Many people have heard the phrase “pain and suffering” in the context of personal injury lawsuits. However, they often do not fully understand the meaning of this phrase. More importantly, most people do not know how “pain and suffering” is calculated.
This lack of knowledge can leave people vulnerable to misleading claims. For instance, some law firms and websites promote online “pain and suffering calculators.” These sites claim to provide people with the true value of an accident or injury without the input of a legal professional.
In the following post, we will discuss the legal category of “pain and suffering.” We will also explain why online calculators are a waste of your time.
If you have been injured in an accident, it is crucial to speak with a qualified legal professional. You should not have to bear the financial burdens of an injury on your own. A skilled personal injury lawyer can help you to pursue the monetary compensation that is rightfully yours.
Understanding “Pain and Suffering”
In a personal injury case, there are two primary types of damages. These are economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are the financial losses from an accident or injury, the costs of which can be easily calculated. Examples include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
Economic damages come with a clear price tag. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are more difficult to quantify. These are very real losses from an accident that do not involve clear monetary costs.
Common examples of non-economic damages include:
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress or trauma
- Loss of consortium or relationship (in wrongful death cases)
“Pain and suffering” are a kind of non-economic damages. If you experience pain and suffering as a result of injuries caused by another party’s negligence, you deserve compensation.
How much is a victim owed because they are unable to walk comfortably beside a loved one? What is the appropriate price of not being able to enjoy a movie in a theater with friends? Calculating these non-monetary losses is a difficult and complex process.
Even though there is no clear price tag for these damages, they are very real. Victims who suffer these types of changes to their quality of life deserve justice. While these types of damages cannot be undone, victims deserve compensation in the form of financial recovery.
Types of Pain and Suffering
Because they are an intangible type of damage, pain and suffering can be broken down into two main categories: Physical and mental damage.
Physical Pain and Suffering
Physical pain and suffering involves discomfort, soreness, and other types of distress. It also involves the negative consequences to the victim’s life as a result of physical pain.
Mental Pain and Suffering
This includes the non-physical costs to the victim. Examples of mental pain and suffering include:
- Emotional distress
- And more
Both types of pain and suffering are difficult to translate into specific dollar amounts.
Why Pain and Suffering Calculators Do Not Work
Some law firms and legal websites advertise automated pain and suffering calculators. Although they are widespread, these calculators are useless for determining the actual value of a personal injury.
As we discussed above, pain and suffering is a category of non-economic damages. There are no standard amounts of compensation for specific injuries. No universally accepted personal injury pricing chart exists.
Every injury involves a unique set of circumstances. For example, the following factors will influence the amount of non-economic damages in a personal injury lawsuit:
- The activities the victim enjoyed before the accident
- The impact of the injury on the victim’s relationships
- The expected duration of the victim’s suffering
- Anticipated future medical needs
- Specific emotional outcomes of the injuries
Websites that claim to instantly calculate the value of your pain and suffering are only a gimmick. If your personal injury case proceeds to the litigation phase, the output of such a calculator will mean nothing. It has no bearing on your actual case.
Law firms that advertise these calculators are not the type of legal professionals you want to represent you. In personal injury cases, juries decide the value of the victim’s damages. This calculation is made after an extensive review of the specifics of the case.
Put simply, no single method for calculating pain and suffering damages exists. There is no legitimate online tool, calculator, or form that can take into account all of the relevant variables in your case.
If you have experienced pain and suffering from an accident caused by another party’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation. Rather than relying on misleading online calculators and the unreliable firms that promote them, call a trusted legal professional. A personal injury attorney will examine the facts of your case and work hard to secure the maximum financial recovery for you.
Since 1992, our personal injury attorneys at the Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC. have been fighting for the people. Now, when those injured in automobile accidents need financial help, or for the families that need to know that the loss of a loved one could have been prevented, there is a personal injury law firm in San Diego that is on their side.
If you or a family member has been injured, call the lawyers at Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC. There’s never been a better time than right now to speak to a personal injury attorney—FREE of charge. Call us at 858-551-2090 or request a free consultation online today!
SENIOR PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY & FIRM FOUNDER
Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1987. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes how insurance companies work and how they decide how much to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael’s inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents. Learn more about Michael Pines