“Pain and suffering” is the term used for one of the injuries a victim may suffer after an accident. It refers to both physical pain and suffering, as well as mental and emotional pain and suffering.
Unlike specific financial damages for auto repairs or even the price tag of medical treatment, “pain and suffering” is harder to define, and therefore harder to calculate.
So how is pain and suffering calculated in Louisiana, and when do you need to start this claims process?
Calculating pain and suffering in Louisiana
Louisiana does not generally cap damages for personal injury lawsuits, therefore if you have been injured by another person’s negligence you deserve fair and adequate compensation not only for your bills, but also for the suffering you were forced to endure.
With your attorney, you can use a variety of methods to calculate the value of your pain and suffering as you move forward with your injury claim.
The most common methods used to calculate the value of pain and suffering include:
- The Multiplier Method
- The Per Diem Method
- Jurisprudential Method
The Multiplier Method is a common way your attorney may attempt to calculate your pain and suffering. This method calculates your pain and suffering by analyzing the monetary losses you have suffered from your injury.
When the monetary losses are adequately adjusted and analyzed, your attorney then multiplies the total by a specific rate to provide the total amount if your desired pain and suffering for your injury settlement.
This is one way to allocate the necessary results for your injury lawsuit, but not the only option.
Per Diem Method
“Per diem” is Latin for “by the day,” and fittingly, this method calculates pain and suffering based on daily estimates of damages.
For example, if you and your attorney deem the per diem damages to be $100 per day, and your accident takes place on January 1st, by a court date of July 1st, you would calculate $18,100 — $100 for every day that has passed since the accident.
Louisiana judges that utilize this method rarely calculate a flat day rate for a long period of time. Most judges decrease the daily amount as time passes. Also, many judges calculate pain and suffering on a monthly basis, rather than daily.
Jurisprudence is a prevailing legal theory in Louisiana accidents whereby the judge or jury looks for similar cases in the past to use as a basis for your present case. If a person was in an accident and had similar injuries to your own, we use that person’s verdict as a foundation for determining your case’s value.
For example, a jury in 2015 awarded a plaintiff $250,000 for pain and suffering after an auto accident that led to a back surgery. If one of your injuries also required a similar back surgery, we would include $250,000 (with a little inflation) to value the “pain and suffering” in your case.
Most cases include various injuries of differing severity. So, most often we pull from different jurisprudential cases. We can mix and match several cases to establish a foundation for the value of your case.
Of course, the previous methods only apply for settlement negotiations. Once your case reaches the courtroom, the value rests entirely with the judge or jury.
There are various strategies to use when convincing a jury to provide a fair value. Every jury is different, and they are always unpredictable.
In the state of Louisiana, accident victims can be awarded many different types of non-economic damages as pain and suffering. These damages include:
- Emotional and Physical Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Use of a Vehicle
- Emotional Distress
- Mental suffering
- Physical Impairment
All of these apply to the pain and suffering of any individual who has suffered from a personal injury. All of your pain and suffering, as well as the impairments they have led to, should be adequately acknowledged and compensated in a successful personal injury case.
Statute of Limitations
You should be aware that there is a time limit you have to claim compensation for pain and suffering.
This specific time limit is known as a statute of limitations or prescription. Louisiana has a very short period during which you can file a lawsuit.
All injury claims must be brought within 12 months after the accident. Because of this strict time frame, you should keep a record of pictures, accident reports, and official documentation to help benefit your case.
Contact Davey Jones for help with your Louisiana personal injury case
To protect your assets and potential losses, it’s best to speak with an attorney to achieve the most from your injury settlement. Trying to figure out what your claim is worth is challenging, therefore you need a professional to guide you through the process.
Pain and suffering can be calculated in a variety of ways and speaking with a trained professional attorney is the safest option in providing you with the best resources in achieving your settlement goal. Contact Davey Jones today to ensure you have a valuable team working on your behalf to allow you to progress with your life and recover from your injury.