Being involved in a car crash, a slip and fall accident, a pedestrian accident, or another type of accident that leaves you seriously injured can be a devastating and overwhelming experience. While there is nothing that can ever be done to restore to you the quality of life and state of being that you experienced before the accident, if you can prove that another party was to blame, you can file a civil action for damages. In addition to economic damages, you may also be able to recover noneconomic damages in the form of pain and suffering.
What Are Pain and Suffering Damages in Massachusetts?
Pain and suffering damages are noneconomic damages in Massachusetts, which means they are not meant to compensate you for actual financial losses you’ve suffered (in contrast, think about compensation for medical bills or lost wages, which are noneconomic damages). Pain and suffering damages are designed to compensate a person for exactly that — their physical pain and mental anguish. More specifically, pain and suffering damages may be paid to compensate someone for:
- A diminished quality of life;
- The mental anguish they’ve experienced;
- The embarrassment, shock, or/and emotional disturbance they’ve experienced;
- The loss of joy, consortium, and pleasure; and
- Physical pain in each area of the body that’s been affected by the accident and injuries.
How Are Damages for Pain and Suffering Calculated?
In a personal injury claim, economic damages are calculated merely by adding up the total costs suffered by the plaintiff; noneconomic damages are much more difficult to calculate.
There are a few different methods for calculating noneconomic damages. One method is called the per diem method, in which a value is assigned, and then that value is multiplied by the number of days the victim experiences pain and suffering. For example, if the daily rate assigned is $100 and the person experiences pain and suffering for 365 days (one year), then they would be entitled to $36,500.
Another common method is called the multiplier method. Using this method, a claimant is assigned a multiplier between one and five; the more severe their injuries and the longer they are expected to last, the bigger the number. Then, the total value of their economic damages is multiplied by this number. For example, a person who suffered $100,000 in economic damages and received a multiplier of two would be eligible for $200,000 in pain and suffering damages.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Bringing Forth a Claim for Damages?
In most cases, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim for damages is three years from the date of the accident in Massachusetts. It’s important that you consult with an attorney to ensure that you understand how much time you have to file a claim.
Call Our Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you have been injured and another party is to blame, you deserve to be compensated for all of the harm you’ve suffered, including the value of your pain and suffering. At the office of Deborah Gold-Alexander our Massachusetts personal injury practice is here to advocate for you. Call us today for your free consultation at (781) 289-4235.