If you have been seriously injured in a personal injury accident, you may be wondering how much money you will be entitled to for pain and suffering. An experienced personal injury lawyer will help you recover a reasonable settlement for pain and suffering based on your case’s facts. Typically, the more severe your injuries, the more compensation you will receive. If you have been permanently injured and will continue suffering symptoms for years to come, you will be entitled to more compensation for pain and suffering.
What Constitutes Pain and Suffering in Maryland?
Victims of personal injuries are entitled to economic damages, which are easily quantifiable expenses resulting from their injuries. They are also entitled to non-economic damages that are not easily quantifiable for their pain and suffering. Pain and suffering refer to the psychological distress and physical pain a person experiences due to physical injuries. Damages for pain and suffering include compensation for actual pain caused by the injury and other forms of distress, including trauma, shame, and anxiety.
It is easier to assign a dollar amount to medical expenses and lost wages. The costs associated with mental health challenges are more abstract and challenging to determine. As a result, calculating a settlement dollar amount for pain and suffering is not always easy. Suppose you have experienced significant distress due to a car accident or other type of personal injury. In that case, an experienced lawyer can help you seek compensation for the pain and suffering that you deserve. Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Loss of eyesight or hearing
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of companionship or consortium
- Mental anguish
When Can You Receive Compensation for Pain and Suffering?
Any time a victim becomes injured in a personal injury accident, he or she can seek compensation for pain and suffering. The following types of personal injury cases often include compensation for pain and suffering:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Boating accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Workplace injuries
- Assault and battery
- Dog bite accidents
- Dangerous drugs
- Pedestrian accidents
- Recreational accidents
- Negligent security cases
What is the Average Pain and Suffering Settlement in Maryland?
When we meet with new clients, they often ask us how much their case is worth. Specifically, they may ask us to give them a dollar amount for the value of their pain and suffering. We can estimate the amount of compensation a person can receive for pain and suffering. However, the value of pain and suffering claims varies depending on the facts of the case. When we provide an “average” settlement amount for pain and suffering, it depends on several factors, including:
- The type of personal injury accident
- Your medical diagnosis
- How your injury affects your day-to-day life
- Whether you can continue working
- The types of mental health challenges you have experienced
- Whether you have been disfigured or have physical scars
- How long it takes for your personal injury to heal
- The types of medical treatments you have undergone.
The Multiplier Method
Insurance companies and lawyers use two methods to calculate pain and suffering costs — the “per diem” method and the multiplier method. In the multiplier method, we identify the total value of our clients’ economic damages. In other words, we will add up all of your present and future expenses, including your medical expenses, property damage, and lost income. Then, we will multiply that number by the number that best fits your case’s facts, which could be between one and five, depending on the severity of your injuries.
For example, suppose someone suffers a compound broken arm in a Baltimore car accident, lacerations, and bruising. He ends up needing surgery to place a metal rod in their arm. The victim had to miss two months of work. Doctors predict that the individual will make a full recovery. There are $25,000 in economic damages. Since the victim is expected to recover fully but did suffer significant pain, we multiple the total factor by two, as follows:
- The economic damages ($25,000)
- Special damages for pain and suffering: $50,000 ($50,000 x 2)
- Total damages: $75,000
For milder injuries, such as a bruised rib, the economic damages are typically multiplied by one. For example, if a person incurred $5,000 of medical expenses for bruises and lacerations, including a bruised rib, the victim would be entitled to $5,000 in additional damages for pain and suffering.
The Per Diem Method
The “per diem” method is less common than the multiplier method for calculating pain and suffering. This method calculates your pain and suffering costs based on the daily toll your injury takes on you. Using this method, the plaintiffs are assigned a certain amount per day for the toll their accident takes on them. The number of days it is expected to take for the plaintiff to recover is then multiplied by the daily amount. If you are negotiating with an insurance company for pain and suffering compensation, the insurance company could use one of these two methods. They are not under any obligation to use one of these methods, however.
Proving Pain and Suffering Damages in Maryland
After you calculate how much your pain and suffering damages are worth, your lawyer will need to prove the pain and suffering. At Bishop Law Group, our lawyers have extensive experience gathering proof of the pain and suffering our clients have endured. We will talk to friends and family who can help us provide an account of the extent of your personal injuries. We recommend keeping a journal and photos of your injuries to prove how your injuries have affected you negatively.
About Brian Bishop
Brian Bishop started the Bishop Law Group in October 2018. Mr. Bishop is an active member of Maryland Association of Justice, The American Association of Justice, The Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys. Mr. Bishop has received a nationally ranked Top 40 Under 40 Attorney award since 2017. Mr. Bishop has also been named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers. The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys has named Brian Bishop as one of The 10 Best Attorneys for Outstanding Client Services.