How are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated?

Damages are how a court compensates a person when they are harmed or injured because of another party’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing. Georgia personal injury laws provide compensatory damages for injured victims. These damages include economic damages that compensate you for your financial losses, such as lost wages and medical bills.

Compensatory damages also include compensation for your non-economic damages. These damages represent the pain and suffering you experience because of a medical malpractice or accident. 

At Malone Law, we understand the complex nature of non-economic damages, including how to prove the extent of your suffering and how to value pain and suffering damages correctly. We work diligently to negotiate a fair personal injury settlement. If necessary, we will aggressively advocate for you in court if a personal injury lawsuit is the best way to resolve your claim.

How Do You Put a Price on Pain and Suffering Damages in Georgia?

How Do You Put a Price on Pain and Suffering Damages in Georgia?

Each person’s pain and suffering are unique. Therefore, the same type of injury can result in vastly different experiences for victims. Therefore, we must analyze how the injuries impact the person’s life to determine their level of pain and suffering.

Factors that can impact pain and suffering include, but are not limited to:

  • The type of injuries you sustain
  • The length of your recovery period
  • The types of medical treatments and rehabilitation you receive
  • Whether your injuries result in permanent impairments and disabilities
  • Your appearance before and after the injury (i.e., disfigurement and scarring)
  • How did your injuries impact your ability to work and enjoy the activities you did before the accident 
  • The impact of the injuries on your ability to conceive and/or care for children
  • Your injuries effect on your relationships with others and your social activities
  • Whether you are able to perform tasks of daily living for yourself, including bathing, dressing, grooming, and feeding yourself

The extent of a factor’s negative impact on your mental well-being and life is analyzed. The more of an impact the factor has on your life, the more pain and suffering you experience. 

Using the Multiplier Method to Determine the Value of Pain and Suffering Damages 

There is no standard or statutory formula for putting a price on pain and suffering damages in Georgia. However, the multiplier method is a standard way of calculating how much non-economic damages are worth.

First, a multiplier is chosen. The multiplier is a number between 1.5 and five. It is based on the extent of your pain and suffering.

Therefore, we use factors like those listed above to choose a number. The greater the pain and suffering, the higher the multiplier.

Next, your economic damages (financial losses) are multiplied by the multiplier. The result is the value of pain and suffering damages. 

Insurance companies always argue for lower multipliers to limit the amount they pay for pain and suffering damages. Our Atlanta medical malpractice lawyers have extensive experience with medical malpractice claims. We understand how to use the facts and evidence in your case to build a strong argument for maximizing the value of non-economic damages.

Do Georgia’s Comparative Fault Laws Impact the Value of Pain and Suffering Damages?

Georgia uses a modified comparative fault law to determine damages when multiple parties are responsible for causing an injury, including pain and suffering damages. The law states that being partially to blame for causing your injury does not automatically bar you from receiving compensation.

Your compensation for damages is reduced by your level of fault. Therefore, if you are 30% to blame for an accident, your compensation for damages is reduced by 30 percent. However, if you are more than 50% to blame, you cannot recover any money for your damages. 

Examples of Pain and Suffering Damages in an Atlanta Medical Malpractice Case 

Non-economic damages include several types of harm a person could experience after an accident or injury. Examples of pain and suffering damages in an Atlanta medical malpractice case include:

Physical Pain and Discomfort

Injuries cause physical pain and discomfort for victims. Generally, the value of these damages increases with the severity of your injury. It is typically accepted that severe injuries cause more intense pain.

Mental Anguish and Emotional Distress

Being involved in an accident or sustaining a medical malpractice can be traumatic. A victim may suffer from one or more psychological conditions. These conditions can cause debilitating symptoms such as:

  • PTSD
  • Fear and anxiety
  • Eating disorders
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Isolation
  • Depression
  • Embarrassment

Children and adults can suffer emotional distress and mental anguish after an accident. It is essential to watch for signs of distress and seek immediate medical treatment.

Loss of Enjoyment of Life and Diminished Quality of Life 

Injuries can alter a person’s lifestyle and their ability to perform tasks. Depending on the injuries and the person’s life before the accident, a person might experience a substantial decrease in their quality of life. The person might not be able to enjoy the same activities they did before their accident.

This type of pain and suffering can be temporary or permanent. The person might experience a loss of enjoyment of life while recovering from their injury, but return to the same level of enjoyment when they recover completely. For victims who sustain permanent impairments, a decrease in quality of life might continue for the rest of their life.

Disfigurements, Impairments, and Disabilities 

Some injuries result in significant disfigurement, scarring, and amputations. A person might experience extreme depression, embarrassment, and anxiety because of the disfigurement. A permanent disability or impairment can have life-altering implications.

You can recover compensation for the suffering and pain associated with these conditions. Additionally, you can recover economic damages for the medical bills, personal care, loss of income, and other expenses associated with a permanent injury.

How Long Do I Have to File a Claim for Pain and Suffering Damages in Atlanta, GA?

Most negligence claims have a two-year statute of limitations in Georgia. The time begins with the injury date. However, you might have longer if you did not discover the injury until later.

Exceptions to the statute of limitations can change the deadline for filing a claim in your case. The court could dismiss the case if you don’t file your claim on time. Therefore, it is best to speak with one of our Atlanta medical malpractice attorneys as soon as possible after an injury or accident. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Atlanta Medical Malpractice Lawyers

You deserve to be compensated fully for all damages after an injury or accident, including your pain and suffering. At Malone Law, our Atlanta medical malpractice attorneys fight for the maximum compensation available in your case. Contact us at (770) 390-7550 to schedule a free case evaluation to discuss how much your Georgia medical malpractice case is worth.