How to Calculate Pain & Suffering Damages


Pain and suffering damages are not guaranteed for every claim. When you file a claim with your insurance company, whether you were hurt in a car accident or due to a defective product, your personal injury attorney may try to file for pain and suffering damages if you suffered a significant injury. Although it is not always granted, pain and suffering damages in New Jersey are frequently sought in personal injury lawsuits. There are two types of pain and suffering from which those suffering may try to recover-- physical pain and suffering, and mental or emotional pain and suffering.

General and Special Damages

When filing a claim, there are two types of damages: general and special. Damages that are considered general are noneconomic damages that contain no monetary value. These are pain and suffering damages. Special damages are the economic losses you endure, such as from losing wages, property damage, and piling up medical bills.

Physical and Emotional Pain and Suffering

Physical pain and suffering is any pain that is directly caused by the accident, from any broken bones, lacerations, or bruises. This can also mean future pain sparked by the accident and any painful medical care you must endure to recover.

Mental or emotional pain and suffering is any emotional distress, anxiety, loss of enjoyment, shock, and/ or humiliation that occurs due to the trauma of the accident. Several factors are considered when calculating pain and suffering, for which there is not a specific formula. These include the severity of the injuries and the likely recovery period. For the best way to estimate damages you should receive due to pain and suffering, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney in New Jersey.

Severity and Recovery Time

Pain and suffering aren't tangible damages; that is, they cannot be calculated because it is impossible to attach a numerical value to pain. This is what makes calculating such damages the most complicated part of your claim. When you suffer from an injury such as a broken bone, this is generally considered a painful injury that can take a while to recover. Such injuries that are particularly painful and time-intensive to reach full recovery are usually granted damages for pain and suffering with adequate proof.

To prove such an injury all you need are medical records, copies of your medical bills, photographs of your injury, and records of any prescription medications you may have to take to recover. All of these are considered by the insurance company to calculate your damages. Many companies also use the multiplier method to calculate damages; the total of your special damages are multiplied by a number on a scale from 1.5-5, with 5 being the highest level of suffering. Talk to a personal injury attorney with ample experience negotiating with insurance companies for the best estimate of the damages you should expect to receive. Call Attorney James Vasquez of The Law Offices of James Vasquez, PC at 862-247-8711 for a free consultation.