How Is Your Compensation Amount Calculated in Personal Injury Cases?
- posted: Jun. 27, 2022
If you’ve been in any kind of accident, one of the biggest concerns you might have is how to get compensation for your injuries. Medical bills, lost wages, car repairs and other costs associated with the accident can start to pile up quickly. To give you peace of mind, it can be helpful to understand exactly how much money you can recover after being in an accident.
When calculating the amount you are owed in a personal injury case, there are two main categories of damages. Damages refers to the amount you may be compensated for because of your loss. You can receive economic or “special” damages, as well as non-economic or “general” damages.
Special damages are fairly straightforward to calculate. These are the actual financial losses you have experienced because of your injury. This includes your medical expenses, lost income from being unable to work, money spent on repairing your car or other property, and any other expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
General damages account for your pain and suffering, which includes physical and mental pain and suffering. Mental pain and suffering usually stems from the physical injury and includes anxiety, stress, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress and shock. A negative emotional experience resulting from the accident may be considered mental pain and suffering.
Calculating general damages for your pain and suffering can be more complex than establishing your special damages. There are two main ways insurance companies will establish a monetary amount for pain and suffering. The most common way general damages is calculated is by adding up all of your special damages and multiplying them by a number (the multiplier) between 1.5 and 5. The multiplier is determined depending on the severity of the pain and suffering, how quickly you are expected to recover and how the injury impacts your life.
Another way general damages can be calculated is called the “per diem” method. Per diem means “per day,” and this method assigns a dollar amount to every day you’ve had to suffer from your injury. A good rate to use if going by the per diem method is how much you earn at work every day. This can be justified by comparing your pain and suffering to the energy you put in to a day’s work.
An experienced personal injury attorney can calculate your damages using both methods when trying to establish what you are owed for pain and suffering in order to determine which option gives you the maximum recovery amount.
Being involved in an accident can be stressful and having support from a personal injury attorney to file a claim or a lawsuit can minimize your frustration. Leland Reinhard Law Firm in Cleburne helps people throughout Texas who have been injured in car accidents. To schedule a free consultation, call 817-645-5400 or contact the firm online.