If you have been injured due to the negligence of another, you may be entitled to pain and suffering damages. Generally, in tort law, there are two types of damages: “special” and “general” damages.
“Special damages” are sometimes called “economic damages”. These terms refer to actual expenses that are easily calculated. In personal injury cases, these types of damages are usually the total amount resulting from items such as a vehicle damage estimate or from the medical bills and records provided by a treating physician.
In contrast, pain and suffering is a type of “general damages”. Unlike special damages, general damages have no set monetary cost. In Nevada, there is generally no cap to the amount of general damages that may be awarded, absent a few exceptions (like cases involving medical malpractice). Rather, an award of general damages is only required to be “reasonable.”
What are the methods for calculating “reasonable” pain and suffering damages?
While there is not one required method for calculating a reasonable amount of pain and suffering damages, Nevada personal injury attorneys commonly employ two methods: (1) multiplying your special or economic damages by a number or (2) the “per diem” method.
First, a personal injury attorney may calculate your pain and suffering damages by choosing a number between 1 and 5 and multiplying that number by your total special or economic damages. The more severe your injuries, the higher the number chosen to multiply. For example, if you suffered from a slip and fall that sprained your ankle for a few days – that number will be lower as compared to if you were in a severe auto collision that left you hospitalized for weeks and required surgery.
Second, an attorney may use the “per diem” or “per day” method to calculate your pain and suffering. This simply means that the attorney will select a dollar amount to apply to each day between the time you are injured and when you became, or are expected to become, fully healed.
Of course, these are not the only two methods of calculating pain and suffering, but they are the most common. In addition to these methods, a personal injury attorney will consider other factors when calculating pain and suffering damages.
What other factors are considered when calculating pain and suffering?
An attorney will also consider the impact of the injury on your daily life and enjoyment. For example, an injured person who used to work out at the gym everyday and is now unable to do so will likely receive a greater pain and suffering calculation than someone who does not have the same type of injury. Similarly, a stay-at-home parent who is no longer able to lift her children, or who has had to hire a nanny to take care of the children would also likely receive a greater award than someone without these issues. These are but two examples of loss of enjoyment.
Other numerous factors can be considered in a pain and suffering calculation including whether your injuries have impacted your ability to work, to have intimate or sexual relations, and whether the injuries have caused embarrassment, anxiety, or even more severe disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
Reach out to one of our experienced attorneys if you need help.
At Van Law Firm, we fight hard to receive the highest level of compensation possible for our injured clients. Our attorneys have extensive experience in calculating pain and suffering damages so that we can achieve the full recovery possible for our clients, from negotiating a settlement with the insurance company to asking a jury to award the most favorable verdict possible. Call us today for a free consultation: (725) 900-9000.