Psychological distress, sleepless nights caused by stress and pain, or even a loss of enjoyment of life, can all be experienced by victims of auto accidents.
At Swartz & Swartz PC., we know it’s not just physical injuries that happen when an auto accident occurs – many victims continue to suffer long after their accident happened.
Psychological distress, sleepless nights caused by stress and pain, or even a loss of enjoyment of life, can all be experienced by victims of auto accidents. This suffering can have a real impact on the victim’s everyday life and those of their family.
In legal terms we describe this as the “pain and suffering” that victims experience on top of their physical injuries. The good news is that with the right attorney, you can be compensated for your pain and suffering after an auto accident in addition to the “actual damages” you incurred, like the cost of the ambulance ride to the hospital and x-rays.
In Massachusetts, to be eligible to present a claim for pain and suffering resulting from an auto accident, you must have sustained at least $2,000 in reasonable and essential medical expenses. As previously mentioned, these are referred to as “actual damages,” which can be quickly calculated using items like medical bills and prescription receipts. There are, however, important exceptions to this threshold. Certain types of injuries qualify for pain and suffering damages regardless of the actual damages associated with them. These injuries include:
- Permanent, serious disfigurement
- Loss of hearing or sight
- Partial or total dismemberment
Certain types of injuries qualify for pain and suffering damages regardless of the actual damages associated with them
While Massachusetts law does not spell out how pain and suffering damages should be quantified, generally speaking, there are two methods of calculation that are used by attorneys and insurance companies: the per diem method and multiplier method. Let’s take a moment to explore how each one works.
Per Diem Method
Per diem refers to a “daily rate” – a set amount of money for each day that a victim experienced pain and suffering. Usually, your daily rate is based on your income. Say you earned $300 per day before your auto accident, but you had to take time off because of bad pain, and you had trouble sleeping for 100 days because of the pain. Using the per diem method, your pain and suffering calculation would be your daily income x the number of days you experienced pain and suffering. Using our example that would be $300 x 100 days for a total of $30,000.
This method uses your actual damages (medical bills, lost income, etc.) and multiplies them by a number between one and five to arrive at an approximate number for your total pain and suffering. The number used to multiple your actual damages is based on the seriousness of the accident, other aggravating circumstances, whose fault the accident was, and the required medical treatment you got compared with other medical treatment you may have also received.
Filing a personal injury claim as a result of an auto accident can be overwhelming. At Swartz & Swartz PC., we are committed to working with you to maximize your pain and suffering damages. Our experienced attorneys are skilled at building strong cases to help you get compensation you and your family deserve. If you have been injured in an auto accident and want to claim pain and suffering damages, give us a call today.
Mr. Angueira is an accomplished senior trial lawyer at Swartz & Swartz, P.C., who has obtained record breaking results for his clients. He was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1982 and the New York Bar in 1983. He specializes Employment Litigation, Medical Malpractice, Product Liability, Discrimination, Whistle Blower and False Claims.
If you or someone you know, needs help from a lawyer, contact the law offices of Swartz & Swartz, use our live chat, or send us a message using the form below and we’ll get in touch to assess your case and how we can help.