How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated in a Maryland Personal Injury Case?
All personal injury cases are comprised of two types of damages – economic and non-economic. Pain and suffering falls into the latter. How pain and suffering is calculated, however, depends on a complicated number of factors and circumstances.
Calculating damages in a personal injury case
Economic damages are relatively easy to calculate. These include things like lost wages, property damage, and medical bills. It takes a bit of accounting to work out things like future lost wages and medical bills, but it can be done. However, calculating non-economic damages is more complex and takes experienced personal injury attorneys to ensure you secure the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Most insurance companies simply use a “one-size-fits-all” or “plug-and-play” method of calculating pain and suffering. This is not fair to a victim and does not take into account every person’s individual circumstances, and a victim may end up losing out on the amount they actually deserve. Pain and suffering damages may be higher than economic damages in some cases, but not all.
What does “pain and suffering” mean?
In Maryland courts, juries look at a victim’s personal and individual circumstances, and how the injury has had an effect on their life. Courts will look at factors like the following when determining pain and suffering:
- How the injury will affect their overall well-being and mental health
- Loss of career or hobbies
- Loss of companionship to loved ones
- Pain or anguish the injury is likely to cause in the future
- Physical discomfort from medical treatment or physical therapy
- Physical pain caused by the incident and injury itself
- PTSD, anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts
- Scarring or disfigurement
Additionally, pain and suffering damages also entail losses specific to a victim’s case. For example, if a mother experiences a serious back injury in a car crash and loses the ability to pick up and care for her baby, this is a loss that would go under pain and suffering.
What are damage caps in Maryland?
Some states have caps, or limits, on the amount of pain and suffering damages that may be awarded in a personal injury case. Maryland is one of these states, limiting the amount of non-economic damages to $890,000. This is as of October 2020, but these caps rise by $15,000 each October to keep up with inflation. However, the cap depends on the date of injury and not the date the case is filed in court.
Slightly different caps apply for wrongful death and medical malpractice cases. Your attorney can explain these in more detail.
If you or a loved one are considering filing a personal injury claim, ensure you speak to the experienced Maryland attorneys at Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. before making any decisions. We can help you seek proper compensation, including pain and suffering. To schedule a free consultation about your case, give us a call today at 410-730-7737 or use our contact form.