Being involved in an accident and suffering from injuries is always a stressful situation. If the accident was caused by someone else, it’s likely that you are entitled to monetary compensation to some extent. The types and amounts of compensation available will depend on the circumstances, including where the accident occurred, how severe the injuries are, how long you were out of work, the long-term effects of the accident and injuries, and more. In addition to being entitled to compensation to reimburse you for medical expenses and other tangible financial harm you suffered, you might also be eligible for pain and suffering damages if you were injured in Connecticut.
What are Pain and Suffering Damages?
Pain and suffering damages fall under the category of non-economic damages in a civil lawsuit. They are awarded as a way to compensate the plaintiff for the more emotional injuries that can occur from being injured in a serious accident. Common examples of pain and suffering damages include physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, disfigurement, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life.
How Much Is Pain and Suffering Worth?
The amount of pain and suffering damages you will be awarded depends on several factors, such as the extent of your injuries and the long-term consequences you experience as a result. Connecticut courts use two primary methods to calculate pain and suffering damages: the multiplier method and the per diem method.
The multiplier method is more commonly used in civil claims in Connecticut. The first step requires the court to add up all the plaintiff’s economic damages – medical expenses, lost wages, lost future wages, property damage, etc. – and then use a multiplier to determine the value of the plaintiff’s pain and suffering losses. The multiplier is a number between 1 and 5 and is chosen based on the extent of the injuries. The more severe the injuries and the more egregious the defendant’s conduct, the higher the multiplier should be.
For example, if your economic damages are $100,000 and you suffered severe injuries because the defendant was driving under the influence, a 4 or 5 would likely be used as the multiplier. It would then be multiplied by your economic damages of $100,000. If 4 were used, your pain and suffering damages would be $400,000, and if 5 were used, your pain and suffering damages would be $500,000.
The Per Diem Method
The per diem method is less common but is sometimes used in Connecticut personal injury cases. The first step in this method is to determine a dollar amount to your daily pain and suffering. Then, a determination must be made regarding the number of days you’re expected to experience pain and suffering as a result of the accident and your injuries. The daily amount is multiplied by the number of days, and that’s how your pain and suffering damages are calculated.
As you can see, both methods are incredibly subjective and will change depending on the circumstances. Even if two people suffered the exact same injuries and incurred the same financial losses, two different judges or insurance adjusters in Connecticut might use a different multiplier or dollar amount for daily pain and come up with two different numbers for pain and suffering damages. An experienced attorney can help you calculate what you’re entitled to and fight to make sure you are compensated appropriately.
If you have any questions about pain or suffering or need assistance, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.