What is the average settlement for pain and suffering?

No two people sustain the same injuries whether in a car accident or slip and fall. Even people with similar injuries may not have the same levels of pain and suffering. In that sense, there is no average settlement because there is no average personal injury accident. Based on case histories, a Lafayette Personal Injury Lawyer can determine a ballpark for insurance settlement purposes. If the case goes to trial, the jury decides a fair compensation amount based on the evidence presented in the courtroom.

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering awards are considered non-economic damages, compared to economic damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, or property damage. Economic damages are fairly easy to calculate, as it is simply a matter of doing the math. The injured party has X amount in medical expenses, lost X amount of dollars when unable to work, and if their car was destroyed in the accident, and replacing it will cost X amount of money.

Determining pain and suffering is much more subjective. Perhaps the accident means you can no longer pick up your children or play with them physically. Maybe you can no longer participate in many of the activities that brought you great joy and companionship. Coming up with a specific dollar value for these losses is more difficult, but they do have value.

Physical and Mental Suffering

There are two basic types of pain and suffering: physical and mental. Physical pain and suffering are calculated from the actual injuries and the amount of pain the accident victim can expect to suffer over time based on the individual prognosis. The mental aspects of pain and suffering may include:

  • Emotional distress
  • Mental anguish
  • Anxiety
  • Humiliation
  • Shock
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Physical pain may preclude a person from working again or working in the same job they held before the injury. This may also be true for mental pain and suffering. Perhaps the person has sunk into a depression so deep that employment is impossible, or a car accident left them so fearful and anxious that they cannot leave the house.  

Pain and Suffering Multipliers

In minor pain and suffering cases, a multiplier is often used, but this is not true for serious, permanent injuries. The multiplier is generally between 1.4 and 4 times the amount of special damages. These damages include current and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, and property damage. For example, if the special damages total $10,000, in a best-case scenario, the pain and suffering multiplier is four times that, or $40,000.

There is also a daily rate calculator for pain and suffering. Under this method, you and your personal injury attorney calculate your daily rate for living. After arriving at the daily rate, the pain and suffering amount is determined by the days since the incident. This is another reason there is no real average amount in pain and suffering cases. A person whose daily living expenses come out to $100 per day whose pain and suffering lasted for 100 days is not going to have the same settlement amount as someone whose daily living expenses are $150 per day but whose pain and suffering lasted 365 days. 

Medical Malpractice

In Louisiana, medical malpractice damages are capped at $500,000, including pain and suffering. This cap does not include future medical expenses. No other type of personal injury case in Louisiana includes such a cap, except for claims against government agencies, also subject to a $500,000 cap.

Contact Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers

The statute of limitations in Louisiana for filing a personal injury lawsuit is much shorter than in most states– one year from the date of the accident. That means time is of the essence in seeking legal counsel. A Lafayette Car Accident lawyer at Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers can help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. There is no fee unless we win.