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pain and suffering

Determining Pain And Suffering Damages In Arizona

Arizona is a comparative fault state, which means that in an automobile accident, each party is apportioned a specific “percentage of fault” for the accident. Once the total damages and injuries are calculated, each party is responsible for paying for their percentage of fault. There are two types of damages that you are entitled to collect in auto accident cases: economic and noneconomic damages.

Economic damages are things like lost wages and medical bills. Noneconomic damages are more subjective, like pain and suffering and emotional distress. The problem with noneconomic damages is that it is often difficult to put an exact value on what someone’s pain and suffering is “worth.” That is why contacting an auto accident lawyer at is imperative to obtaining full compensation for your injuries.

While there is certainly no exact science to calculating pain and suffering, in less complex motor vehicle accidents, many attorneys and insurance companies use some form of the multiplier method, or daily rate method.

The multiplier 

Here, a lawyer calculates pain and suffering by using “special damages.” Special damages are economic losses, most notably medical bills.  The special damages are then multiplied based on the severity of your injuries, typically ranging from 1 – 4.  The multiplier encompasses all the other factors that are related to your case, including things like pain and suffering, the length of recovery time, physical limitations, permanent injuries, and the impact the injuries have on your daily life. Since the multiplier is objective, negotiations for pain and suffering are almost always a point of contention.

The daily use rate

Another way that lawyers can calculate pain and suffering is by using the per diem method. Lawyers will often demand a specific dollar amount for every day that you have had to live with the pain and suffering brought about by your injury. The problem is that what seems like a “reasonable” rate to one party often is not reasonable to another. The theory behind the daily use rate is similar to lost wages. The notion is that you should be compensated for every day that you have to experience pain as you would every day that you lose money being absent from work.

When it comes to calculating pain and suffering, things can get complex quickly.  The reality is that the insurance company will do everything within its power to minimize how much they pay to compensate someone injured in an accident.  That is why it is imperative that you have the assistance of an attorney to help with the negotiation process. If a fair settlement of your pain and suffering can’t be found, then it may be a good idea to file a lawsuit and get your case heard by a jury.  Regardless, before you accept any settlement for your injuries, it is crucial that you consult an attorney to evaluate your case.


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