After a negligent medical treatment, you may suffer from chronic pain. One of the more contentious claims in malpractice is that of pain and suffering, especially when a victim claims that he or she suffers from chronic pain and disability.
Also, this is one of those areas of malpractice claims that yields the highest dollar amount in the settlement. Therefore, it will be highly contested by the other side. However, if you have chronic pain as the result of negligent medical treatments, you have the right to collect compensation for that pain.
What is Pain and Suffering?
Pain and suffering is a noneconomic damage, which does not have an exact calculation. Instead, a modifier is used to determine the damages that would apply to someone’s chronic pain and suffering.
You have two types of pain and suffering to consider: physical and mental anguish. When you suffer from chronic pain, you most likely will encounter both.
Physical Pain and Suffering
Physical pain refers to the actual pain you have from your injuries. For example, if you have chronic nerve pain because of a botched surgical procedure, that would constitute physical pain. The physical pain can also come from permanent injuries, disfigurement, scarring, and so forth.
Mental Pain and Suffering
Mental pain stems from the physical injuries, but it is not physical itself. Instead, you may suffer from emotional distress, loss of enjoyment, fear, anxiety, insomnia, depression, and other mental symptoms.
Very severe mental pain and suffering, such as acute stress disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), can also qualify for compensation.
How is Chronic Pain Calculated for Compensation?
The statute has no instructions for how your attorney or the court determines the value of a malpractice case regarding pain and suffering. Judges have no charts, and there is no standard multiplier. In most cases, the judge or jury is required to look at the evidence and use their good sense when deciding how much someone’s physical or mental anguish is worth.
Juries are given very little guidance in this area, which is why the damage awards for noneconomic damages are often much higher.
Does the Multiplier Apply?
You might have heard about the term “multiplier” while researching your injury case. Multipliers are something insurance claims adjusters use to determine how much noneconomic damages are. Mostly, they take the total of your economic losses and multiply it by 1.5 to 4.0.
Juries do not use multipliers. Therefore, if your malpractice claim were to go to court, the jury would use the following factors to decide how much your pain and suffering might be worth:
- The quality of your witness testimony
- Your credibility/believability as a witness;
- If experts testifying on your behalf were credible;
- The consistency of your injury claims;
- If your injuries are easy to understand;
- If you are still alive.
Speak with a Malpractice Attorney Regarding Your Chronic Pain
If you have been injured and now suffer from chronic pain, do not assume that you must live with that pain.
Instead, meet with a malpractice attorney, like attorney Seth Gladstein, to explore your options. Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC is here to advocate for your right to compensation. No matter the type of chronic pain you suffer, as a victim of malpractice you can receive compensation.
Schedule a free consultation today at 502-791-9000 or request more information online.