When you are involved in an accident or personal injury suit in Brooklyn, you are entitled to two different types of damages. An injured victim is entitled to something called economic damages, which are things that are economic in nature that someone who is hurt losses due to their injury. Economic damages are things like medical bills and lost wages. Concrete and easily calculated, there is usually a very little argument about the cost of an injured person’s economic damage or loss.
Noneconomic damages differ from economic damages. They are much less concrete, and, are, therefore, often subjective. Noneconomic damages are those things that someone lost due to their injuries that do not have a “cost,” per se. Rather, they are what a person lost or endured emotionally as a result of being injured.
Since there is no exact way to quantify someone’s emotional experience as related to their injury, it is often left to the parties of a personal injury suit to negotiate a fair compensation amount for the victim.
There are two acceptable ways that insurance companies and lawyers will quantify the experience that someone has due to their injury in order to discover how much those damages are worth. Since no two people will have the same experience, no two compensation awards will be the same.
The multiplier method
The multiplier method is a method that many lawyers use to quantify someone’s special damages or noneconomic damages. Once the cost of all the economic damages are added up, that cost is then multiplied by a specific integer from one to five, five being the most severe and one being the most benign. The multiplier integer is determined according to the severity of the injury itself.
Once the multiplier is found, the lawyer uses it to multiply the total cost of economic loss, and then that number becomes the noneconomic value of any injury. It is easy to see where there might be some negotiation between the two parties about how severe an injury is, and its severity. After all, multiplying numbers doesn’t necessarily seem like the most well-rounded way to determine damages, which is why some opt to use the per diem method.
The per diem method
The per diem method based on finding a daily rate that a person suffers. When an injury has a beginning and an endpoint, a daily rate is a viable way to calculate special damages or noneconomic damages.
The idea behind using a per diem method is that the person should be compensated a set amount for every day that they were affected or that the damages altered their life. Once the daily amount of suffering is calculated to a specific daily rate, that number is then multiplied by the number of days that the injured person was incapacitated or affected.
For instance, if someone was in a car accident and they broke their ankle, then a daily rate of $50 might be ascribed to how much pain and suffering the person was in. If they were in a cast for thirty days and then had rehabilitation for 60 days afterward, their noneconomic damages would total 90 days times the $50.
That $4500 would then be added to the total damages covering economic losses (things like medical bills and lost wages) and the new total would be the settlement amount that a Brooklyn personal injury attorney would seek for the injury.
How to prove your noneconomic damages
To recover your economic damages in Brooklyn, you will need to have documentation of your medical treatment, hospital bills, time from work that you lost wages and documented proof of any other economic loss you suffered. The same is true to prove your noneconomic damages.
The best way to prove them is to have documentation of all the inconveniences that you suffered as a consequence of your injuries. To do that you will want to paint a vivid picture of your injuries. To best show, your emotional pain or physical suffering, include things like:
- A daily journal of your injuries and pain and suffering
- Photos of the injury as you go along
- Rehabilitation needed
- Documents related to prognosis and rehabilitation
Since there is a whole lot more discrepancy and wiggle room when it comes to the subjective nature of noneconomic damages, it is a good idea to calculate your special damages using both methods to see which one is the more appropriate mode to gain the compensation that you are entitled to.
Painting a vivid picture of all that you have endured is the best way to prove that you are deserving of fair compensation in Brooklyn. Be sure to seek professional advice before you attempt to negotiate your settlement.