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How is Pain and Suffering Calculated in a Settlement?

September 21, 2017

If you were injured due to the negligence of someone else, whether it was a business or an individual, and you’re considering a lawsuit, you’re likely wondering how pain and suffering is calculated in a settlement. This could even be a determining factor on if you want to push forward with your case.

While we can give you some guidelines on how these settlement amounts are determined, your best move would be to talk to an Austin personal injury attorney, like Fears Nachawati. After just a short consultation, they’ll be able to give you a much better idea of what you should see in damages.

What we can do in this article, however, is explain some of the different ways pain and suffering is calculated in a settlement.

Methods for Calculating Pain and Suffering

While there are dozens of variables that go into figuring out a personal injury settlement, these two methods are probably the most common for deciding on damages, whether it’s for an auto accident or a slip-and-fall accident.

Multiplier Method

It’s obviously quite difficult to put a final dollar amount on how much pain someone is feeling or how much they have suffered in the past months or years. But the multiplier method has become the most common approach.

A lawyer will first add up all your economic losses that stemmed from your accident (which include lost income from missed work, medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident or healthcare, property damage, etc.). That number will be multiplied by a range from 1.5 to 5, which is called the “multiplier.” That second number depends on the seriousness of the injuries, possibility of a quick recovery, how the injury affects your daily life, and how much the other party was considered at fault.

Your Austin personal injury attorney will be arguing for a higher multiplier, while the defendant/insurance company, will be asking to use the lower side of the multiplier range.

Per Diem Method

By using this rate, which is also known as a daily rate, will determine a specific dollar amount for every day someone had to deal with pain and suffering caused by the accident.

Even that is still tricky because you must determine what dollar amount to use for the daily rate. One way is to look at your daily earnings, comparing that against what you would have made if you went to work each day.

In this instance, let’s say your yearly income is $50,000, which when dividend by 250 work days comes out to $200 per day. If you suffered pain from a slip-and-fall accident for five months (150 days). We’d take that rate ($200) and multiply it times the days you’ve suffered (150), which means the pain and suffering amount would be a settlement around $30,000.

It’s good to try out both methods, and considering asking for something within the range of the two numbers. There will still be negotiations after you’ve decided upon a number, of course, but it’s a good place to start.

An Austin personal injury attorney, like Fears Nachawati, will give you a much better idea of how pain and suffering is calculated in a settlement. Give them a call at (512) 535-2206, or talk with them at their Austin office on Congress Avenue. You can also consult with them at their offices in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, as well as their offices outside of Texas in Denver and Tampa.


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