One element of a New Jersey personal injury claim that typically makes the victim financially whole after the fact is the general damage allowance for pain and suffering. Unlike special economic damages for discreet dollar amounts like medical bills and physical property loss, determining an equitable amount for pain and suffering is dependent on the extent of the injury and the prognosis for physical rehabilitation as the victims goes forward in life. Some injuries can be fully recoverable, but serious to catastrophic injuries often cannot. This means that the injured claimant will deal with the aftermath for the remainder of their life, which can result in a significant settlement amount when the case is finalized.
Considerations when determining pain and suffering damages
One of the first considerations regarding pain-and-suffering resulting from a personal injury is how the condition affects the daily routine of the injured claimant. Many individuals are left disabled, which then changes their life dramatically. Relationships within the family can be impacted as well, which can also validate a claim for mental anguish in many cases. All of the factors are then totaled with a dollar amount assigned for each issue.
Method of calculation
While some claims for pain and suffering are determined using the per diem method, most general damage calculation in New Jersey claims are done using the multiplier method. Attorneys for the claimant and the insurance adjusters first evaluate the extent of injury and negotiate an equitable multiplying number. After determining the appropriate multiplier, they then multiply the total amount of special damages to arrive at a final compensation amount for pain-and-suffering damages. If the claimant contributed to causing their own injuries, the amount is also discounted based on their personal comparative negligence percentage as determined by the court. Injured victims are entitled to whole damages for a personal injury when they have no personal fault level as long as there is sufficient liability insurance protection available.
Determining these amounts can be a difficult task for a claimant, and having an experienced and detailed personal injury attorney handling the case is vital for an equitable settlement. Injured victims only have one opportunity for financial justice, and it is important to make that opportunity count for as much compensation as possible through effective legal representation.