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How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated in Georgia?

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Posted on August 15, 2022

If you were harmed by another party’s negligent actions, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Someone who commits an act of negligence is not only responsible for the financial losses you suffered, but also for the pain and suffering you endured.

Pain and suffering can be difficult to calculate compared to financial losses. In these situations, insurance companies, and Athens accident attorneys use different formulas to estimate the non-economic portion of your potential settlement.

Economic versus Non-Economic Damages in Georgia

Georgia law allows people who have been injured by another person or entity to file a lawsuit for personal injury and recover compensation for the damages they suffered. There are two categories of damages that you could recover: economic and non-economic. 

Economic damages are financial expenses that are related to your accident. These losses may include medical care, lost wages, and property damage. Receipts, invoices, and other financial documents can help calculate the value of economic damages.

On the other hand, non-economic damages refer to the pain and suffering that you endured due to your injury. These losses can be physical and emotional, and may include the following:

  • Chronic pain
  • Permanent disability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Emotional distress

How to Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages

Different insurance companies use different methods to calculate pain and suffering. There are two main formulas that may be used: the per-diem method and the multiplier method.

Formula #1: The Per-Diem Method

Under the per-diem method, the insurance company will assign a dollar amount to each day that you are unable to work because of your injury. Your pain and suffering award will be equal to the dollar amount multiplied by the total number of days that you are incapacitated by your injury.

For example, say that you spend 200 days recovering from several injuries in a car accident. The insurance company offers a $200 per-diem amount. Therefore, your pain and suffering will equal $200 times 200 days, or $40,000.

Your per-diem amount will be based on a number of factors, including the severity of your injuries and how the accident has impacted your daily life. A more severe injury may yield a higher per-diem amount.

Formula #2: The Multiplier Method

Under the multiplier method, the insurance company will assign a number or multiplier between one and five based on the severity of your injuries. For example, a multiplier of one is a mild injury, while a five is a very severe injury. This number will be multiplied by the value of your economic damages to calculate your pain and suffering award.

For example, say that you suffer a few broken bones, and the insurance company assigns a multiplier of two. The value of your economic damages is $30,000. Therefore, your pain and suffering award is equal to $30,000 times two, or $60,000.

Contact an Attorney to Calculate Your Pain and Suffering Award

If you are filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, it is important to gain an accurate picture of your pain and suffering damages. You want to advocate for the highest possible settlement and avoid future financial hardship.

In these situations, you need an attorney on your side who can represent your lawsuit or insurance claim and help calculate your potential award. As soon as possible following your accident, contact an Athens personal injury lawyer to discuss your case.