September is National Pain Awareness month, which is why Harrell & Harrell is shedding some light on how compensation is determined for pain and suffering. If you’ve sustained damages from a personal injury, including a car accident or a slip-and-fall, learn about the calculations that can help you get back on your feet—financially and literally.
How Damages Differ from Pain and Suffering
Damages include the direct costs of your accident, including medical bills and lost wages. Any cost that can be assigned a numerical value typically falls under the category of damages. However, pain and suffering is a different matter—this cost is an estimated value based on the relative grief and anguish experienced by a person as a result of an injury.
Pain and Suffering in Florida
Florida law stipulates that the injured party can ask for the jury to award financial compensation for pain and suffering. For legal purposes, pain and suffering technically refers to both physical discomfort (aches and pains) and psychological conditions (depression and emotional trauma).
For example, if a person who particularly enjoys gardening is injured in a car accident and the injury sustained prevents this person from landscaping, this person could conceivably request compensation for the mental stress that is caused by abstaining from gardening.
How Are Pain and Suffering Calculated?
Because pain and suffering is an estimated value, a literal equation cannot be applied. However, a jury of peers typically makes one of two suggestions:
- Juries may award pain and suffering damages by multiplying the cost of the direct expenses of an injury by a number between 1 and 5 (based on the extent of the injury).
- Juries may award a daily amount until the person achieves total recovery.
For example, if a person suffers an injury that totals $5,000 in direct costs and the jury labels the injury as a level 3 injury (on a scale of 1 to 5), the jury typically recommends one of the following:
- The person is awarded a total of $15,000 in pain and suffering.
- The person is awarded $150 per day until he or she is able to return to their quality of life from before the accident.
If you feel you are entitled to receive compensation for your pain and suffering, it’s time to partner with the right attorney. Because pain and suffering costs are subjective, it’s important to choose an attorney with trial experience and with fervor to fight for your rights. Schedule a free consultation with the attorneys of Harrell & Harrell today.