If a party negligently or intentionally causes your injury, you can seek compensation for your damages. The damages in a personal injury case represent your expenses, financial losses, and pain and suffering you experienced due to the accident and injury.
Economic damages include your monetary losses, such as lost wages, property damage, out-of-pocket expenses, and medical bills. Non-economic damages are your pain and suffering damages. They’re intangible and subjective but are just as real as financial losses.
What Is Pain and Suffering in an Oklahoma City Personal Injury Claim?
Pain and suffering damages cover a wide variety of losses in a personal injury case. They encompass the physical suffering associated with painful injuries. However, they also include the emotional harm caused by an accident or personal injury.
Examples of pain and suffering damages include:
An accident or injury can be traumatic. Dealing with the aftermath can cause mental anguish and psychological disorders.
Examples of emotional distress in an Oklahoma City personal injury case include:
- Anxiety and fear
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Cognitive changes
- Emotional and mood changes
- Eating disorders
Emotional distress can cause severe depression and other psychological disorders. Some symptoms are so extreme that they impact a person’s daily life and work.
Physical Pain and Suffering
Injuries and the treatments for those injuries can cause severe physical pain. In some cases, a victim may suffer from chronic pain.
Examples of physical injuries that can result in pain and suffering include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Soft tissue injuries and nerve damage
- Back injuries
- Whiplash and neck injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Severe burns
- Amputations and loss of limbs
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
Chronic pain can impact a person’s enjoyment of life and the ability to perform tasks. Severe and ongoing pain could result in a disabling condition.
Diminished Quality of Life
When a person sustains an injury, it can decrease their quality of life. The extent and severity of the impact depend on the injury and impairment. Permanent impairments, disabilities, scarring, and disfigurement can affect a person’s life forever.
A person with a life-long injury may not be able to return to work. They may be unable to care for their families or participate in favorite activities. The disability may require them to significantly modify many aspects of their life.
Calculating the Value of Pain and Suffering Damages in an OKC Personal Injury Claim
It is difficult to put a price on pain and suffering damages. Oklahoma has no standard formula for determining the value of these damages. However, the following methods are typically used to calculate these non-economic losses.
The Multiplier Method
Under the multiplier method, we’ll review the factors in your case and assign a multiplier between 1.5 and five. The more catastrophic your injuries and the more significant the impact on your life, the higher the multiplier.
We will multiply the multiplier by your economic damages to place a value on pain and suffering. The insurance company for the opposing party is likely to fight for a lower multiplier. Our legal team will use the evidence in your case to argue that you deserve the total value of your pain and suffering damages.
The Per Diem Method
A per diem method may be used to calculate pain and suffering damages in cases involving shorter recovery periods and minor injuries. In those cases, a daily amount is assigned based on the relevant factors.
The per diem is multiplied by the number of days in the recovery period to value pain and suffering damages. The recovery period begins with the date of your injury and ends when your doctor releases you from treatment.
The Insurance Company Will Undervalue Your Pain and Suffering Damages
Whichever method you use to calculate pain and suffering damages, you can expect the insurance company to fight your claim. Hiring an experienced Oklahoma City personal injury lawyer can help.
An attorney understands how to accurately value damages. They have the resources to hire experts to help support your claim. Additionally, with an experienced injury lawyer, insurance companies know they cannot use the same tactics to undervalue damages they would use with a victim who represents themself.
How Do You Prove Pain and Suffering Damages in an Oklahoma City Personal Injury Case?
Pain and suffering is subjective. Each person suffers differently, even if they sustain the same type of injury.
All types of personal injuries and accidents can result in pain and suffering, including:
- Car accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Dog bites
- Bicycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Defective products (product liability)
- Slip and fall accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Construction accidents
- And many more incidents and accidents
Proving pain and suffering damages can be challenging. We’ll analyze the factors in your case to put a dollar figure on these losses.
Factors used to establish pain and suffering include, but are not limited to:
- The severity and type of your injuries
- Your appearance before and after your injuries (i.e., disfigurement and scarring)
- The duration of your recovery period
- The type of medical treatments required to treat your injuries
- Whether you are able to return to work
- How the injury impacts your daily routines and tasks
- Whether you can care for your personal needs
- How the injury affects your personal relationships with family members and friends
- Your ability to continue participating in favorite activities and hobbies
We’ll use medical records, expert opinions, and statements from witnesses to help prove pain and suffering. You can also help by keeping a pain and suffering journal.
Your journal should include details about your injuries and recovery. We can use these details to support your claim by allowing jurors to “feel” the pain you experienced. Therefore, take photographs of your injuries and be as detailed as possible when making notations in your journal.
Our Oklahoma City Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages
You deserve fair compensation for all damages, including the pain and suffering you experienced due to another party’s negligence. Our legal team at Laird Hammons Laird Personal Injury Lawyers will diligently pursue claims to maximize how much you receive for your damages. Contact our office for a free case evaluation with our Oklahoma City personal injury attorneys.
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