How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated in a Car Accident Claim?

April 23, 2024 – Paul Hammack

South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers | Hammack Law Firm | Call 864-326-3333

Before seeking compensation for injuries you suffered in a collision, it’s critical to understand how pain and suffering is calculated in a car accident claim. Whereas your medical bills and similar damages already have a clear monetary value you can add up, pain and suffering damages require you to assign value to them. Their value generally depends on:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • How long it will take you to recover
  • Your ability to continue working or participating in your regular activities
  • Whether you will experience life-long disabilities or impairments
  • The value of your other damages overall

Our car accident attorneys have seen how impactful pain and suffering damages can be on a case and in a victim’s life. As such, we take calculating these and other damages on your behalf very seriously.

Understanding Personal Injury Damage Categories

In personal injury law, there are two main categories of damages: economic and non-economic. Economic damages refer to expenses and financial losses with specific values attached to them, such as treatment costs and missed paychecks. Meanwhile, non-economic damages refer to the intangible effects of an accident – pain and suffering is one of them.

Separating your car accident damages into these categories is a necessary step. Often, the value assigned to non-economic damages is partially based on the amount of economic damages present.

Identifying the Recoverable Damages After a Car Accident

South Carolina law S.C. Ann. § 15-32-210 allows you to seek a variety of damages within the economic and non-economic categories. When identifying recoverable damages in your car accident case, note that pain and suffering generally refers to the physical pain and emotional suffering you experience because of your injuries.

In addition to pain and suffering, a few other damages fall into the non-economic category. They include:

  • Inconvenience
  • Mental anguish and emotional distress
  • Disfigurement and physical impairment
  • Effects on your relationships within your family and society

Identifying these types of damages takes time. When you work with our firm, a car accident attorney will speak with you at length about how the collision and your injuries have affected your life. Then, our team will help you compile evidence to prove this in your case.

Proving Your Right to Pain and Suffering Damages

Since you can’t rely on bills, pay stubs, invoices, and other documents, you must use other types of evidence to establish your right to pain and suffering compensation. When you work with our car accident team, there are a few different ways we can document these intangible damages:

  • Interviewing you: We will listen to what you have experienced since the accident with compassion and make note of these experiences in your case file.
  • Collecting your notes: We may encourage you to keep a journal in which you write down how your accident and injuries affect your daily life.
  • Speaking with your family: Sometimes, it’s difficult to realize the full scope of your own suffering. Your family and friends could provide a different perspective for your case.

A Car Accident Lawyer from Our Firm Can Help Calculate Your Claim’s Value

Estimating the full monetary value of a case takes much time and careful consideration. Many car accident victims do not have the time to dedicate to a personal injury case, which is where our services come in. Once our legal team has the evidence to support your claim, we can begin calculating the amount of damages to seek.

For economic damages, this requires compiling all your financial documents related to the accident and adding up their values. Then, we will use one of several industry-approved methods to calculate your pain and suffering. Examples include:

  • The per diem method, in which we assign value based on the number of days you experienced pain and suffering
  • The multiplier method, in which we take the sum of your economic damages and multiply it by a specific number based on the severity of your pain and suffering

Other Legal Services Our Car Accident Attorneys Offer

In addition to calculating your pain and suffering and other damages, our attorneys can also handle the other aspects of your case, such as:

  • Collecting evidence of fault and liability
  • Identifying and building a case against the at-fault party
  • Filing insurance and legal documents on time
  • Negotiating with the other party for a fair settlement
  • Weighing settlement offers for you
  • Advising you on the best path to seeking compensation, which may involve going to trial

We provide compassionate and comprehensive legal services to South Carolina car accident victims.

Let Our Firm Guide Your Car Accident Claim

You do not have to handle any aspect of your car accident claim on your own, including the complex task of calculating pain and suffering. Our attorneys know South Carolina personal injury law and what it takes to secure a fair settlement or court award in these cases. Allow us to put this knowledge to work for you. Check out our reviews to get an idea of what it’s like to work with us.

Hammack Law Firm serves clients all over South Carolina on a contingency-fee basis, meaning you pay nothing unless we deliver compensation from the liable party. You have nothing to lose by calling our team for a free consultation today: (864) 326-3333(864) 326-3333 or contact car accident attorney and Greenville personal injury lawyer. We treat our clients like family and offer personalized legal care.


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