Keep in mind that the best method to use, the most appropriate ways to calculate your rate or multiplier, as well as how to properly negotiate these figures are best determined with the help of an attorney.
After you are injured in an accident that someone else caused, you will quickly see your medical bills mounting at the same time that you may be suffering enormous setbacks due to your lost income and earning abilities. These types of financial impacts are covered in a personal injury case under the umbrella of economic damages, which are all of the damages that you experience that come with clear and measurable dollar amounts. But, these types of damages and setbacks are not the only kind that you will experience.
What about the pain that you have needed to endure from your injuries or the suffering that this experience has caused? These types of impacts after an accident are known as non-economic damages, and when you are working with an experienced attorney you can be confident that they will not rest until your non-economic damages are given the same level of care as your economic damages. Jugo and Murphy Law Office provide victims of personal injury cases in Miami with a free initial consultation to learn more about how they can help calculate these damages, in addition to many other benefits that come with working such a reputable law firm.
Read more below about how pain and suffering is quantified, and make sure that you partner with a lawyer as soon as possible.
The Multiplier Method
In order to use the multiplier method, you and your lawyer will lay out all of the “intangible” impacts of your accident, including your pain and suffering, and place it along a continuum ranging from 1.5-5, and in rare cases, in excess of 5. Once you have reached a point on this scale that you believe accurately represents the severity of your non-economic damages, ranging from “non-existent” to “extreme,” you then take this number and multiply your total economic damages by this number.
For example, if you have suffered $50,000 of economic damages and have landed on a multiplier of 2.5, then you will seek $50,000 x 2.5 – $125,000 in non-economic damages.
It may seem attractive to simply apply a high number right off the bat, but remember that you will need to be able to negotiate with the defendant about this calculation, or justify your calculations in court. Choosing a multiplier that is too high will negatively impact your credibility, and can, therefore, be a serious detriment to your case.
Per Diem Method
In other instances, you and your attorney may decide to use what is known as the “per diem” method to calculate your non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. With this method, you will first assign a “daily rate” based on a variety of factors. Once you have established this rate, you will then multiply that rate by every day that you have been forced to live with the pain of your accident.
This rate can be calculated with a variety of variables, but one of the most common ways to set this rate is to divide your yearly income into a daily amount. For example, if you earn $200/day in normal circumstances and have suffered from the pain of an injury for 120 days, then your day rate will ultimately result in non-economic damages of 120 x $200 = $24,000 in non-economic damages.
Keep in mind that the best method to use, the most appropriate ways to calculate your rate or multiplier, as well as how to properly negotiate these figures are best determined with the help of an attorney. Trying to represent yourself on such abstract damages can become quickly overwhelming as the insurance company pushes back and uses your inexperience to their advantage.