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Calculating pain and suffering in a personal injury claim

When drivers and passengers in Iowa are injured in a car accident, they often consider filing a civil action against the liable party. When filing a personal injury claim, it is required that the victim is in fact injured. When determining the damages the injured party should recover, the cost of medical treatment and future medical costs are often considered; however, victims should note that they might be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering.

Pain and suffering is considered the stress a victim experiences from the injuries they suffered in the accident. This often includes physical pain as well as emotional and psychological trauma such as insomnia, fear, depression and anxiety.

To seek damages for pain and suffering, it is important to get immediate medial attention and document the symptoms and care received for the injuries resulting for the accident. While there is no standard way to calculate this type of damage, there are common methods used to reach a reasonable monetary award.

First, the multiplier method could be used. This involves multiplying the total amount of medical bills accumulated by a number one through five, with one meaning lesser injuries and five for very serious injuries. The resulting amount should be an adequate amount to compensate the victim for their pain and suffering.

The per diem method is another method used to calculate pain and suffering. It is a formula that is based on the amount of daily suffering endured by the victim. A compensation amount will be designated for each day of suffering and will be multiplied by the number of days the victim suffered. Lastly, there could be an estimation of the amount it will cost to recover from the injuries. This is often based on the total medical cost incurred plus future medical expenses based on the type and severity of the injury, estimating how much suffering the victim will endure in the long-term.

While there is no definite method to determine pain and suffering following a car accident, it is often a damage that is collected in these types of incidents. Victims of a car accident should understand their legal rights and what recourses are available to them.

Source: DMV.org, "Pain And Suffering In Personal Injury Claims," accessed on Dec. 29, 2014

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