Calculating economic damages, such as medical bills and lost wages, is fairly straightforward when building a personal injury claim. Meanwhile, calculating the value of non-economic damages like pain and suffering is more difficult. It requires examining the intangible effects of your injuries, which can be subjective, and assigning a monetary value to them based on their severity and timespan.
Our personal injury team understands how Louisiana courts approach awards for pain and suffering. We can apply accepted practices when estimating the value of your claim and make sure to account for both your economic and non-economic recoverable losses. You deserve to hold another person responsible for the consequences of their recklessness or negligence. You can schedule a free case evaluation with a car accident lawyer in Louisiana today to learn more.
There Are Multiple Ways to Value Intangible Damages
The legal system has numerous ways to put a value on your non-economic damages following a Louisiana injury incident. According to the Louisiana Law Review, the only standard set for calculating pain and suffering damages is that the jury must use a reasonable approach when doing so to arrive at a fair sum.
Our team may use algorithms that take multiple factors into account, or we could determine a general value based on one of two industry approaches for calculating pain and suffering. The most common approaches include:
The Per Diem Approach
Many courts consider the per diem method to be both reasonable and easy to calculate, making it a popular approach for quantifying pain and suffering damages. To apply the per diem method, your attorney assigns a specific dollar amount to every day that you have to cope with the repercussions of your injuries.
For example, if you sustained whiplash in the accident and must wear a neck brace for two months, then continue taking prescription pain relievers for an additional two months, that means you “suffered” for 120 days. If our team can successfully argue that your daily psychological challenges are worth $200 per day, the court might award you $24,000 in pain and suffering, or $200 times 120 days.
The Multiplier Method
Another popular way to calculate pain and suffering is the multiplier method. In this approach, the court takes the total amount of special damages, including both the direct and indirect costs of your injuries, and multiplies it by a set number.
In most cases, the damages are multiplied by a factor from 1 to 5, depending on the severity and duration of the injuries and on the pain and discomfort they caused. For example, if you sustained soft tissue injuries like sprains and whiplash, your special damages may be multiplied by a factor of two.
More serious or permanent injuries, on the other hand, may result in pain and suffering damages that are five times your special damages. In severe cases, the multiplier may be even higher than five.
For a free legal consultation, call (337) 777-7777
What are Pain and Suffering Damages?
When someone else’s negligence causes an accident and injuries, the victim can recover a range of damages under Louisiana law. These include:
- Economic losses, such as missed income
- Financial expenses, such as medical bills and property damages
- Intangible losses, primarily pain and suffering damages
These intangible damages—also known as non-economic damages—are based on the psychological and emotional losses you experienced. They do not have a direct financial value., so there is no way to know how much they truly cost you. Yet, the jury must determine a value for them if the case goes to trial.
If there is an out-of-court settlement, your attorney and the insurance company must come to an agreement about how much these damages may be worth. This could be a reason why negotiations run into roadblocks, and we may recommend moving forward with a personal injury lawsuit.
How an Attorney Can Help with Your Financial Recovery
If you were a victim of personal injury, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. A personal injury attorney from our firm can evaluate your case to determine if you have grounds for a claim.
If you decide to hire us, we will:
- Gather evidence
- Identify the liable party and build a case against them
- Calculate your economic and non-economic damages
- Help you fight for fair compensation both in and out of court as necessary
- Represent you in all negotiations and hearings
- Offer support and advice as you make legal decisions
Louisiana law only offers one year to begin a lawsuit under CC Art. 3492. Occasionally, other deadlines apply. You may have less time, or a special circumstance could toll the statute of limitations. Our law firm can help you determine the rules that apply to your case.
Speak with Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers for Free Today
Although no amount of compensation can make up for the emotional strife of sustaining debilitating injuries, non-economic damages may be substantial after a serious accident. It is important that you do not overlook them or underestimate their value.
You can talk to a Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers team member for free today. We know how these claims work and can get started on your claim quickly after discussing your case. You can call (337) 777-7777 now for a free consultation with a personal injury team member in one of our three Louisiana law offices.