How is Pain and Suffering Calculated in a Lawsuit?

pain and suffering damages

Were you injured due to someone else’s negligence in Hawaii? If so, you may be able to pursue compensation for your medical bills, recovery expenses, lost wages, property damage, and other types of financial losses. But did you know you may also be able to receive compensation for your pain and suffering?

Putting a price tag on the intangible impact of an accident is not an exact science, but it’s possible in many personal injury cases. Here’s what you need to know about how pain and suffering is calculated in lawsuits in Hawaii.

How Is “Pain and Suffering” Defined in Hawaii?

In Hawaii, pain and suffering is a legal term that describes physical and emotional suffering endured by accident victims. Physical pain, emotional trauma, mental anguish, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, insomnia, lost enjoyment of life, and other psychological effects of an accident are all types of pain and suffering.

How Much Can You Get for Pain and Suffering?

Hawaii places a $375,000 cap on compensation for pain and suffering. However, the court may make an exception if there are multiple liable parties or if someone intentionally harmed you.

In general, the more severe your suffering, the more compensation you can claim in pain and suffering damages. If your case doesn’t proceed to trial, the amount you can recover will be capped by the insurance policy’s limits.

There are two primary ways insurance companies calculate pain and suffering:

  • Pain and suffering multiplier ― Using the multiplier method, insurance companies multiply your total damages by a number between 1.5 and five, depending on the severity of your injuries. The result is the amount they may offer for pain and suffering.
  • Per diem ― Other insurers a per diem method to calculate pain and suffering. This method multiplies a single day of losses (usually one day’s lost earnings) by the number of days you experienced physical and emotional pain and suffering due to your injuries.

Before you accept an offer from the insurance company, you should always consult with a seasoned personal injury lawyer. A knowledgeable attorney will have the tools to independently calculate your losses and determine a full and fair award of pain and suffering damages.

How Do You Prove Pain and Suffering?

Getting compensation for pain and suffering requires substantial proof. Examples of evidence to support your case may include:

  • A pain journal, which is a daily diary where you describe the physical pain and the psychological impact of your injuries
  • Notes provided by a medical professional, mental health counselor, or psychologist
  • Medical records
  • A written opinion given by an expert witness
  • Photographic evidence

Get Started on a Pain and Suffering Claim

The purpose of a personal injury claim is to restore an individual (as much as possible) to the state they were in before the accident. While no dollar figure can make up for what you’ve been through, the law attempts to account for your bodily harm and emotional distress through pain and suffering compensation.

At Recovery Law Center, we know that accidents take more than just a financial toll. If you’ve been hurt, let a pain and suffering lawyer from our firm help you pursue the full amount of money you deserve. There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain by getting a free consultation. Call or contact us today.

Author Glenn Honda

For over 25 years, attorney Glenn Honda has helped people injured in accidents throughout Hawai’i get the best outcome for their case, whether it’s maximizing their settlement, or balancing costs and risks vs. putting the whole experience behind them. As the founding attorney of the Recovery Law Center, he is passionate about helping his clients with their physical, emotional and financial recovery. Mr. Honda will fight to get you coverage for your medical bills, lost wages, damaged property and other costs related to your accident.