How to Calculate Pain & SufferingMay 4, 2020
The purpose of any personal injury lawsuit is to compensate a victim after an accident that was someone else’s fault. The goal, meanwhile, is to get enough compensation to help the victim get as close as possible back to what their life was like before it was disrupted by the accident.
Part of that is making sure the victim doesn’t have to pay accident-related bills out of their own pocket. It is easy to prove how much a victim is owed for medical expenses and lost wages just by looking at the total of their medical bills and missed paychecks. But bills are far from the only consequence of an injury-causing accident, and other consequences may have a far greater impact on your life.
How do you calculate the value of physical pain? What about the stress and emotional harm an accident causes? No amount of money can ever take away that pain. But we can get close to assigning a monetary value by examining what effect your injury has had on your life.
How Did Your Life Change After Your Accident?
Accidents have many consequences, both short-term and long-term. It is important to be as open and honest with your lawyer as you can about all the ways that your injury has disrupted your life. This will help us accurately judge how much compensation you are owed. Keeping a daily journal after your accident can also help you document these post-accident changes.
Questions to Ask Yourself after an Injury
- Has your injury prevented you from staying physically active? This could impact your health further down the road, and since it is a result of your accident-related injuries, you may be able to get compensation for any detrimental effects on your health and well-being.
- Has your injury prevented you from doing the type of work you used to do, from working as many hours, or from working at all? You are eligible for compensation not only for the paychecks you missed while hospitalized or recovering, but also for lost future wages, if your injuries have impacted your ability to work.
- Has your injury caused you to miss out on any significant opportunities? Take, for example, a young person who loses a full athletic scholarship after an injury caused by someone else. Or consider an adult who is up for a big promotion at work, but after an injury is no longer able to perform the duties of the job. In these types of cases, we can make a case for compensation that includes the money and/or benefits they would have received.
- Has your injury prevented you from continuing your hobbies? When your injury stops you from doing the things you enjoy, whether that’s playing baseball or taking on DIY projects, you can sue for compensation for loss of enjoyment of life.
- Has your injury impacted your relationships with others? Severe injuries can affect your ability to have a physical relationship with a spouse or significant other.
The stress of a severe accident can also harm the emotional health of your relationships with friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers.
- Has your injury caused permanent damage? Accidents can result in injuries that leave victims partially or totally disabled or disfigured, including loss of limbs, injuries requiring reconstructive surgery, and injuries that result in chronic pain or loss of mobility.
Head injuries can also cause loss of memory and attention, mental acuity, and even any of the five senses.
If you’ve suffered a permanent injury, you will likely be owed far more money if you are in your 20s than you would if you are in your 60s, since your compensation will be based on how many years you will live with your injury.
- Has your injury worsened a pre-existing condition? Damage to the body often compounds. Someone who suffered their third ever concussion in an accident will likely experience far worse side effects than someone who suffered their first. Meanwhile, someone who has frail hips or knees may suffer a permanent injury after a bad slip and fall, while an otherwise healthy person may recover easily.
This means we can’t judge the amount of compensation you may be owed solely on the injury, but rather on how the injury affected you specifically.
Talk to a Lawyer About Your Case for Free
At Dudley DeBosier, we believe everyone deserves a chance for fair compensation when they’ve been injured through no fault of their own. That’s why we offer free, no-obligation consultations, and if you decide to hire us, you don’t owe us anything unless we win you money.
We know that no injury is just an injury. It’s a severe disruption to your life that can persist for weeks or years down the road. We want to help you get back to where you were before, and where you should have been all along. Call today, and we’ll fight to get you the full compensation you deserve.