You’re probably here because you are experiencing pain and suffering due to a third party’s negligence.
Filing a claim against them can be tricky since the evidence should be rigorous and comprehensive to ensure a fair settlement for you.
Furthermore, a personal injury attorney in the Twin Cities is essential to provide you with a humane and just case in court against the defendant.
In this article, we will discuss what consists of a fair settlement for your pain and suffering and how you can get one.
Defining Pain and Suffering
“Pain and Suffering” is a legal term used to refer to the physical, emotional, and psychological pain and trauma that is inflicted on a person as a result of personal injury.
Some examples of this pain include wounds, scratches, fear, and shame.
This term is used in instances where a third party is at fault for the pain that you experienced which you can use to claim compensation.
General and Special Damages
To accurately calculate your compensation from pain and suffering, you need to know what exactly falls under its category.
For instance, costs like your hospital bill can be easily tracked and quantified. On the other hand, there are types of costs that are more abstract, which means that they are harder to grasp and define. These costs are harder to claim compared to typical costs.
There are two types of damages that we’ll explore for your personal injury case:
- General Damages
- Special Damages
A personal injury lawyer in Minnesota can help you to accurately determine and identify what your general and special damages are.
General damages, also called economic damages, are the types of damage that can be easily seen through someone’s injury or property damages.
These damages can be immediate but it’s also possible that they manifest at a later time. For instance, a person may be recovering from an accident and they are diagnosed with further injuries.
As we said, general damages are also known as economic damages which means that treatment and recoveries will cost an explicit amount of dollar value to a person. These costs can be traced through your hospital bills and other related receipts and documents that signify cash disbursements on your side.
There are generally no disagreements concerning the amount that you can claim as compensation for damages that are classified as general or economic.
Some examples of general damages include:
- Physical rehabilitation
- Lost wages and other compounding costs
- Vehicle and other property repairs
- Costs for counseling
- Hospital expenses
- Costs for ambulance
- Costs incurred for medicine and medical equipment to treat an injury
In instances where liability is unclear, these costs are still paid in full by insurance companies, especially in states where there are existing no-fault laws. In these types of cases, a personal injury lawyer may no longer be needed.
General or economic damages are not included under the term “pain and suffering.”
Unlike general damages, special damages are harder to trace, which means that they are harder to prove and fight for in court. Known as non-economic damages, special damages do not have a specific dollar value that you can trace.
Furthermore, these damages do not just consist of the explicit costs you incurred to recover, but it also extends toward your mental anguish while in recovery as well as your chronic distress that stems from the incident and in the process of rehabilitating from that incident.
That is why in court cases where you file for compensation against a third-party, special damages will be under the umbrella of “pain and suffering.”
Some examples of special damages include:
- Emotional anxiety and distress
- Chronic pain
- Loss of hearing and eyesight
- Disfigured body parts
- Disability to perform routine tasks
- Lower quality of life
- Loss of enjoyment
- Mental suffering such as loss of enjoyment, depression, and PTSD
These, and other special damages, if proven in court, can be used to claim compensation against the party that was liable.
How Pain and Suffering is Quantified
Now that we’ve set the record straight for what falls under pain and suffering, how exactly do we account for it? How will lawyers know the fairest amount that you can claim against the negligent party?
There are two ways to do this, which really depends on the circumstance of the accident.
Per Diem Method
The per diem method assigns a dollar amount to the suffering that you experience every single day.
Basically, this means that you are putting value on the loss that you experience every single day, such as when a person becomes unproductive because of a trauma or the number of work hours that they can no longer do because of their chronic injuries.
Assigning a value to your daily loss can be through the wage that you were earning pre-accident and then comparing it to your earning after the accident has occurred. The difference between both these amounts will become your loss per diem.
This is then multiplied by the number of days that you have suffered to determine the total amount of compensation that the defendant owes you.
For example, if you determine that you are losing $200 every single day because of a personal injury, and 30 days have already passed, then the defendant owes you a total of $6,000 as compensation.
The multiple method is the more commonly used method to quantify someone’s pain and suffering. In fact, this is used by large insurance companies to determine the appropriate amount of compensation to be given to their clients.
You will start by summing up all your incurred economic damages. These damages are then multiplied by a number from one to five, which depends on the level of your suffering and the extent of said economic damages, among many other qualitative factors.
The amount that comes out of this calculation is then used as the basis for the compensation that you will be demanding from the defendant.
How to Know if the Settlement is Fair
Calculating pain and suffering is a difficult task, especially since these calculations will then be presented in court to be justified.
This is the reason why there is a need to get in contact with a personal injury lawyer in Minnesota, to get an accurate and easily justifiable calculation for your pain and suffering.
If you are looking for a personal injury attorney in the Twin Cities to guide you through the nooks and crannies of filing for compensation for your pain and suffering, then contact our team so we can help you fight your case in court and ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve.