How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated in New York?

When it comes to a personal injury claim, not all damages are created equal. Some damages are designed to cover the out of pocket losses you suffer from your injury. Other damages are more speculative and are designed to compensate you for those losses that are hard to measure. Your pain and suffering is one example.

Pain and suffering damages can be calculated in two ways: the multiplier method or the per diem approach. These methods vary, but in either case, it is vital that you establish the extent of your suffering. A personal injury lawyer can assist you in demonstrating the degree of your pain and suffering using either method of calculation.

Types of damages in a personal injury case

There are two types of damages available in a personal injury case: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages provide compensation for the out of pocket losses that come with an injury. This includes any damages that could be established with a bill, invoice, or receipt. Examples include medical bills and lost wages.

Non-economic damages are more subjective. They are designed to compensate you for your physical and emotional injuries that cannot be boiled down to a receipt or other document. Pain and suffering is a form of non-economic damages.

Calculating damages

The two methods of calculating pain and suffering compensation differ in a few key ways. The multiplier method is the method most commonly used in New York. The multiplier method requires that you first tally up the total amount of economic damages, including medical bills and lost wages. That amount is then multiplied. The multiplier that is used is generally between 1.5 and 5. The more severe the injury, the higher the multiplier.

The per diem approach is not tied to economic damages. Instead, it provides a dollar amount of compensation for each day that a person remains injured. In general, this daily amount is calculated using the person’s wages.

Factors in calculating pain and suffering

Certain factors are important in calculating pain and suffering damages using either method. Our New York City personal injury lawyers can review your case and advise you on how these factors might impact your recovery. These factors include:

  • How your daily life has been impacted
  • Whether you suffer from depression or anxiety
  • Whether you have a loss of appetite or sexual dysfunction
  • How your relationships have been impacted
  • The length of your expected recovery
  • If your injury could shorten your life expectancy

The more severe these factors are, the more likely your pain and suffering compensation could be substantial.

Establishing your pain

If an injury claim goes to trial, the amount of pain and suffering compensation in your case could boil down to showing the jury how your life has been impacted. Every juror brings their own background into a trial, and each of them can understand the concept of suddenly being unable to accomplish the simple tasks they take for granted.

Your medical records can also play a major part in showing how severe your injury is. It is one thing to hear about your pain, and another to see documented records of your injuries. A combination of your medical records and the testimony of your doctor could prove to be crucial in obtaining the damages you deserve.

Speak to an experienced attorney about your pain and suffering claim

If you have suffered an injury through no fault of your own, you have the right to seek monetary compensation from the person that harmed you. This compensation goes beyond the cost of your medical treatment and includes the pain and suffering you were forced to deal with. Contact Douglas & London right away to schedule a free consultation and discuss your options with a New York City personal injury lawyer.