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Personal Injury

Proving Damages for Pain and Suffering

March 31, 2021

Whether in a car accident or a slip and fall case, you need to be able to prove your claim if you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence. This means that you have to prove that you were injured as a result of their negligence as well as to what extent you were injured. As part of this claim, you are entitled to seek damages for your pain and suffering. Unfortunately, many people think that the amounts awarded sought for pain and suffering are simply random amounts sought by greedy claimants. This is not the case. You must be able to prove that the amount you are seeking for pain and suffering is appropriate in your case. This is one of the aspects of a personal injury case where it is almost impossible to be successful without a Billings personal injury attorney.

Pain and Suffering Are Non-Economic Damages

In every personal injury case, the accident victim is seeking monetary compensation for their injuries and other losses. In legal jargon, the compensation for these losses is referred to as “damages.” There are two main types of damages: 

  1. Economic damages; and
  2. Non-economic damages

Economic damages are those losses that can be reduced to a specific dollar amount and are typically documented through bills and invoices. Non-economic damages are subjective and are commonly formulated as pain and suffering. There are no bills that document how much pain and suffering an accident victim has endured.  

Pain and Suffering Explained

Damages for pain and suffering are intended to compensate accident victims for the physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional distress they have experienced as a result of their injuries. Pain and suffering can include the following: 

  • Aches
  • Limitations on daily living activities, both temporary and permanent
  • Scarring
  • Loss of sleep
  • Fear and anxiety
  • Depression
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

The pain and suffering you experience as a result of your accident are personal to you, but a Billings personal injury attorney can help you formulate a claim for fair compensation. 

How Compensation for Pain and Suffering Is Determined in Montana

Montana does not mandate a particular formula for awarding damages for pain and suffering. In determining what your compensation should be, the insurance company or a court would consider the following factors: 

  • The severity and extent of your injuries
  • How your injuries will affect your daily life
  • How long it will take to recover
  • Whether you have suffered a permanent disability
  • Whether you will be able to work or take care of your family

The court or insurance company may then use a “multiplier method” whereby your case is assigned a multiplier between 1 and 5, with 5 being for the most severe injuries. Then, the amount of your economic damages is multiplied by that number in order to determine your damages award for pain and suffering. 

This may sound straightforward, but it’s much more complex than it sounds. You need to be able to identify the facts that support your claim and then formulate an argument that the insurance company or court will find persuasive. This is where an experienced Billings personal injury attorney can provide the help you need.

Inured and in Pain? Talk to a Billings Personal Injury Attorney Today

Billings personal injury attorney Jim Ragain has decades of experience in helping injured people get the compensation they deserve. To discuss your case and learn more about how we can help, call us at 406-651-8888 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.  We have office locations in Montana and Wyoming for your convenience. 


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