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How to Determine How Much Money Your Non-Economic Damages are Worth

If you have sustained a serious personal injury in an accident, you might be able to recover economic and non-economic damages in North Carolina. Economic damages are usually fairly easy to quantify because they include objectively verifiable costs like lost wages, medical bills, and a reduction in earning capacity. Calculating a person’s non-economic damages, which include pain and suffering, can be more challenging and complicated.

It is extremely important that you hire an experienced personal injury lawyer if you have suffered damages in a personal injury lawsuit. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we can help you accurately determine what types of damages you might be entitled to under North Carolina law, including non-economic damages. We have been litigating personal injury lawsuits in North Carolina for decades, and we will use our experience to help make sure you get to fight hard for all of the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

The Multiplier Method for Calculating Non-Economic Damages

One way to calculate pain and suffering damages is to use a method called the multiplier method. To use this approach, you will multiple the total amount of your economic damages by a specific factor, usually between 1.5 and 5. Depending on the facts in your unique case, you might need to multiply the factor based on a higher or lower amount. For example, if you suffered $500,000 in economic damages, you could multiply that amount by two and request $1 million in non-economic damages.

The multiplier method is a reasonable and fair way to calculate your pain and suffering, but it might not be the most comprehensive way to determine non-economic damages. The biggest factor when it comes to determining the amount of pain and suffering damages you should seek depends on the extent and nature of your personal injuries, and the negative effect they have on your life.

The Daily Rate Method of Calculating Damages

The daily rate method is also rather straightforward. When applying this method, you determine a fair “daily rate” for living with your injuries and disabilities. You will need to multiply this daily rate by the number of days you spent recovering from the accident as well as your average life expectancy. North Carolina courts ultimately determine the amount of pain and suffering for each plaintiff on a case-by-case basis. There are so many factors that affect a person’s emotional distress and physical pain that someone experienced following a personal injury accident. Understandably, it is not surprising that there is no one size fits all formula for calculating your losses.

Why are Non-Economic Damages So Important?

In many cases, most economic damages will go directly toward paying medical bills and concrete expenses related to the accident. Economic damages also provide compensation for plaintiffs based on their earning capacity. When a plaintiff is a low wage-earner, a senior, or a stay-at-home mom, the plaintiff might not be able to recover sufficient economic damages to survive for the rest of their life.

Economic damages do not account for the full negative effect of personal injury. The greatest loss to plaintiffs is the loss of enjoyment of life. When someone’s life becomes consumed with healing from a serious personal injury, they will lose pleasure and enjoyment in life. The loss of wages is not just the loss of the ability to pay bills, it also limits our capacity to enjoy life. It compromises the plaintiff’s sense of integrity, dignity, and self-worth.

In addition to physical pain caused by a serious personal injury, plaintiffs also suffer serious mental anguish, shame, and anxiety. Going from being an active member of society to someone who cannot work and is dependent on other people. Seriously injured people might also be compromised in the ability to make decisions, reciprocate when someone helps them, or take independent action. Seriously injured people encounter injuries every time they attempt to perform any tasks of their daily life.

Fight to Recover the Full Amount of Non-Economic Damages You Deserve

If you suffered a serious personal injury in Charlotte, it is essential that you speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible, before the statute of limitations is up. The statute of limitations in North Carolina for most personal injury lawsuits is three years. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today to schedule your free, initial consultation today.

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