When you're involved in a car accident and injured because of the negligence of another driver, you may decide to file a lawsuit to recuperate some of your expenses. Some of those expenses will be easy to calculate. If you were taken to the hospital, you'll want to pay for the fees it charged. If you went through physical rehabilitation, those costs are fairly black and white. Even future expenses can be determined based on long-term care prices and inflation.
However, there's one type of damage that can be hard to quantify: pain and suffering. Pain and suffering can be any of the following:
- Mental anguish.
- A diminished lifestyle.
- Emotional distress.
- A potentially shorter life.
- Impairment that interrupts your daily life.
- A loss of your reputation.
So how do you figure out how much things like this are worth? Many attorneys use the "multiplier method," a way of comparing the special damages (ones that are easy to calculate) with the general damages (the ones that didn't cause a specific economic effect). However, no method is completely accurate because no two accidents and injuries are the same. For example, a dancer who loses a leg may suffer more emotional distress than a computer programmer who had the same injury.
For that reason, it can be an invaluable help to have an attorney by your side. An attorney who's well-versed in personal injury cases may be able to help you come up with the right figures and file a lawsuit that has a better chance of winning.