When most people think of damages in a personal injury case, they think of medical bills and lost wages. But there is another type of damage that can be even more important: pain and suffering. If you’ve been in an accident and are suffering from emotional injuries, it’s important that you hire a Gulfport personal injury lawyer who knows how to correctly calculate these non-economic damages so you can get the compensation you deserve.
What Are Pain and Suffering Damages?
Pain and suffering damages are awarded to compensate an accident victim for the physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish that they have experienced as a result of their injuries. Monetary compensation for these types of injuries is referred to as “non-economic damages.”
In Mississippi, there is no set formula for calculating pain and suffering damages. Instead, each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. However, there are certain factors that will always be taken into consideration, such as the severity of your injuries, whether you will suffer long-term effects, and how your injuries have impacted your quality of life.
That being said, in many cases, the court may use the “multiplier method” to calculate pain and suffering damages. The multiplier is a number between 1.5 and 5, which is based on the severity of the victim’s injuries, with 1.5 being the least severe and 5 being the most severe. The victim’s economic damages are calculated, and the chosen number is then multiplied by the total to arrive at an estimate of their non-economic damages.
So, if you have moderate injuries and will receive $50,000 in economic damages and the court applies a multiplier of 2, you would be awarded $100,000 in pain and suffering damages ($50,000 x 2 = $100,000) in addition to your economic damages.
To maximize your chances of receiving a fair settlement, it’s important to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer who knows how to build a strong case and present the evidence in a way that will get you the compensation you deserve.
Proving Pain and Suffering Damages
One of the best ways to prove your pain and suffering is with testimony from yourself, your friends, and your family members. If you’ve been injured in an accident, chances are there are things you can no longer do that you used to enjoy. Maybe you can’t play with your kids like you used to or go on runs like before. Whatever the case may be, these changed activities can be used to show how your life has been negatively affected by the accident.
In addition to your testimony and that from others who know you well, evidence from health care professionals can also be used to corroborate your claims of pain and suffering. For example, if you’re seeing a therapist for anxiety or depression related to the accident, copies of your therapist’s notes can be submitted as evidence. Similarly, if your mental health issues have caused you to miss work or have difficulty performing certain tasks at work, documentation from your employer detailing these issues can also help prove your case.
If you’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, don’t assume that you’re only entitled to compensation for economic damages like medical bills and lost wages. You may also be able to recover noneconomic damages for pain and suffering. Contact our attorneys today to schedule a free consultation.