How to Calculate a Pain and Suffering Settlement
When you get injured in a vehicle collision or other accident, recovering just compensation is important for moving on. This includes not only recovering just compensation for the out-of-pocket costs you have incurred (and will incur in the future), but also recovering just compensation for your pain and suffering.
Accident victims are entitled to just compensation for their pain and suffering under Ohio law. If you were injured in a car accident, dog attack, fall, or any other accident that was someone else’s fault, you can—and should—hire a lawyer to seek this compensation on your behalf. Like all of your other losses, you must be able to prove that you have experienced (and will continue to experience) pain and suffering, and you must be able to accurately calculate the amount you are entitled to recover.
Proving Your Pain and Suffering After an Accident in Ohio
While all aspects of pursuing a personal injury claim are complex, proving your financial losses is relatively easy in comparison to proving your pain and suffering. If you’ve incurred medical expenses, you will have the bills and receipts to prove it. If you’ve missed time from work, you can use your employment records to show exactly how many hours or days you’ve been off of the job.
But how do you prove that you are experiencing pain and suffering?
Just like your other losses, documentation is key to proving your pain and suffering after an accident in Ohio. For example, some of the types of evidence lawyers use to prove accident victims’ pain and suffering include:
- Medical Records – Medical records provide documentation of the nature, severity and extent of accident victims’ injuries, and this documentation can be used to demonstrate the pain, loss of mobility and other physical consequences accident victims endure.
- Psychological or Psychiatric Treatment Records – Psychological and psychiatric treatment records can be used to show how accident victims’ trauma and injuries affect them emotionally. This is generally considered to be the “suffering” aspect of a claim for pain and suffering damages.
- Testimony from Medical, Psychological and Psychiatric Experts – Along with medical records, testimony from medical experts can also help paint a vivid picture of the negative consequences accident victims experience in all aspects of their day-to-day lives.
- Testimony from Friends and Family – Testimony from friends and family can also be powerful evidence of an accident victim’s pain and suffering. If a victim’s loved ones can explain how the victim’s life has changed since the accident, this can go a long way toward building a claim for substantial compensation.
- Receipts for Prescriptions and Medical Supplies – Receipts for prescriptions and medical supplies can help not only with documenting the physical effects of a victim’s injuries but with documenting the day-to-day effects as well. If an accident victim needs to take pills every day or spend time every day re-dressing his or her wounds, this is a loss for which the victim deserves to be fully and fairly compensated.
- A Daily Log or “Pain Journal” – Accident victims can assist with proving their pain and suffering by keeping a daily log or “pain journal.” The more details accident victims can record (and eventually share with a judge or jury if necessary), the stronger a case they can help their lawyer build for substantial pain and suffering damages.
- Photos and Videos that Document the Effects of the Victim’s Injuries – Photos and videos that document the effects of victims’ injuries can also help with proving pain and suffering. Visual depictions of how a victim’s injuries have transformed his or her daily life can also serve as powerful evidence in court.
Factors Considered When Calculating Pain and Suffering in Ohio
When you have a personal injury claim, proving your pain and suffering is just a part of the process. You also need to be able to prove how much you deserve to recover under Ohio law.
The Ohio courts (and the insurance companies) will consider several factors when deciding how much compensation an accident victim should receive for his or her pain and suffering. Some examples of these factors are:
- The severity of the victim’s physical injuries
- The severity of the victim’s emotional trauma
- Any permanent physical limitations or disabilities
- Any permanent scarring or disfigurement
- The victim’s need for ongoing treatment
- The victim’s inability to work, participate in hobbies and social events or enjoy life
- The day-to-day reminders and other impacts victims experience as a result of their trauma
Methods of Calculating Just Compensation for Pain and Suffering in Ohio
Taking these factors (among others) into account, there are two main methods for calculating just compensation for pain and suffering in Ohio. These methods are:
- The Multiplier Method – With the multiplier method, accident victims’ damages are calculated based on their financial losses and the severity of their pain and suffering. After calculating a victim’s financial losses, this figure is multiplied by a number (the “multiplier”) that is determined based on the severity of the victim’s pain and suffering. This multiplier is usually between one and five.
- The Per Diem Method – With the per diem method, a daily rate is determined based on the severity of the victim’s pain and suffering. This daily rate is then multiplied by the number of days the victim has experienced (and is likely to continue experiencing) pain and suffering.
All aspects of proving and calculating just compensation for pain and suffering require an in-depth understanding of the relevant legal principles in Ohio. As a result, if you need to seek just compensation for pain and suffering after a vehicle collision or other accident, it is important that you discuss your case with a lawyer as soon as possible.
Schedule a Free Consultation at Malek & Malek Law Firm in Columbus, Ohio
Our lawyers rely on decades of experience to help accident victims in Ohio recover just compensation for their injuries. If you need to know more about seeking just compensation for your pain and suffering, we invite you to call 888-444-7440 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation.