Typically, in a personal injury case, the victim is entitled to two types of compensation: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages include lost wages and medical bills, which have a clear monetary value attached. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, include less quantifiable factors including pain and suffering.
Pain and suffering is the physical and mental discomfort experienced as a result of an accident. When you decide that you want to pursue a personal injury claim or settlement after an accident, it’s important to include pain and suffering as part of your claim.
There are two types of pain and suffering:
Physical pain and suffering refers to temporary or chronic pain resulting from the injury including neck pain, muscle pain, back pain, headaches, and pain from broken/fractured bones.
Mental pain and suffering refers to the mental distress resulting from the injury including psychological trauma, depression/anxiety, traumatic brain injury, PTSD, reduced quality of life, and anger.
Larrison Law Firm Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys can help you gather the evidence needed to prove pain and suffering in your personal injury case. Contact our injury lawyer in Athens to get started.
Pain and Suffering Laws in Georgia
According to Georgia state law, pain and suffering awards are based on reasonable assumptions based on the evidence in the case. There are no caps on the monetary value of pain and suffering in the state of Georgia. Many times, awards for pain and suffering are higher than those for economic losses.
When it comes to injury claims, insurance companies prefer to see things that can be measured such as medical bills and lost wages. They often improperly evaluate and calculate pain and suffering claims. When evaluating claims, the insurance companies will consider the chances that the case will go to court and what the verdict may be based on the facts of the case.
Therefore, it’s important to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side.
How Do You Prove Pain and Suffering?
In order to receive fair and reasonable compensation for non-economic damages related to your injury, you must prove pain and suffering. This often includes:
- Providing test results from your medical providers
- Testimony from expert witnesses regarding the extent of your injury, the impact on your physical and emotional health, general prognosis, and the anticipated recovery period
- Testimony from vocational experts regarding how the injury has impacted your ability to work
- Proof that the injury has had an economic impact by causing a reduction or total loss of income
- Testimony from your loved ones and co-workers regarding how your physical and emotional health was impacted by the accident
- Your personal testimony of how your injuries have affected you
Methods for Calculating Pain and Suffering
There are two methods that are commonly used to calculate pain and suffering in Georgia:
The multiplier method involves multiplying the total economic damages and multiplying it by a particular number ranging from 1.5 to 5. The number used depends on the severity of the injuries.
This method is based on the assumption that the magnitude of economic losses is directly related to emotional and/or physical pain and suffering endured by the victim. Many insurance companies will try to use a lower multiplier when negotiating settlements, which is why it is important to work with an experienced personal injury attorney such as Brady M. Larrison.
Per diem method
The per diem method involves determining a daily rate of the injury and multiplying that by the number of days the victim has or is expected to suffer. In theory, the per diem method is fairly straightforward.
However, it can be challenging to assign a daily rate to the injury and to estimate how long the victim will be dealing with it. Some insurance companies argue against this, claiming that it results in excessive awards. Typically, the victim’s daily wages are used to calculate pain and suffering with this method.
Do I Need an Attorney to Calculate Pain and Suffering?
The methods for calculating the value of pain and suffering are simple. However, while you can calculate it yourself, it’s important to work with a personal injury attorney in a lawsuit. The defendant will take every step they can to argue against your calculations and reduce the amount of compensation you receive.
A personal injury attorney can gather evidence to prove your claims and that your pain and suffering are real. They will be able to prove that you deserve the compensation that you are asking for.
Many times, these claims can be settled out of court, but an attorney at our firm will be ready to fight for you in court if necessary.
What Other Damages Are Recoverable Through a Personal Injury Claim?
When you file a personal injury claim, there are several types of damages that you can recover including:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Loss of companionship
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine an appropriate monetary value for these, as well as gather the evidence to help you prove your case in front of a judge and jury.
Contact Our Athens Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact Larrison Law Firm Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys in Athens. Brady M. Larrison has been representing individuals and families in Georgia for more than a decade. We understand how to fight insurance companies to ensure that clients get the compensation they deserve for their suffering.
Use our online form or call our office to begin your case today.