What You Should Know About Pain and Suffering Damages in Louisiana
If you have been harmed in a personal injury accident due to another individual’s intentional or negligent actions, you can be entitled to compensation for your damages. This compensation not only includes your medical bills and lost wages but your pain and suffering as well.
In some instances, calculating damages can be relatively straightforward, primarily, if they deal with your economic losses. However, some of these damages are immensely more complicated to figure out and are met with a lot of confusion. For instance, when a personal injury claim involves pain and suffering, many victims feel lost in what these damages actually entail and how they are calculated.
That is why, in this blog post, we want to provide you the information you need when it comes to pain and suffering damages in Louisiana. Specifically, detailing what these pain and suffering damages mean for you, how these damages are calculated, and how an experienced personal injury attorney can fight for the pain and suffering damages you deserve.
What Do Pain and Suffering Damages Mean
In legal terms, pain and suffering is the physical and emotional stress that results from an injury.
- Physical pain and suffering is the victim’s actual pain resulting from the physical injuries and discomfort they have endured since the injury.
- Mental pain and suffering occurs from the victim’s physical injury. However, this pain is often more emotional and includes mental anguish, distress, loss of enjoyment of life, fear, humiliation, anxiety, and even shock. Typically, this mental pain and suffering is usually the by-product of an accident resulting in negative emotions.
In general, significant mental pain and suffering also includes a loss of appetite, lack of energy, depression, sexual dysfunction, extreme mood swings, sleep disturbances, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
How to Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages in Louisiana
Once you can prove that you have endured pain and suffering due to your accident, the next step is figuring out the appropriate amount of compensation for your pain and suffering. Usually, Louisiana courts use a multiplier method or a per diem method to ensure that the payment is adequate for the pain and suffering endured.
The multiplier method involves taking the total amount of special damages, including indirect and direct costs resulting from your injury and multiplies it by a set figure between one and five. These direct and indirect costs include the price of medications, treatments, cost of surgery, follow-up care, and physical therapy. Typically, the more severe and permanent the injuries are, the higher the possible multiplier is. In contrast, injuries that are likely to heal or are temporary, such as minor fractures, have lower multipliers.
Another way the court calculates pain and suffering damages is by using the popular per diem method. When using this approach, the victim is provided with a specific dollar amount every day they have to cope with their injuries. In some instances, this amount may be the victim’s actual daily earnings. This is because the court may find it fair to assume that the inconvenience of recovering from your injuries can be comparable to going to work every day.
Factors That May Affect Pain and Suffering Damages
Even though there are multiple ways to calculate pain and suffering damages. No compensation is guaranteed. This is because there are numerous factors that can affect the value of a plaintiff’s pain and suffering damages in a personal injury claim. Some of these factors include:
- The plaintiff’s credibility
- The plaintiff’s likeability
- The plaintiff’s consistency regarding their statements about what happened and whether it is consistent with their complaints of pain
- Does the jury think the plaintiff lied about their injuries or the harm they endured
- Can the jury make sense of the plaintiff’s injuries, diagnosis, and claim
- Do the plaintiff’s doctors support the plaintiff’s claims of pain and suffering
- Does the plaintiff have a criminal record
That is why working with an experienced personal injury attorney is critical for your claim. These lawyers can go over each of these factors, figure out which ones may impact your claim, and prepare the best case in response.
Evidence Needed to Show Pain and Suffering
One of the more common ways to prove pain and suffering is through medical bills, records, and even photos of your specific injury. However, there are also additional pieces of evidence that you and your attorney can collect that can help strengthen your pain and suffering claim. This evidence includes:
- Journal entries detailing the pain you are experiencing from your injuries
- Any proof of treatment from a mental health doctor or counselor
- Written opinions from an expert in a specific field related to your injury that can testify to your pain and suffering
- Documentation of any medication prescriptions related to your mental issues and physical pain resulting from the accident
- Family and friends’ oral or written testimony testifying to your specific pain and suffering
Caps on Pain and Suffering in Louisiana
When it comes to pain and suffering damages, many states put caps on the amount of money you can collect. In Louisiana, these maximum damages vary according to the specific circumstances of the accident. For instance, Louisiana does not put a cap on pain and suffering damages when an individual is harmed in a personal injury accident involving a motor vehicle. However, the state does place caps on damages when the claim involves medical malpractice, or the claim is against a government agency. The cap in these instances is $500,000.
How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help Get You the Pain and Suffering Damages You Deserve
Personal injury accident claims are tedious, confusing, and stressful. Not only is the victim required to show evidence of what happened and who was at fault, but they also need to prove their individual damages as well. For many, this may seem like an overwhelming task. However, as a Louisiana personal injury victim, you do not have to go through this challenging ordeal on your own. When you retain an experienced Louisiana personal injury attorney, these lawyers can provide you the legal help you need, including:
- Answer any questions and concerns you have, as well as go over potential pain and suffering damages
- Thoroughly investigate the accident, gather critical evidence, and interview relevant witnesses that can help show fault and the extent of your pain and suffering
- Bring in specific experts that are needed to substantiate your pain and suffering claims and help you go after maximum damages
- Take your case to trial, and fight for the pain and suffering damages that are fair to you and your case.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident, you should not have to worry about the legal complexities involved in figuring out how much pain and suffering compensation you can fight for. Instead, your focus needs to be on your healing and recovery. That is why do not wait any longer. Contact us today and let an experienced personal injury attorney fight for the justice and pain and suffering damages you deserve.