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How are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated in an Arkansas Accident Claim?

— November 21, 2022

Unlike many other states, Arkansas doesn’t cap the value of pain and suffering damages in accident claims. 

Little Rock, AK – In personal injury law, an accident is defined as “an unfortunate event resulting from carelessness, unawareness, ignorance, or a combination of causes”. If you live in Arkansas and are injured in an accident you have the right to file a personal injury claim with the insurance company representing the other party or sue the person that injured you in a civil court.

Before taking any legal action, you should consult with the best Arkansas accident attorneys you can find. You should never file a claim without knowing how much money your claim is worth. If you do that, the insurance adjuster will most certainly try to lowball you. Remember you’re dealing with a for-profit company so it is in their best interests to minimize the value of your claim.

What type of damages can you recover for an accident in Arkansas?

According to the law, you can seek economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are meant to cover your tangible financial losses, such as your medical expenses and your lost wages. These are fairly easy to calculate, but you should never hurry to settle. If you sustained severe injuries and were left with a disability, seasoned accident lawyers in Arkansas will help you determine how much money you may need for medical treatment in the future and the value of your lost future earnings.

Non-economic damages refer to the pain and suffering your injuries caused you. As these are intangible losses for which you don’t have any bills to take into account, it is best to talk to knowledgeable accident lawyers to see how much your claim is worth.

What are the two methods used to calculate pain and suffering damages in Arkansas?

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The value of your pain and suffering depends on the severity of your injury. Your lawyers will look at the way it impacted your daily life and for how long. If you break a leg following a car accident, the injury will heal in a matter of weeks. It may cause a lot of discomfort, but nowhere near the suffering caused by spine damage or a traumatic brain injury.

Both insurance companies and Arkansas courts use two methods to calculate pain and suffering damages.

The per diem method

This is mostly used for minor injuries, such as bruises, lacerations, or a neck injury from which you recover in a matter of weeks. Your lawyers will calculate how much a day of suffering is worth. Generally speaking, the value used will be how much money you earn per day. This will be multiplied by the number of days it took you to recover. If, for instance, you make $150 per day and your injuries took 20 days to heal, you can get $3,000 in pain and suffering damages.

The multiplier method

This method is preferred for accidents resulting in severe injuries. The insurance adjuster or the court will look at the value of your economic losses and multiply it by a factor between 1 and 5. It will be your accident attorney’s job to convince them that your injury was very severe and it warrants the use of a 4 or 5 factor.

As an example, if you sustain an injury to your spine, such as a slipped disc, your economic damages can reach $200,000. If you were left in considerable pain and were forced to give up most of the things that gave meaning to your life, your lawyers will urge the jury to use factor 5. You will receive $1 million in pain and suffering damages.

Unlike many other states, Arkansas doesn’t cap the value of pain and suffering damages in accident claims. 

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