How Is Pain And Suffering Calculated In Oregon?
Posted on March 4, 2020 in Personal Injury Claim Process
In the aftermath of sustaining an injury that was caused by another person’s careless or negligent actions, victims are usually able to receive settlements for their losses. Part of these settlements often includes damages for pain and suffering. It is important to understand how pain and suffering damages are calculated in Oregon. These damages are not as easy to quantify as other losses that a person experiences due to their injuries.
Understanding pain and suffering damages
There are various types of damages available to victims in the aftermath of sustaining an injury. Typically, economic damages such as a person’s medical expenses and lost income are quantifiable. This means that an attorney will be able to use bills, receipts, wage statements, and more to properly calculate an injury victim’s total loss.
However, non-economic damages such as pain and suffering are harder to quantify. The term “pain and suffering” is a catchall phrase used to describe the physical and mental anguish a person experiences in the aftermath of a car accident due to their injuries. This can include:
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional and psychological distress
How are these damages calculated?
There are no receipts or exact measures to determine how much pain and suffering damages should be. When working to calculate a victim’s pain and suffering damages, an attorney will look at several factors. This includes:
- The severity of the victim’s injuries
- Whether a victim is disabled
- The age of the car accident victim
- The amount of economic loss suffered by the victim
In many cases, the value of an injury victim’s pain and suffering will be calculated using a “multiplier” method. This means that an attorney will calculate the total economic damages a victim sustains and then multiply the damages by a certain number (typically between one and five). For example, if a person’s economic damages amount to $100,000 and the attorney uses a multiplier of three to calculate pain and suffering damages, then it can be argued that the victim is entitled to $300,000 for their pain and suffering related to the injuries.
Another method that an attorney may use to calculate pain and suffering is called the “per diem” or daily rate method. This involves assigning a daily rate to a person’s pain and suffering. An attorney will look at how many days you were unable to live your normal life while recovering and then multiply this number by the daily assigned rate to arrive at the total pain and suffering compensation value. This method can be more complicated to use when the victim’s injuries are permanent.
Are there limits on pain and suffering damages in Oregon?
There is some confusion about whether or not Oregon has placed limitations on pain and suffering damages. For traditional personal injury cases, there are no caps on how much a person can receive for economic or non-economic damages in this state. There is, however, a $500,000 limit on non-economic damages (pain and suffering) in wrongful death cases in this state. To reiterate, this limitation only applies to wrongful death cases, not other personal injury lawsuits.
Is an attorney necessary for these cases?
Personal injury cases can become incredibly complex, and recovering compensation is notoriously difficult. A skilled Portland personal injury attorney will be able to deftly negotiate with all parties involved, including aggressive insurance carriers, in order to secure maximum compensation for your claim.