How are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated in Georgia?
Accident victims who are hurt through no fault of their own are often entitled to legal compensation from the person whose negligence was the cause of the accident. The type and amount of compensation that a person can recover will reflect both the economic and non-economic impact of his or her injuries. Economic damages cover compensation for quantifiable losses, like accident-related medical expenses and lost wages, while non-economic damages compensate victims for losses that are more difficult to calculate, like pain and suffering.
What is Pain and Suffering?
Pain and suffering is a term used to describe the physical and mental anguish that an accident victim experiences after sustaining a serious injury. It refers to everything from the physical pain and discomfort that a person experiences to the emotional trauma and mental distress that accompanies an injury. It also covers other non-monetary losses, like a loss of enjoyment of life. While putting a monetary value on pain and suffering, unlike calculating economic damages, can be complicated, simply because of the highly subjective nature of the issue, doing so is possible. There are, however, a couple of different methods that juries use when attempting to monetize pain and suffering.
Calculating Pain and Suffering
There are two main systems for calculating pain and suffering: the multiplier method and the per diem method. The first method uses the value of a victim’s economic damages as a starting point. These damages are calculated by adding up accident-related losses, like the cost of medical bills, lost wages, and damaged property. Once this number has been reached, a jury multiples that amount by a number between one and five. The multiplier selected will depend on the severity of the accident. A minor fender bender, for instance, could be assigned a multiplier as low as one, while a catastrophic truck accident may be assigned a five. The final step requires multiplying those economic damages by the assigned multiplier, with a pain and suffering amount as the final result.
The second method of calculating pain and suffering damages is known as the per diem method and it involves assigning a daily rate to a claimant’s post-accident experience. Similarly, this method is based on the severity and extent of victim’s injuries, with more serious injuries and accompanying permanent disability being given a higher daily rate. Once this daily value has been reached, it is multiplied by the number of days that a victim suffered because of the accident.
Call for a Free Consultation
Having an experienced attorney on your side can make all the difference in the kind of damages award you end up receiving after an accident. For an assessment of the value of your own accident claim, please call the dedicated and skilled Atlanta personal injury lawyers at Shiver Hamilton Campbell today. You can set up an initial consultation by calling our office at 404-593-0020 or by completing one of our brief online contact forms. Call today to get started on your case.