Pain and Suffering: How It Is Calculated in Arizona

pain and suffering

Have you sustained injuries from an accident caused by a negligent party? Are you wondering what you can receive compensation for? Did you know that you can claim pain and suffering? 

Not only do accident victims suffer from physical injuries, but they also experience emotional and psychological effects. While a lawsuit settlement can help pay the bills, how can someone be compensated for their suffering not quantified by a medical bill?

Under pain and suffering damages. Continue reading below to learn more about calculating pain and suffering and who you can reach out to for more guidance. 

What Is Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering are non-economic damages, compensating you for the physical and mental injuries suffered from your incident. The term “damages” refers to the amount of money you may receive as an award in a lawsuit. 

Emotional Pain and Suffering

Mental anguish, also known as emotional suffering or distress, occurs when the negligent party’s actions cause mental harm. This emotional pain can be severe and may cause lifetime permanent damage. 

Examples of emotional pain and suffering:

  • Anger
  • Grief
  • PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • Cognitive changes
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Insomnia
  • Fear

Most people aren’t too comfortable talking about their emotional injuries because they don’t want to be seen as complainers. Even severely injured people aren’t too keen on opening up about the burden and impact their injuries put on them mentally. You deserve to receive compensation for the physical impacts of an incident and the emotional distress and suffering. 

Physical Pain and Suffering

Physical injuries from an accident can be extremely painful, lasting for days, months, or even years. Some of these injuries can be permanent, leaving you or your loved one in constant pain. 

Physical injuries that may qualify for pain and suffering:

  • Neck pain
  • Back pain
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Fractured bones
  • Broken bones
  • Organ damage

Those are only a few of the many other types of physical injuries you can receive compensation for. When you work with a reputable personal injury attorney, they will ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for your physical injuries. 

What Are Economic Damages?

Economic damages are the result of the physical injuries suffered in the incident. For example, this can include medical bills, lost wages, and property damage repairs.

Typically, these damages are easily verifiable through medical invoices, tax returns, bills, pay stubs, and receipts. Paying these damages is much easier than paying for mental pain and suffering. 

Calculating Pain and Suffering

Even if your emotional pain and suffering is worse than any of the physical injuries you have from the accident, you will have a hard time getting compensation for it than you would for a fractured rib. This is because it’s not easy to put a price tag on someone’s mental pain and suffering. 

Most insurance companies use computer programs to calculate these damages. The software considers physical injuries and the type of treatment sought for said injuries. There are two other ways to calculate pain and suffering: per diem and the use of a multiplier. 

Per Diem

Per diem is a Latin phrase for “each day,” so, in a per diem settlement, a certain amount of money gets assigned to a day. Let’s say each day is $100. The settlement will pay $100 for each day from the day of the accident until the day you or your loved one reaches maximum recovery. 

Use of a Multiplier

Insurance companies use this method often to calculate a settlement for your pain and suffering. The insurance adjuster takes your lost wages and medical bills and multiplies them by a number between one and five. If your case is severe, the insurance company will multiply your amount on the higher end of the scale. 

Calculating Pain and Suffering in Arizona

The courts in Arizona are very sympathetic to someone who suffered mental or physical pain at the hands of a negligent party. Arizona laws seek to restore victims, as closely as they possibly can, to their original state of being prior to the incident. 

To determine the compensation you deserve, the court will look at a variety of factors when deciding on an appropriate award. 

Factors evaluated for your pain and suffering compensation:

  • The severity of the injury
  • Medical treatment required
  • Emotional damages
  • Length of recovery
  • The permanence of the injury
  • Medications needed for recovery
  • Type of injury suffered

Of course, money won’t make your pain or mental anguish disappear, but it can help compensate you for the accident’s impact on your life. As you now know, there is no straightforward way to calculate pain and suffering for a person as each person’s situation varies from one to the other. 

Documentation Needed for Your Pain and Suffering Claim

It is very easy to prove economic damages over non-economic damages because they have actual numbers you can prove on paper, such as medical bills or lost wages. As stated earlier, it is a bit harder to prove non-economic damages because how can you put a price tag on someone’s mental suffering? 

When you work with an experienced attorney, they will be able to prove to the court that you suffered emotional pain and suffering from the incident. 

Documents that support mental pain and suffering:

  • Mental health prescriptions
  • Journal entries
  • Testimonies from medical professionals
  • Testimonies from friends and family members

Carefully documenting your mental and physical anguish is extremely crucial to ensure that you receive a fair compensation award. Determining the right amount of compensation you deserve is not an easy task, so you will want to make sure you partner with a reputable attorney to help you.

Do I Need an Injury Attorney?

Although it is recommended to at least seek a free evaluation from a reputable attorney, you technically don’t need to hire one for your personal injury claim. If you attempt to handle the case on your own, there is a high chance that you could make a huge mistake. This can significantly reduce the value of your case and any additional settlement you could have received. 

Possible mistakes made:

  • Accidentally admitting fault
  • Failing to file the proper document on time
  • Handing over medical records when you don’t have to
  • Giving a recorded statement 

When you give your recorded statement to another company, they can use that against you to diminish your claim. They will most likely ask you questions that will get you to admit liability in your own accident. 

Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

Several different benefits come with hiring an attorney, but the most significant advantage of hiring them is they are the experts. Figuring out how to calculate your pain and suffering can lead to a lot of headaches and confusion.

If you don’t handle your case properly, you could lose out on money or the entire case itself. Instead of navigating the complexities of personal injury law, you can rely on an attorney to take care of that for you. 

Can Provide Their Opinion

Most reputable attorneys offer free case evaluations, so you can come in and speak with them about the schematics of your case. A free consultation can help you see what kind of case you have and what damages you may be able to claim.

When you meet with the attorney, they can also give you their honest opinion of your case. Depending on your situation, you may not need an attorney. 

Objectivity

Getting into an accident stirs up many different emotions such as pain, grief, sadness, anger, and more. When you are experiencing those emotions, can you honestly trust yourself to make the right decisions for your case?

Personal injury attorneys are specifically trained to be objective to your case. This means that they don’t have the same feelings tied to the case as you do. They can think clearly and can make the best decisions possible for your pain and suffering lawsuit. 

Can Prove Liability

As you now know, pain and suffering is not tangible damage that you can put a price tag on. Unlike a medical bill, you have to provide layers of evidence to prove pain and suffering.

This is where an attorney shines. They know how to prove that the other person is responsible for your pain and suffering. 

Get the Compensation You Deserve

In addition to tangible medical bills and financial settlements that will take care of your physical health, there are other damages, such as pain and suffering, that can compensate for your psychological effects from the accident. Not many people know how to calculate pain and suffering, nor do they completely understand what payment they could be entitled to. If you or your loved one recently sustained injuries from an accident, contact us for a free case evaluation.

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