Quantifying the impact of a car accident and potential lifelong pain can be an overwhelming task. Generally, New York law allows injury victims to claim economic, non-economic and, in some limited cases, punitive damages. No two New York car accidents are the same. Two individuals can be involved in the same incident and experience the same injuries but suffer different emotional trauma levels and pain. To this point, the law classifies pain and suffering under none-conomic damages. As there is no solid mathematical way to quantify pain and suffering, the amount of damages a victim recovers hinges on a solid and compelling case.
There are several approaches that attorneys and insurance companies utilize to determine pain and suffering damages. However, the most common methods include the multiplier method and the per diem approach. The multiplier method involves adding the total amount of economic damages and then multiplying that method by a number between 1.5 and 5. The multiplier number depends on the severity of the injury. The per diem approach involves assigning a dollar amount to every day the victim suffers from the injury until they recover. Most people present their daily earnings and argue that the injury pain is comparable to the effort of working every day.
These calculations include if the victim suffers from psychological issues, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, insomnia, appetite loss, and sexual dysfunction. Further, courts will look to alterations of the victim’s daily life, relational impacts, length of injuries, and life expectancy.