Pain and suffering damages are a key component in personal injury cases. These damages include not only physical pain, but also a wide range of intangible injuries relating to mental and emotional trauma. Physical pain and suffering damages encompass the neurological response to physical damage to the body and has been defined as a localized sensation of discomfort, distress, or agony resulting from the stimulation of specialized nerve endings. Physical pain and suffering damages compensate personal injury victims for the pain they have endured and will likely suffer in the future.
Mental pain and suffering damages are a by-product of the physical injuries personal injury victims suffer in an accident. Mental pain includes a broad range of emotional responses, including mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, fear, anger, humiliation, anxiety, and shock. Basically, these damages cover any kind of negative emotion accident victims suffer. Significant mental pain and suffering damages can include anger, depression, loss of appetite, lack of energy, sexual dysfunction, mood swings, and sleep disturbances. Mental pain and suffering damages also compensate personal injury victims for the mental pain they have endured and will likely suffer in the future.
Calculating Pain and Suffering Damages
Colorado courts have held mental pain and suffering damages constitute an aggravation of damages when they naturally follow a motor vehicle collision. Unfortunately, case law is not clear on how to calculate pain and suffering damages because there is no obvious way to translate an intangible, non-monetary injury into a monetary award. Moreover, judges do not give juries much guidance for determining the value of pain and suffering. There are no charts for juries to look at in order to calculate the award.
In most personal injury cases, juries typically multiply the economic damages by two in an effort to calculate the non-economic pain and suffering damages. Accordingly, the factors that go into pain and suffering include the following:
- Type of Injury Suffered
- Costs of Medical Services
- Permanency of Injury
- Property Damage Costs
- Vehicle Repair Costs
- Lost Income Due to Treatment
- Emotional Damages
Unfortunately, it is truly impossible to calculate pain and suffering damages because each case is different.
Oftentimes, readers may find an online calculator promising to assist them in calculating the value of their case. These online calculators are great for getting a rough idea of the value of a case but they are not trustworthy. These online tools cannot calculate the intangible aspects that set each case apart.
Firms with calculators on their websites are the same firms that look to settle personal injury cases prematurely. Personal injury victims should not be fooled by these gimmicks. Only an experienced personal injury lawyer can review a case in detail and provide an estimated calculation of the value of that case.
Contact Our Personal Injury Lawyers
Experience allows the personal injury lawyers at Bowman & Chamberlain, LLC, to provide our clients with the best possible representation. If you have questions about pain and suffering damages, contact our attorneys today at 720.863.6904 or email us for your free consultation. Our lawyers handle a wide range of personal injury cases, including Motor Vehicle Accidents, Bicycle Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents, Slip & Fall Accidents, and Dog Bites & Attacks. We service Arvada, Aurora, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Commerce City, Lakewood, Littleton, Thornton, Westminster, Wheat Ridge, and other parts of metropolitan Denver, Colorado.
Owner and Managing Attorney
Jerry Bowman, J.D., M.A., Owner and managing attorney of Bowman Law LLC, takes his responsibility to the legal profession seriously and dedicates his time and effort to providing quality and competent legal representation to clients in Denver and throughout all of Colorado. He holds an MA in Political Science from Wayne State University and earned his law degree in two and a half years from Michigan State University College of Law.