How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated in NC Crashes?


If you have suffered injuries in a Charlotte crash caused by another party’s fault, you can claim a wide range of damages covering your losses. A Charlotte car accident lawyer can help you recover these damages.

The damages recoverable in a crash in North Carolina include both economic and non-economic damages. Economic compensation covers your tangible and calculable losses such as medical costs, lost wages, and property destruction. In contrast, non-economic damages refer to your intangible losses. Pain and suffering damages are a kind of non-economic damages.

What are Pain and Suffering Damages?

Pain and suffering refer to the physical pain and psychological suffering you bear due to your crash-related injuries. Physical pain is caused due to injury and damage to yourself, such as a broken leg or arm. Psychological or emotional sufferings include injury-related depression, anxiety, shame, mood swings, lack of energy, and inability to engage in normal activities.

Unlike economic damages which are relatively easier to calculate, it is harder to compute pain and suffering damages. A jury will consider a number of factors when awarding you these damages for your accident. Here is a look at how you can prove these damages and what methods are typically used in calculating them.

Proving Pain and Suffering

You must have a complete medical record of your crash-related injuries to prove pain and suffering. The jury or the insurance companies will consider the actual effect of the crash on your life before awarding the compensation. Here are some steps you can take to ensure that you are able to prove your claim for pain and suffering damages:

  • Keep a log of your sufferings and the effect of injuries on your day-to-day activities. You must also write down all the activities and pleasures of your life which you missed due to your injuries and sufferings. For example, missing your children’s or grandchildren’s birthday parties and school meetings, inability to take part in a tennis game, unable to take part in the parties, are all the pleasures you may miss due to your crash-related injuries.
  • Try to visit your health care professionals whenever you feel pain and keep a record of the prescriptions you are given. It is important that you tell everything to your doctor and do not hide anything from him. This is because the doctor will note down all your sufferings and prescribe accordingly, which will later help you in your claim for your pain and suffering damages.
  • If you face emotional and psychological issues after the accident, you must visit a psychiatrist. Talk in detail about all the psychological issues you are going through due to the crash.
  • You should also keep a list of medicines you used for managing the pain and suffering caused by a crash. If possible, try to preserve the bottles or packages of all the medicines you used in the process.

Calculating Pain and Suffering Damages

It is quite difficult to calculate pain and suffering compensation compared to tangible damages which are easier to compute. However, insurance companies typically use two methods to calculate pain and suffering compensation. One of these is the multiplier method while the other one is the per-diem method.

Multiplier Method

In the multiplier method used in personal injury damages, the compensation is calculated by multiplying the medical costs of your injury with a specific number. This number is usually between 1 and 5, depending on the nature and severity of the injuries. If your injuries are not very serious, a smaller multiplier is used. If your injuries are more serious and may have a lifelong impact, larger multipliers like 4 or 5 are used.

For instance, if your leg is broken due to a crash and you become lifelong handicapped, this has a huge effect on your life. You can claim for pain and suffering compensation in such a case. If your medical bills are worth $20,000 and a multiplier of 4 is used for intangible damages, you receive $80,000 in lieu of pain and suffering.

Per Diem Method

The Per Diem method lets you demand daily compensation for your pain and suffering as long as you have to live with the pain. However, this method is applicable only in injuries that do not result in permanent or long-term injuries.

Hiring a Qualified Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer

If you have suffered a car crash in Charlotte, NC, it is best to get legal help at the earliest. Here at Ted Greve & Associates, we help you recover both economic and non-economic damages for your crash-related losses. Call us today to get an estimate of the settlement amount you deserve.