Negligence claims in Minnesota can include compensation for economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are the financial losses you incurred because of the injury, such as your medical expenses, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses.
Non-economic damages represent the intangible harm you experience because of personal injuries and accidents. These damages are often referred to as pain and suffering damages. Even though non-economic damages do not have a “bill or invoice” to prove how much they are worth, you deserve to be compensated fairly for your pain and suffering damages.
Our Minneapolis personal injury lawyers at Hall Law understand how to calculate pain and suffering damages. We also understand what evidence we need to present to justify the maximum amount available for pain and suffering.
How Much Are My Pain and Suffering Damages Worth in a Minnesota Personal Injury Case?
It is challenging to put a price on someone’s pain and suffering. However, the only remedy the courts can offer is a monetary award. Therefore, we must reduce a person’s non-economic damages to a dollar figure.
To do that, we examine the factors of the case. We use those factors to support our claim for pain and suffering. Factors that affect the value of a pain and suffering claim include:
- The type of injury sustained, including the severity of the injury and whether it resulted in disabilities or impairments
- The medical treatment and procedures required to treat the injuries
- The duration of the recovery period from the date of injury through maximum medical improvement
- Whether the injuries impacted the person’s ability to work or reduced the person’s earning capacity
- The person’s appearance before and after the accident, including significant scarring and disfigurement caused by the injury or accident
- The ability to care for one’s personal needs, including bathing, dressing, grooming, and feeding
- The impact of a person’s injuries on their relationships with family and friends
- Whether the injuries prevent the person from conceiving a child or engaging in sexual intimacy
Because each personal injury case is unique, other factors might be relevant in your case. Generally, the value of pain and suffering damages increases as the severity of the injury and its impact on the person’s life increases.
Calculating the Value of Pain and Suffering Damages in Minneapolis
The two most common methods for placing a value on pain and suffering are the per diem method and the multiplier method. The per diem method involves choosing an amount to pay the person for each day between the injury date and maximum medical improvement. The per diem method works best in cases involving injuries that heal completely without long recovery periods.
In most cases, we use the multiplier method to calculate how much pain and suffering damages are worth.
First, we choose a number between 1.5 and five to be the multiplier. We use factors like those listed above to help determine the extent of the harm caused by the injuries. The greater the impact on your life, the higher the multiplier.
Then, we multiply the number by your economic damages. The result is the value of pain and suffering damages.
Insurance companies and defense firms argue for a low multiplier to undervalue the claim. Our Minneapolis personal injury attorneys create a compelling argument using the evidence and the factors above to justify using the highest multiplier possible for your case. We want to maximize the value of non-economic damages to recover as much money as possible for your claim.
How Does the Minnesota Contributory Fault Law Impact the Value of Pain and Suffering Damages?
Contributory fault applies to all damages in a personal injury case, including pain and suffering. Therefore, if you are partially to blame for causing your injury, it impacts how much money you receive.
Minnesota has adopted a modified comparative fault law. If you are 51% or more at fault for causing your injuries, you are barred from recovering compensation from the other party.
However, if you are less than 51% to blame, your compensation is reduced by your level of fault. For example, if you are 10% to blame for causing a Minneapolis car accident, you could only receive 90% of the value of your damages.
What Are Pain and Suffering Damages in a Minneapolis Personal Injury Case?
Non-economic damages include several types of damage related to your trauma and pain. They also include damages for catastrophic injuries that have lifelong consequences. Examples of pain and suffering damages include:
Emotional Distress and Mental Anguish
Being involved in an accident and suffering painful injuries can cause psychological conditions. The conditions might produce one or more symptoms, including:
- Panic attacks and anxiety
- Eating disorders
All victims can suffer from emotional distress, including children. It is important to watch for signs of emotional distress and seek help if you notice any symptoms.
Physical Pain and Discomfort
Physical injuries can cause chronic and overwhelming physical pain. In most situations, the pain decreases as you heal and goes away when you fully recover.
However, some injured victims experience ongoing physical pain. Chronic pain can impact your work, daily routines, and emotional well-being.
Disabilities, Scarring, Impairments, and Disfigurement
Injuries can cause severe scarring and disfigurement. Some individuals may have a leg amputated or severe burns that cover a large portion of the body. Both of these injuries cause significant disfigurement.
Victims who experience catastrophic injuries can develop disabling conditions and permanent impairments. Catastrophic injuries include, but are not limited to, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, internal organ damage, and amputations.
Diminished Quality of Life and Loss of Enjoyment of Life
Injuries can have lifelong impacts on all areas of your life, including work, social, physical, and emotional. Severe injuries can restrict what the person can do. They may no longer be able to enjoy the same activities.
Loss of enjoyment of life and diminished quality of life might be short-term. The loss ends when the person recovers fully and returns to everyday routines and activities.
However, if a person sustains a permanent impairment or disability, their lives are altered forever. The reduction in quality of life depends on the person and the level of impairment.
What Is the Deadline for Filing Claims for Pain and Suffering Damages in Minnesota?
The Minnesota statute of limitations sets deadlines to file personal injury lawsuits. Your pain and suffering damages are included in your personal injury claim. Therefore, the filing deadline depends on the type of case being filed and the facts of the case.
Filing deadlines for personal injury cases range from 240 days to six years. If you file your case after the statute of limitations expires, the court can dismiss the case. Call our office to request a free case review for our attorneys to evaluate your claim and determine the filing deadline.
Contact Our Minneapolis Personal Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation
At Hall Law Personal Injury Attorneys, our attorneys work diligently to obtain the maximum compensation for your personal injury claim. We work with you, your doctors, and expert witnesses, as necessary, to ensure we have documented all damages to their full extent. Call our law office at (800) 292-1979 to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced Minneapolis personal injury attorney to learn how much your case is worth.