensation from the party who is deemed to be at fault. You may be entitled to collect compensation for the pain and suffering you have experienced as a result of the accident and your injuries. You might also be wondering, “How do lawyers figure out pain and suffering?” Fortunately, we do all the hard work for you. If you find yourself in this situation, you should consider contacting a personal injury lawyer right away. At Morgan & Morgan, we will do everything in our power to make sure you get the justice and compensation you deserve. As America’s largest personal injury firm, we have attorneys throughout the country who can assist you. No matter where you’re located, we’re here for you. Contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free consultation.


If you are injured because of someone else’s negligence and you believe you can file a civil lawsuit to collect compensation, you should seek help from a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible. They can help you determine what damages you might be entitled to and make sure you are awarded as much money as possible. Some of the damages you might be entitled to if you are successful in a personal injury claim include the following:

Economic Damages

Economic damages includes compensation you can receive for expenses that can be easily quantified, such as medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, and reduced earning capacity. To receive as much compensation as possible for economic damages, make sure you keep documents of all your doctor’s appointments and any physical therapy or rehabilitation that you are now required to do as a result of your injuries. Additionally, make sure you have documents showing how much money you earned at your job, and what you are earning now (this could be a reduced income or maybe nothing if you are unable to work because of your injuries). The more documentation you have, the better. This way, the judge or jury can more easily award you the correct amount of compensation that you truly deserve.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are slightly harder to calculate, as they are for injuries you suffered that can’t be objectively quantified into monetary terms. Non-economic damages typically include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of companionship, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life. The exact type of non-economic damages you can receive will depend on your specific case and the state that you have filed your case in. 

Some states have a cap on how much you can collect in non-economic damages, and some states don’t. It also depends on how the injury occurred. For example, if you are injured because of medical malpractice, the amount you can receive might be different than if you are injured in a slip and fall. An experienced attorney can help you calculate how much money you’re entitled to, and they can explain to you how their attorneys will determine what to demand for your pain and suffering.  

Calculating Pain and Suffering

Now that you understand the different types of damages you might be entitled to, it’s important to understand how pain and suffering damages are calculated so you can have an idea of what you might receive if you decide to take your case to court. There isn’t one universally accepted way of calculating pain and suffering damages, which makes it a bit complicated. However, there are two common methods for calculating pain and suffering, including the following:

The Multiplier Method

One method of calculating pain and suffering damages is known as the multiplier method. To calculate damages using this method, you typically add all your economic damages together, such as your medical expenses, lost wages, and reduced earning capacity, and then multiply this amount by a certain number, usually between 1.5 and 5. This might sound easy, but the difficult part is determining what multiplier to use. 

What does 1.5 represent and what does 5 represent? In order to decide on this number, you have to determine how severe our injuries are. The more severe your injuries, the higher the number. If you suffered extremely severe injuries, such as an amputated limb or an injury that is going to require lifelong medical care, you will likely use 5 as your multiplier. If your injuries are less severe and only require a few months of treatment, you might use 2 or 2.5 as the multiplier. This is done because the more pain you experienced and the greater your damages, the higher your non-economic damages should be. 

The Per Diem Approach

Another possible way to calculate pain and suffering damages includes the per diem approach. Per diem simple means per day, and the goal of using this method is to determine a specific amount of money for each day that you experienced pain and suffering due to your injuries that resulted from the accident. While this might sound easier, it’s actually quite complicated because you have to come up with a number that makes sense for each day. Then you simply multiply the number that you decided on for the per diem amount by the number of days you’ve experienced pain and suffering. If your injuries are less severe, you will be entitled to less, and if they’re very severe, you should receive more compensation. 

How do you determine what your pain and suffering is worth for each day that you’ve experienced it? No matter what rate you come up with, it’s likely that the defense counsel will oppose the number you’ve chosen and will want to calculate pain and suffering using a lower per diem number. Having an experienced lawyer on your side will make this process significantly easier, as they will know how to calculate these amounts and how to deal with the opposing defense attorneys. 

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  • When do I have to file my personal injury lawsuit?

    The deadline that you must file your lawsuit by is referred to as the statute of limitations. This timeline varies depending on the state you file your lawsuit in. Some states require you to file your claim within one year, whereas, in other states, you might have 3 years. It also depends on the type of claim; a medical malpractice lawsuit might have a different statute of limitations than a personal injury claim resulting from a car accident. 

    While three years – and even one year – might sound like a long time, it can pass quickly. It’s important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible, as the longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to collect evidence and be successful in your claim. Keep in mind that if you don’t file your claim within the specified time period, you will likely be unable to collect any compensation at all, even if you would have been entitled to a significant amount. 

  • How Do You Prove Pain and Suffering?

    Emotional pain and suffering is obviously a very subjective determination. A situation that might cause one person mental anguish might not cause any distress to another person. In order to prove pain and suffering so you can be compensated appropriately, there are a few steps you should take. If you are seeing a therapist or any type of mental health professional as a result of the accident and injuries you suffered, make sure you get all of these records. If you can show that you now have to see a therapist or take medication that a psychiatrist prescribed, this is one way to help show that you are entitled to pain and suffering damages. 

    Another step you can take is to have friends and family or coworkers write down the changes they’ve noticed in you. Maybe they’ve noticed that you don’t leave the house as often to socialize, you no longer drive because you have flashbacks of a car accident every time you get in the car, or they notice many other socially limiting behaviors that negatively affect your life due to the accident. Your coworkers might notice that you are distracted at work and have panic attacks or are suffering from other psychological and mental injuries. Any problems that you can document in order to show that you are suffering from significant mental anguish will be helpful in you being able to obtain damages for pain and suffering.   

  • Morgan & Morgan Is Always Here for You

    If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence and believe you are entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit, contacting an experienced attorney is the first step in the right direction. Morgan & Morgan has been handling personal injury cases for decades, and we have recovered more than $15 billion dollars for our clients throughout our career. You might also be wondering, “How do lawyers figure out pain and suffering?” We can help you. All our lawyers are experienced in litigating and negotiating, so you’ll never have a poor settlement offer pushed on you as a way to get the case resolved sooner and more easily. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only get paid if we settle or win your case. This means you can be certain that we will try to get you the most financial compensation that is possible. Contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free consultation.

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Last updated on May 31, 2023

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