No amount of compensation can undo the physical and mental anguish caused by a serious injury. However, recovering damages from the at-fault party can prevent accident-related expenses from putting the victim’s family in debt. It may also save other people from falling victim to the same negligent behavior.
In order for a claim to be successful, the plaintiff must provide evidence to calculate damages. Although some expenses, such as medical bills, are easy to quantify, few people understand what the court considers when awarding damages for pain and suffering. Here’s how pain and suffering is calculated.
Economic vs. Non-Economic Damages
If you have suffered an injury due to another person’s negligence, there may be several options for collecting compensation. The at-fault individual may be liable for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. But these cases can be more intricate than most people assume.
There are several factors that influence the amount of damages that a plaintiff may receive from settlement negotiations or a trial. Economic damages have a specific dollar amount attached. Your medical bills and vehicle bills are economic damages. They’re also called compensatory damages.
Non-economic damages are all the intangible costs involved with your injury case. Pain and suffering is one of these, but there are others like loss of consortium and disfigurement. Different courts have different ways to calculate these.
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How do Louisiana Courts Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages?
According to the Louisiana Law Review, a judge must consider pain and suffering when determining damages in a personal injury lawsuit. There is no fixed law on how a judge or insurance company must calculate these, but the following are two possible ways to do so:
Per Diem Approach
Some plaintiffs choose to claim a fixed payment per day, which the defendant may have to pay until the victim fully recovers. This is known as a per diem approach to calculating pain and suffering damages.
A judge may also award pain and suffering as a fixed dollar amount based on quantifiable damages. The amount that your attorney attempts to claim will depend on the nature and severity of the injury. However, it is common for lawyers to multiply the fixed medical expenses by a number between one and five, and to attach these to the claim for pain and suffering.
It is important to remember that there is no single way to determine these damages, and as a result, the law does not oblige an attorney to use a specific method of calculation. There are several approaches that your personal injury lawyer may take to recover the maximum compensation.
Keeping a Pain Journal Can Help
There is a tool you can create to help your lawyer convince the court or your insurer of more pain and suffering damages. It’s called a pain journal or an injury journal. It’s a record of your experiences since your accident and how they’ve affected your life.
This journal is also useful for your doctor. A record of experience over time can help them know how your treatment is progressing, even if you’ve forgotten the details. Your lawyer can tell you how to create one and the details to mark down, but this guide on pain journaling is a good place to start.
A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Get Pain and Suffering Damages
If you have been injured in an accident that resulted from another person’s negligence, call Morris Bart, LLC. A Baton Rouge personal injury lawyer from our firm can evaluate your case to determine if you should pursue damages from the at-fault party.
We can help you gather evidence, prepare your claim, and represent your interests during negotiations and potential litigation. To learn your options, contact Morris Bart, LLC, today to schedule a consultation.
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