Figuring Out Pain and Suffering Multiplier for Arizona Injury Claims
It isn’t hard for confusion to arise when you’re discussing legal terminology. For instance, “pain and suffering” may seem like a vague phrase, something not used in every day conversation. In general, it is a catch-all phrase used to address a victim’s physical, mental, and emotional distress. In a personal injury case, pain and suffering is quantified as part of the settlement with in the insurance company.
When dealing with an insurance company, they regularly use specific formulas to calculate pain and suffering damages. Law firms also use this method when reviewing the case to determine the parameters of a fair settlement.
How Arizona Lawyers Use the Pain and Suffering Multiplier
First and foremost, there is no standard formula to determine pain and suffering. Pain and suffering damages is determined solely by the trier of fact. That said, attorneys present various multiplier scenarios to the trier of facts to assist in reaching a value for the pain and suffering.
Most formulas start by adding the compensatory damages resulting from the accident. These are losses that occur directly from the injury such as medical costs. Then, the adjuster or lawyer multiplies that sum by the multiplier number.
The multiplier in this scenario reflects the extent of the injury the victim suffered. While there is no rule, in general, the multiplier ranges from 1.5 for a minor injury to 5 or more for severe injuries. There is no cap to the multiplier such as the case for someone suffering catastrophic and permanent injuries and disfigurement.
Factors that usually determine the multiplier number include the projected length of recovery and type of injury. Other factors include the amount of proof the victim has for their suffering as well as the evidence of the at-fault party. It’s important to understand that this calculation does not mean that you will receive compensation for a specific amount.
Sample Multiplier Calculation for Victims in Phoenix, Arizona
Suppose you are the victim of a traffic accident. In this hypothetical situation, the accident left you with broken bones, preventing you from returning to work. When you factor in the cost of treatment and surgery required for your recovery and lost wages due to your absence from work, it totals $60,000.
You believe your pain and suffering are severe, you estimate a 3 multiplier number. To finish the calculation, you multiply the total amount for your special damages by the multiplier. You estimate your total damages will equal $180,000 because 60,000 x 3 = 180,000. Of course, in practice, the numbers won’t be as clear-cut. However, this should give you insight into how this equation can help your lawyer estimate a fair settlement.
Gathering Evidence of Your Suffering
If you don’t have hard evidence indicating your painful experience, your insurance company may deny compensation based on the assumption that you did not suffer. You must be able to back up the estimates of your pain and suffering with proof.
The best way to provide evidence of these general damages is with documentation from doctors who provided you with care, police reports from the scene, and accounts from anyone who witnessed the accident.
Critics of the Method
While the method can be helpful as an estimation tool, it has its critics, too. Some people disapprove of this equation because:
- They believe the results are arbitrary
- Victims can misconstrue the estimate for damages owed
- The calculations can vary greatly depending on the estimator’s perspective
- The same injuries that cause pain and suffering can differ based on the individual victim
Learn More From Folger Law
The best way to calculate an estimate for your damages is to contact the Folger Law Firm. With well over a decade of experience, we can pinpoint specific losses from your injury. Our team can also provide a more precise estimate than you might be able to on your own.
Contact the Folger Law Firm Today for Representation in Phoenix, Arizona
For representation in your personal injury claim, you can rely on us to help you seek the maximum damages in your claim. If you don’t receive recovery, there is no fee for our services. This approach means that you know we do everything we can to help you find the best possible outcome for your claim.
Call our law office today at (602) 932-0552 to speak with an attorney for a free evaluation of your case.