Have you recently sustained injuries as a result of someone else’s actions or negligence in Massachusetts? If so, you may be eligible for financial compensation. You can pursue the compensation for which you are eligible by filing an insurance claim. In cases involving uninsured liable parties, you may file a lawsuit and ask a jury to award damages in court. This is also an option when an insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement.

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Some of the losses for which you may seek compensation when you file a claim are known as economic losses. These are losses that have exact dollar values.

For example, you may be eligible to receive compensation for the medical care your injuries require. Determining how much compensation you deserve in these circumstances merely involves adding up your medical bills and related expenses. If you need ongoing care, it may also involve estimating the potential cost of future medical treatment.

However, your injuries may also cause you to experience pain and suffering. This is a loss without a clear monetary value. Regardless, it’s a loss for which you might also seek compensation. How you will go about assigning a value to it can depend on which method the insurance company or your lawyer uses.

Methods for Assigning a Value to Pain and Suffering in a Massachusetts Personal Injury Case

There are various methods attorneys, insurance claims adjusters, and other such professionals use when assigning a value to pain and suffering. The following are two of the most common:

The Multiplier Method

The multiplier method of assigning a dollar value to pain and suffering begins by assigning it a numerical value between 1 and 5. The greater your pain, the greater the value.

Then, you would add up all your economic losses. Along with medical bills, this may include other financial losses resulting from your injuries or accident.

For instance, perhaps your injuries render it difficult or impossible for you to return to work, at least during your recovery. If so, you may not be earning an income for a period of time. You can thus include lost wages in your economic losses when negotiating for a settlement or asking for damages.

The multiplier method involves multiplying the sum of your economic losses by the numerical value assigned to your pain and suffering. For example, maybe the total of your economic losses for which you may receive compensation is $30,000. Perhaps the numerical value of your pain and suffering is 3. If so, the value of your pain and suffering would be $90,000.

The multiplier method of assigning a dollar value to pain and suffering begins by assigning it a numerical value between 1 and 5.

The Per Diem Method

Another way to determine the potential value of pain and suffering in a personal injury case is to assign a dollar value to your pain and suffering and multiply that value by the number of days your pain and suffering lasted. For example, maybe the value of your pain and suffering is $100, and maybe you spent twenty days in the hospital recovering from pain. If so, the total value of your pain and suffering in these circumstances would be $2,000.

The Importance of Legal Representation When Calculating Pain and Suffering

The above methods can be very helpful as means of assigning a dollar value to an intangible loss like pain. However, it’s important to understand that arguments can still arise over certain details when applying these formulas.

Be aware that an insurance company’s goal isn’t necessarily to ensure you get all the money you deserve to properly compensate you for all losses resulting from your injuries. Insurance is a business, no different from any other. An insurance claims adjuster may be under pressure from their employer to settle your claim for as little money as possible.

Thus, if you leave it to an insurance claims adjuster to apply the above formulas, they may not do so fairly. If they use the multiplier method, the numerical value they assign to your pain may be too low. If they use the per diem method, the daily value they assign may not be enough to properly represent the severity of your discomfort and suffering.

Protect yourself by enlisting the help of a personal injury attorney. At Swartz & Swartz, P.C., a Boston personal injury lawyer will represent you throughout the negotiation process. Their expertise can play a critical role in helping you secure the full amount of compensation for which you may be eligible. Learn more about how we can help by contacting us online or calling us at (617) 742-1900 for a free consultation today.

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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.

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About the Author: James Swartz
Mr. Swartz, our Managing and Principal Attorney at Swartz & Swartz P.C., is a nationally recognized and respected trial attorney as well as consumer advocate. His practice focuses on cases involving negligence, torts, products liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and other claims involving catastrophic injuries.

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