Calculating Pain and Suffering

How is Pain and Suffering Calculated in a Washington Personal Injury Case?

Frequently Asked Questions About Accidents

As Washington  injury lawyers, we are frequently asked by clients how juries calculate damages for pain and suffering.  The simple answer is that juries are entitled to use whatever method they believe to be appropriate.  There are, however, guidelines and general conditions that we have seen used by juries, including the following:

The Multiplier Method

One method of calculating pain and suffering is known as the “multiplier method.”  Under the multiplier method, pain and suffering are calculated based upon the medical expenses incurred.  A jury may multiply the actual medical expenses incurred by some factor (often between three and seven) in order to arrive at a number.  For instance, if medical expenses were $5,000 and a jury determined that a factor of five should be used, pain and suffering would be equal to $25,000.

Severity of Damages – The Effect of Injuries on a Particular Plaintiff

While the multiplier method may be a simple mathematical formula for calculating damages, in many cases it is wholly inadequate.  A large scar on a person’s leg that is covered by pants (and not visible to the public most of the time) may have the same medical cost as a similar scar on a person’s face, but the facial scar may lead to more pain and suffering because the scar is always visible. For a teenager who may be beginning to date, a facial scar may cause significantly more pain and suffering than a married senior.

How We Prove Pain and Suffering

As lawyers, our job is to convey all aspects of your pain and suffering so that you can be appropriately compensated.  Prior to trial, we make clear to the defendants exactly how much pain and suffering you have endured, so that they will know what a jury will likely see at trial.  They then will have the option for settling your case for a fair and reasonable amount based upon the facts and circumstances of your case, or they can choose to let a jury determine liability and damages.

If they do not offer to settle for an amount that is fair to you, we will work vigorously at trial to not only prove fault, but also to convey to a jury the true amount of pain and suffering that you have endured so that they will award you full compensation for your damages.

To Learn More About Pain and Suffering Damages, Please Call Us at 206-388-0333 for a Free, No-Obligation Consultation

We will meet with you at your convenience.  Once we learn more about the facts and circumstances of your case we can provide you with our assessment of the strength of your case and the damages and compensation that we will seek if we are retained.  While there can be no guarantee that you will be successful in recovery, we will work tirelessly on your behalf to seek the full measure of compensation to which we believe you are entitled.


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