Sad tired senior woman holding head in hands feeling headache

What is Pain and Suffering Worth?

If you’ve been injured due to the negligence or malicious act of someone else, you need a Jersey City personal injury lawyer to represent you in court. In any personal injury case, there are two major types of “damages.” Whether you were in a car accident, slipped and fell, or were injured at work, these two categories may apply.

“Damages” refers to the losses you’ve experienced, which the party at fault for your injury must provide compensation for. These damages may be economic (also legally known as “special”) or non-economic (legally referred to as “general”). A New Jersey attorney competent in the field of personal injury can help you understand the difference and get you the full compensation you deserve.

Special vs. General Damages

Special damages are much easier to quantify. These are the type of costs there’s a tangible paper trail for with a total. They include losses that are easy to calculate, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income due to time out of work
  • Damage to your property
  • Other out-of-pocket costs associated with the accident, your injury, and recovery

General damages are far harder to put a price tag on but no less important. They include things like:

  • Pain
  • Suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Anxiety
  • Stress

How is Pain and Suffering Determined?

It’s not easy to calculate how much the pain and suffering you’ve experienced is worth in a monetary sense. However, insurance companies do use two common methods—the multiplier method and the per diem method.

In essence, the multiplier method uses your past and future medical expenses as a base and applies a uniquely determined multiplier, usually between 1.5 and 5. The per diem method uses the number of days you were in pain and multiplies this by a daily rate of compensation.

The multiplier method is the most common, and the unique multiplier used will depend on a number of different variables, including the severity of your injuries, your prognosis, how the injuries have impacted your daily life, and the level of fault of the negligent party. It should come as no surprise that the at-fault party will negotiate for a lower multiplier, while you’ll need legal representation to negotiate a higher multiplier.

Per diem is a legal term based on the Latin phrase that means “each day.” As with the multiplier method, there is room for negotiation. You need representation to get you the daily rate you deserve—because insurance companies will absolutely try to offer you less than you deserve. Consulting with an attorney early in the settlement process is recommended as there are steps that might help support your case that can be taken from day one.

Experienced Legal Representation Makes All the Difference

Documenting your pain and suffering and knowing how to negotiate for the best settlement is difficult, and the odds are stacked against you. Call Maggiano, DiGirolamo, and Lizzi today so that you have the representation you need to beat the odds.