How Pain And Suffering Compensation Is Calculated
  • Monday, 24 February 2020

How Pain And Suffering Compensation Is Calculated

Personal injury lawsuits often pursue compensation beyond the costs of medical expenses and direct damages.

This additional compensation is paid for the victims pain and suffering which they dealt with throughout recovery or on an ongoing basis.

After suffering an injury, there are two forms of damage: general and special. Special damages are anything with a directly quantifiable value, such as medical expenses, lost income, and property damage.

General damages are much harder to prove and quantify. This is where pain and suffering falls. It might include pain and discomfort in the body, inability to perform certain tasks, or other physical ailments. It can also include emotional trauma.

Although it might seem impossible to put a price on something as individual and subjective as pain and suffering, there are two common methods used to calculate a price for pain and suffering in a lawsuit.

The Standard Methods For Calculating Pain And Suffering

Determining the cost of pain and suffering is a task which comes down to each individual case. Each case has unique details and circumstances which must be considered in determining pain and suffering compensation.

In a case which goes to trial, the final pain and suffering amount will be determined by the judge presiding over the case.

With that caveat, there are two methods commonly used to calculate pain and suffering compensation. These are most commonly employed by insurance agencies which frequently work in these types of lawsuits. 

1. Multiplier Method

In the multiplier method, special damages are added up and multiplied. Special damages include your expenses such as medical bills, property damages, lost wages, etc.

The sum of these expenses is then multiplied by a number, usually between 1.5 and 5. 

The multiple is determined in negotiation. It is often based on the severity of the pain and suffering, the nature of the injuries, the impact on day to day life, and how much liability the other party had in the incident.

Determining the multiple can lead to tense negotiations when working towards a settlement agreement. 

2. Daily Rate (Per Diem)

Another method used to assess pain and suffering compensation is applying a daily rate. 

In this method, a daily rate is determined (often based on a person’s income before the accident,) and this rate is applied to every day the victim endured the pain and suffering created by the accident.

It is common to ask for your daily earnings pre-accident as a daily rate.

Get The Best Settlement With Some Help From A Personal Injury Lawyer

Ready to pursue the justice and compensation you are owed?

The best way to determine what your pain and suffering compensation is worth is to consult a qualified and experienced personal injury lawyer.

A lawyer will be the best qualified to help you assess the situation and calculate an estimate of possible pain and suffering compensation. 

Schedule a free consultation today to get things underway. Don’t leave the money you’re owed simply sitting on the table.

FAQ

What constitutes pain and suffering under Ontario law?

Under Ontario law physical pain, loss of enjoyment of life or the ability to do things as you did before an injury are all categorized as pain and suffering. How much you can claim varies greatly. Previous judgements are used to determine the size of the payout. The overall amount that can be awarded for pain and suffering is capped.

How can you prove pain and suffering?

Proving pain and suffering is rarely easy. The burden of proof is on the victim. It is wise to speak to a lawyer soon after an injury because they can provide advice about what type of evidence to collect. Things like proof you have had to visit a mental health professional and testimony from others about the changes they have seen in you can both help. Occasionally, a personal journal will contain information that can be used to prove pain and suffering.

In calculating pain and suffering, who gets to choose which method to use between multiplier method or per diem?

It is up to the lawyer to choose whether to use the multiplier or per diem method when putting together an injury demand letter. Usually, they will carry out both calculations and use the one that produces the highest amount. However, that is not the end of the matter. The other party will likely challenge their methods and calculations.

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