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How Pain And Suffering Is Calculated In Personal Injury Cases

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Turning Non-Financial Loss Into Financial Compensation

One of the hardest parts of dealing with compensation calculations in Colorado Springs personal injury lawsuits is how to calculate non-financial losses as financial compensation, or non-economic damages. Pain and suffering, mental anguish, anxiety, depression, embarrassment resulting from physical scarring, are some examples of non-economic damages that can be recovered from the at-fault party. But how do you put a number on these things? Most people are uncomfortable trying to put a number on non-economic damages, as they truly are the most difficult damages to quantify.
woman experiencing pain and suffering after a personal injury accident
How much money is it worth to constantly wake up in pain in the middle of the night from a torn rotator cuff?  It doesn’t seem like any amount of money would be worth that pain and suffering, and in truth, there is no dollar amount that any reasonable person would willingly accept to go through significant physical pain.
To complicate matters, Colorado law limits the amount of money that a person can receive for non-economic damages. There is no cap on the amount of money that can be recovered for economic losses, such as medical bills, lost wages, or permanent disfigurement causing loss of bodily function, to name a few examples.
However, the amount a person can recover for pain and suffering and other non-economic losses is capped by Colorado statute. This number depends on the date the accident occurred, as it is periodically adjusted for inflation.
For accidents that occurred on or after January 1, 2022, the current maximum a person can receive for non-economic losses under most situations is $642,180.  For accidents that occurred between January 1, 2020 and January 1, 2022 the maximum that can be recovered is $613,760.  The Colorado Secretary of State maintains and publishes a certificate with all current statutory damages caps, which can be located on their website here.

Having long term emotional distress can be extremely taxing on an individual and can have a major effect on your long term mental health, so it is imperative that these issues be dealt with properly so the victim can get back to living a normal life as fast as possible. Life is hard enough as it is without adding mental or physical health issues on top of it so make sure you have an expert personal injury attorney on your side when you go to deal with your personal injury lawsuit as it can make a world of difference in how well your case is presented and ultimately, the amount you receive in compensation once the lawsuit is settled. Check out this article if you are wondering how long it will take to settle your personal injury lawsuit.

How Pain And Suffering Is Calculated By Insurance Companies

Pain and suffering is the term used commonly in the legal field for physical and emotional trauma that is caused from an accident and any injuries that came with it, loss of quality of life, and inconvenience. This could be related to a tweaked back that keeps you from playing golf like you’ve always loved or neck problems that don’t allow you to enjoy full mobility anymore. It could also stem from burns or scars from the accident that have left permanent marks on your body or face. These traumatic events and injuries also come with mental health issues that need to be addressed professionally to ensure a full recovery.
Calculating exactly how much your suffering is worth is no easy task, so insurance companies commonly use a pain and suffering multiplier to put a dollar amount on these types of losses.

What Is A Pain And Suffering Multiplier?

The pain and suffering multiplier is one of the most common methods used by insurance companies and defense lawyers to put an exact value on how much compensation you should receive for pain and suffering damages. This multiplier is not an exact science, and can generally seem offensive to most people when an insurance company uses it.

Typically this multiplier will take the total financial losses from the accident and multiply this number by 1.5 to 3. So if you had $50,000 in medical bills from injuries and suffered a lot of pain and suffering or mental health issues when recovering, your $50,000 would be multiplied by 1.5 to 3 by an insurance adjuster depending on how bad the injuries were compared to other injury cases that adjuster had recently handled.

The use of a multiplier by an insurance adjuster without a full picture of your actual injuries is not an ideal avenue toward a full and fair settlement of your injury claim.  This is why you need a professional attorney on your side, so you can get the maximum amount of compensation for your personal injury claim and hold the at-fault party liable for their negligent actions.

At Rector Stuzynski LLC, we pride ourselves on presenting a full picture of our clients to insurance companies, to dissuade them from falling back on their formulaic ways of calculating injury claims.

Proving Pain And Suffering With Evidence To Maximize Your Recovery

Now that you understand how to calculate the amount to ask for in your settlement, how do you actually prove pain and suffering? Well, proving it is best done through actual documentation of the injuries and treatment given. If you didn’t go to the doctor after the accident and are months later going to therapy all of a sudden before the lawsuit, it doesn’t look very good to the other party. However if you went to the doctor right away, had documented injuries either physical or mental and completed treatment for these injuries in a timely manner, then getting the compensation you ask for is much more likely to happen.

Some good ways to keep track of these injuries are as follows: 
  • Keep all medical records relating to injuries from the accident
  • Keep all medical, treatment and therapy bills
  • Take photos and videos of your injuries, limited mobility and any other helpful documentation of the severity of these injuries
  • Receipts for medical devices, wheelchairs, slings, splits, prescriptions, medications and any other items purchased for healing
  • Documentation of missed work, overdue bills from not being able to work and any other financial burdens resulting from the accident & your injuries
  • Keep a journal of how you are feeling and recovering. Write in it every day that you experience pain, inconvenience, embarrassment, or other emotional responses to your injuries
  • Get testimonials from family and friends discussing how the accident and injuries have affected your life from their perspective
All of these things are excellent ways to be able to prove without a doubt that your case is worth what you say it is. Failing to keep records is a big mistake, so make sure to pay attention and keep all related files, bills, etc. on hand for your attorney to use in getting you a fair settlement.

An Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

Knowing all of the ins and outs of a personal injury lawsuit isn’t your job, it’s ours. So let our experienced injury attorneys do what they do best and get to work for you building a case that can’t be said no to. We have decades of experience going to battle for our clients and winning because we know what works. Don’t try to go through this process yourself, you’ll be happy you decided to contact us. If you hire an experience personal injury lawyer, they will take care of all of the work on your behalf, including collecting documents, organizing your file, and negotiating with the insurance company or defense lawyer if your case goes to court.  We can take the stress off of you in a difficult time: we guarantee it! Call us anytime at (719) 578-1106 or stop by our office in Colorado Springs.

Areas We Serve

We serve clients injured anywhere throughout the state of Colorado, but we focus on residents of these areas: Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Fountain, Briargate, Monument, Black Forest, Pueblo, Canon City, Larkspur, Security-Widefield, Peyton, Castle Rock, Teller County, El Paso County, Elbert County, Park County, Douglas County and beyond.