How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated in Louisiana?

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Although there is no amount of compensation that can make up for the pain and suffering after a tragic accident has occurred, getting a settlement or award can go a long way toward taking the stress off of you. If you were injured in Louisiana, your pain and suffering will be calculated in one of two ways: the multiplier method or the daily rate method. 

According to one Louisiana-based lawyer for personal injury, unlike some other states, Louisiana generally does not cap damages in personal injury lawsuits. If you’ve been injured by another person’s negligence, you deserve fair and adequate compensation not only for your bills but also for the suffering you were needlessly forced to endure.

About Non-Economic Damage

In many cases, the non-economic damages experienced by accident victims are substantial. In the state of Louisiana, there are many different types of non-economic damages accident victims can be awarded as pain and suffering. These include:

  • Loss of Consortium
  • Emotional and Physical Pain
  • Loss of Services
  • Physical Impairment
  • Loss of Companionship
  • Emotional Distress
  • Mental Suffering
  • Loss of Enjoyment
  • Disfigurement
  • Other Non-Pecuniary Losses

The Statute Of Limitations

It is important to realize there is a time limit a person has to make a claim for compensation such as for pain and suffering. This is known as the statute of limitations. The state of Louisiana has a very short time period during which you can file a lawsuit. All claims for injury and wrongful death must be brought within twelve months after the accident.

Per Diem Approach

The Louisiana Law Review has illustrated the standard for determining a compensation amount for pain and suffering. It involves a jury utilizing a reasonable method to determine a fair amount. Some courts have determined the per diem method to be easy as well as reasonable for reaching a fair amount. It is a popular method for quantifying pain and suffering.

When an attorney applies the per diem method, they will assign a specific dollar amount for each day an accident victim must deal with the repercussions of their injuries. This might equal a person’s daily earnings. It is fair to assume the daily struggles associated with an accident victim recovering from their injuries are going to be comparable to them daily going to work.

Example Of Per Diem Approach

An injured person is required to wear a neck brace for three months. It is possible they may have to take prescription pain medication for an additional month. This means they suffered for 120 days. If an accident victim’s daily earnings average out to be $150 per day, the court could award them $18,000 for their pain and suffering. This would equal $150 times 120 days.

Multiplier Method

Another popular method used to calculate an accident victim’s pain and suffering is the multiplier method. This approach utilizes a court taking the total amount calculated for an accident victim’s special damages. It will include both direct and indirect costs of an accident victim’s injuries and multiply this amount by a specified number.

It is common when using this method to have the damages multiplied by a factor that ranges from one to five. The factor utilized will be determined by the duration and severity of an accident victim’s injuries. The discomfort and pain caused by the injuries will also be taken into consideration.

Example Of Multiplier Method

An accident victim has to undergo surgery and must now deal with chronic pain. Their medical bills total $50,000. In this case, the accident victim’s multiplier will likely be a 5 since they suffered a long-lasting disability. Their total estimate of damages could be $50,000 (special damages) x 5.0 (multiplier) = $250,000 compensation for pain and suffering.

It can be a challenge to prove pain and suffering damages. An experienced and knowledgeable attorney can help. It’s important to realize if anyone is the victim of an accident caused by another person’s negligence, they are entitled to compensation. 


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