Calculating Car Accident Pain & Suffering Damages

When it comes to an automobile accident, the damages are relatively easy to calculate – whether the accident was big or small. From issues such as property damage, hospital bills, the cost of car repairs and other issues are simply a matter of addition and keeping track of receipts. However, when it comes to less concrete charges such as pain and suffering, by comparison, offers us little to nothing in the way of external evidence that can allow someone to assess how much pain and suffering the victim experienced or what amount of money would appropriately compensate the victim for their pain – these types of issues are highly subjective and relatively impossible to quantify. 

As a car accident attorney, Mr. Levine and his team must often assess these types of damages based on a number of different factors and in many cases, they will use other cases in years past to help them to figure out a point at which to start from. As mentioned, as a car accident attorney, Mr. Levine may view certain things as worse than others, while his colleagues might find them to be fairly regular. Two people may describe or experience virtually identical injuries very differently. This makes the establishment of standards or guidelines for car accident pain and suffering damages difficult or impossible to produce. Generally, in most cases there are a number of factors courts consider in determining the amount of damages to be paid for pain and suffering, including the following:

  • The Severity of the Injuries: The more severe an individual’s injuries might be, the more difficult the mental anguish might be.
  • Location & nature of any face or body scars – as well as any permanent disfigurement.
  • Recovery time needed: More recovery time, then the more costly.
  • Potential for ongoing consequences.
  • Any amount that might have been claimed in special damages.
  • Socio-economic or political factors
  • Any mood effects or changes to the injured party’s (including the attorney as well) personality or charisma.

The Multiplier Method

According to car accident lawyer, Mr. Levine, many attorneys may often use what’s called the multiplier method in order to calculate damaged for pain and suffering. This method involves the application of a multiplier to the total special damages. The theory behind this calculation is that injuries that result in more calculable damages, such as hospital bills, are typically more serious than those that result in fewer calculable damages. While that may be true in most car accident cases, there are two major criticisms of this method.

Arbitrary Multipliers

The fact is that with this method of calculating damages, different attorney will often use different multipliers in using this method. Often, one car accident lawyer may double the special damages, while another car accident attorney may quadruple them. Neither answer is wrong, but it does create a wide variation between these numbers that can give us inconsistent results.

Potentially Misleading Results

For instance, let’s say there is a model who is permanently disfigured in a car accident, and lets say her hospital bills are lower than another victim’s as they broke bones. The model’s disfigurement however, might cause far more emotional and psychological distress to her life. As she relies on her appearance in order to earn a living.

The fact is that there are a number of ways in which damages can be calculated and it is dependent on the judge to decide if that specific method is acceptable. To learn more about calculating damages, and the many additional methods out there, be sure to contact car accident lawyer Mr. Joel Levine and his team at LAW PLLC, today.