How is Pain and Suffering Calculated in a Wisconsin Personal Injury Case?

Contrary to belief, personal injury attorneys do not have a set formula by which they calculate pain and suffering damages. However, insurance companies use different methods to assign dollar amounts to pain and suffering. Their figures are based on multiplying a victim’s total economic damages by a preset number.

Insurance companies use this multiplier method when determining pain and suffering settlements to control costs and regulate payouts. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses and their system for paying pain and suffering claims reflects this.

What is Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering is difficult to calculate because it has no set monetary value. Pain and suffering refers to the physical, mental, and emotional impact of a serious injury on an accident victim.

Pain and suffering is classified as non-economic damages. This means it is a subjective, non-calculable type of loss.

Examples of Pain and Suffering

Physical pain and suffering may include:

  • Chronic pain;
  • Sexual dysfunction; 
  • Insomnia; and 
  • Loss of mobility.

Mental and emotional pain and suffering may be evidenced by:

  • Depression;
  • Anxiety;
  • Fear; and
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.

While treatment for any of the above is a billable medical expense and covered by economic damages, the symptoms themselves are types of pain and suffering and are compensated as such.

How is Pain and Suffering Calculated in a Personal Injury Case

How Personal Injury Attorneys Determine Pain and Suffering Claims

Personal injury attorneys look to previous cases, case law, and the facts of the case at hand when determining an appropriate pain and suffering demand. Without doing so, it is impossible for an attorney to approximate a pain and suffering amount.

Some of the information an attorney will review includes:

  • The victim’s medical records;
  • The victim’s medical prognosis, including the nature and extent of injuries;
  • Any expert opinions regarding the victim’s mental and emotional state;
  • The victim’s reflections about the accident’s overall impact on their life;
  • The family’s statements about the accident’s impact on their loved one; and
  • Any expert testimony about the accident’s impact on the victim’s ability to earn a living.

Injury attorneys must also look for damages caps or special exceptions that apply on a case-by-case basis.

Wisconsin Damages Caps on Pain and Suffering 

Not all Wisconsin claims qualify for pain and suffering. For example, worker’s compensation claims do not have pain and suffering awards. However, workplace injuries caused by non-employers may be eligible.

Medical malpractice claims in Wisconsin cap pain and suffering at $750,000. There are caps on wrongful death claims for pain and suffering at $350,000 for an adult and $500,000 for a child.

For specific information on damages caps in Wisconsin, contact an experienced personal injury attorney.

Contact an Experienced Milwaukee Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you were injured in an accident through no fault of your own, contact the experienced attorneys at Mingo & Yankala, S.C. One of our attorneys will gladly explain how pain and suffering is calculated in a Wisconsin personal injury claim and review your situation at no cost.

Learn your legal rights and get the exceptional legal representation you deserve. Schedule your complimentary consultation now with Mingo & Yankala, S.C. We handle cases in Milwaukee and across Wisconsin.