What Counts as “Pain and Suffering” in a Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawsuit?

What Counts as “Pain and Suffering” in a Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawsuit?If you have recently been involved in an accident in the Pittsburgh area, you should speak with a personal injury attorney about filing a lawsuit against the parties who caused your accident as quickly as possible. During your first discussion, your attorney will likely inform you about the different types of damages you may potentially recover, which is when you will hear the term “pain and suffering.”

What is covered in pain and suffering?

Pain and suffering includes both your emotional and physical pain when an accident causes a personal injury. These types of damages can cover a variety of different aftereffects from an accident.

For example, if you broke both of your legs in a motorcycle accident, you could claim pain and suffering because you are likely in a tremendous amount of physical pain. However, you may also be able to claim pain and suffering if the motorcycle accident is affecting your sleep, impacting your ability to walk or get around, or has even caused you to become depressed or develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Here are some examples of what is covered in pain and suffering damages:

  • Physical and chronic pain
  • Mental distress and anguish
  • Emotional trauma
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Loss of enjoyment of activities
  • Loss of companionship
  • Humiliation or embarrassment
  • Permanent disability
  • Depression, anxiety, PTSD

What is a typical compensation amount for pain and suffering?

There is no set amount of compensation for pain and suffering. Instead, one of our Pittsburgh personal injury lawyers will need to meet with you and learn about your unique case and circumstances. Once we have a clear understanding about your situation, we can better negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company. Typically, insurers use one of two popular methods* to calculate your pain and suffering damages.

  1. Per Diem Method: The per diem method involves placing a dollar amount on your pain and suffering and multiplying that dollar amount by the number of days it took you to recover. Generally, it’s based on a day’s wage. So if you make $500 a day and you spend four weeks in recovery, your pain and suffering would be roughly $14,000. This is a more popular method for injuries that heal quickly, or that are unlikely to have long-term consequences on your health, your job, or your life.
  2. Multiplier Method: The multiplier method is usually the preferred method when it comes to calculating costs for severe, long-term injuries. This method consists of adding your economic damages (medical bills, lost wages, property losses, etc) together and then multiplying them by a number between 1.5 and 5. As your attorneys, our job is to advocate for the highest multiple possible so that you are awarded a fair and just amount. The insurance company, however, will almost certainly advocate for the lowest number. So if your economic losses amount to $1 million, we would likely seek $5 million in pain and suffering, whereas the insurance company may offer $1.5 million.

Other factors that your attorney will take into consideration when determining a fair compensation for your pain and suffering are your age, the severity of your injuries, the impact that the accident and injuries has had on your life, the severity of your mental and emotional trauma, how long your recovery is expected to take, and more.

At Carmody and Ging Injury and Accident Lawyers, we often seek far more for our clients who suffer catastrophic trauma – and fight back against insurers who want to offer far less.

*These assessments are not set in stone, and do not account for other non-economic losses aside from pain and suffering.

How do you prove emotional pain and suffering?

Proving emotional pain and suffering can be extremely difficult. This is because emotional trauma and distress can be impossible to see. Therefore, to help the judge or jury understand the extent of your emotional pain and suffering, we recommend that you document every part of your day since the accident. A few examples of what you can use to prove your emotional pain and suffering includes:

  • Psychological or counseling fees/bills
  • Psychologist or counselor notes/records
  • Friends, family members, caregivers, or other witnesses who can provide testimony about your mental and emotional wellbeing
  • Journals, diaries, or other typed or written documents showing your emotional state or challenges since the accident
  • Any documents or evidence that show you missed work, events you regularly attend, or no longer participate in certain activities you once enjoyed

At Carmody and Ging Injury and Accident Lawyers, our Pittsburgh personal injury lawyers work with clients to help them calculate their damages, which includes pain and suffering. If you need help determining a compensation amount for your damages or simply need help proving that the at-fault party is responsible for these damages, our team will be glad to assist you. Please call our office or complete our contact form to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with one of our attorneys today.