What is Pain and Suffering and How Is Compensation Value Calculated?

what is pain and suffering and how is compensation calculated?

Recovering Noneconomic Damages in Injury Cases

When a person is injured as a result of the wrongful or neglectful acts of another, they can bring forth a civil action against that party for damages. The injured party has the right to seek damages for the full extent of the harm they suffered, which typically includes compensation for economic losses like the costs of medical and hospital bills, any property damaged suffered, and lost wages.

However, the injured party may also seek compensation for their noneconomic damages. The most common type of noneconomic damage that plaintiffs seek in a civil personal injury suit is pain and suffering.

What is Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering is the term that is used to describe the array of intangible, noneconomic injuries that a person may suffer in an accident. These types of injuries may include:

  • Psychological harm, such as a depression or post-traumatic stress disorder;
  • Physical pain;
  • Emotional anguish;
  • Physical suffering;
  • Diminished quality of life;
  • Insomnia or grief; and
  • All other physical, emotional, and mental injuries.

How is the Value of Pain and Suffering Determined in a Georgia Personal Injury Case?

Because pain and suffering is noneconomic in nature, it can be difficult for a court (or parties negotiating for a settlement) to valuate it. Typically, there are two different methods for calculating pain and suffering following an injury in Georgia. These include:

The Daily Rate Method

The daily rate method relies on assigning a per diem amount of money, and then multiplying that amount by the number of days that the injured person experiences pain and suffering. The daily rate is often calculated by using a person’s actual earnings. For example, if a person was earning $200 per day before their accident, and is now prevented from earning that as a result of their pain and suffering, and if this extends for 100 days, they may be entitled to pain and suffering at a rate of 100 x $200, or $20,000.

The Multiplier Method

The other, and usually more common, method of determining pain and suffering is to assign an injury victim a “multiplier,” and then to multiply the amount of economic damages they have suffered by this multiplier. The multiple is usually between 1.5 and five, with five being reserved for very serious cases of harm. Using this, a person who was assigned a multiplier of two and suffered $300,000 in economic damages would be entitled to $600,000 in damages for pain and suffering.

Recovering the Full Amount of Compensation that You Deserve

If you have been seriously injured due to another’s negligence, and if you have experienced pain and suffering as a result, you need an attorney on your side. At our law offices, our experienced Georgia personal injury attorneys can help to prove that you have suffered pain and suffering, and will work hard to recover you the largest settlement amount possible.

To schedule a free consultation, please contact us online or by phone today. We always put our clients first.

The foregoing answer is not legal advice and is merely a general overview. You are advised to consult a lawyer to address your specific situation. Feel free to send comments or questions to: steve@aa-legal.com of Apolinsky & Associates, LLC, or call (404) 377-9191.


About the Author

Stephen Apolinsky

Stephen D. Apolinsky is a Personal Injury Attorney who specializes in representing individuals and families concerning wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases. Stephen is licensed to practice in Georgia, Alabama, and the District of Columbia. With over 33 years of experience representing personal injury victims, Stephen has successfully tried over 80 cases to verdict before judges or juries, and has negotiated over 300 cases to out-of-court settlements. Stephen has been recognized as a Georgia Super Lawyer, and as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association.