How is Pain & Suffering Calculated in New Mexico?
When you’re in a car accident or experience another type of accident, your damages go beyond medical bills and lost wages. You also may experience physical pain and mental suffering. Pain and suffering is often a large part of a personal injury claim.
When you recover compensation for all your damages, you should also calculate the value of your pain and suffering. By working with a personal injury lawyer, you can get the maximum compensation possible for your pain and suffering damages.
What Is Pain & Suffering?
Pain and suffering is a type of non-economic damage that does have value. Non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify because they are not directly related to out-of-pocket expenses. However, they still have a monetary value, and you can calculate how much pain and suffering is worth in New Mexico.
Pain and suffering refers to physical and mental harm suffered by an individual in a personal injury accident. It may include physical pain, long-term physical suffering, mental anguish, and emotional pain.
New Mexico Laws about Pain and Suffering
Some states limit how much compensation a plaintiff can get for pain and suffering and other non-economic damages. New Mexico does not limit non-economic damages in all personal injury lawsuits.
However, they limit how much you can get for damages in medical malpractice claims. There is a cap on damages of $600,000 in medical malpractice lawsuits in New Mexico. Medical care is excluded from that cap.
That means all damages other than medical treatment must be limited to $600,000. The court will automatically reduce the award if a jury awards more than $600,000 in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Examples of Pain & Suffering – What Qualifies?
Physical pain and emotional suffering can last for days, weeks, or even longer. It can even be permanent. Some pain and suffering is lifelong, especially when the accident was catastrophic.
Physical Pain and Suffering
Some examples of physical medical conditions that you can get pain and suffering compensation for include:
- Nerve damage
- Back pain
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Neck and spinal pain
- Soft tissue damage (sprained muscles)
- Dislocated joints
- Broken bones and fractures
These conditions can result in physical pain that lasts for years. It may be intermittent or constant, but will still qualify for compensation.
Mental and Emotional Pain and Suffering
Sometimes pain and suffering amounts to more than physical harm. It can manifest as emotional damage as well. These emotional stressors can last days, months, or years. Some examples of emotional pain and suffering include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Psychological trauma
- Anger and frustration
- Cognitive changes after a head injury
Other losses, such as diminished quality of life and loss of consortium, also count as a type of pain and suffering.
Pain & Suffering from Car Accident
Pain and suffering is a common loss after a car accident. The impact of a collision can result in physical harm as well as emotional damages. You might need significant medical treatment for your physical injuries. However, you may also become fearful of riding in a car and be unable to drive in the future. These damages still require in-depth medical treatment and can take years to recover.
Pain & Suffering from Wrongful Death
In cases where a victim dies, the grieving family may be able to bring a claim for loss of consortium. This is a type of pain and suffering that is felt by remaining family members who experience sorrow due to the loss of their loved one. Examples of loss of consortium include loss of:
- Parental guidance
- Love and affection
- Household services
- Spousal intimacy
Ways to Calculate Pain & Suffering
Every personal injury case is different, and the value of pain and suffering varies according to the specific details of each claim. However, there are two main ways that insurance companies calculate pain and suffering in New Mexico: multiplier method and per diem method.
When actual or economic damages total a specific amount, the insurance company might multiply that amount to determine non-economic damages like pain and suffering. For example, if you have $100,000 in economic damages, the insurance company may multiply that by three to offer you $300,000 in pain and suffering – or a total of $400,000. The multiplier used is often between one and five, but it depends on the severity of your damages.
Per Diem Method
An insurance company may also assign a specific dollar amount to every day since the day of the accident. If you have experienced pain and suffering for 100 days and the insurance company offers you $100 per diem, then they may offer a total of $10,000 for your pain and suffering.
Online Calculators for Pain and Suffering
Online calculators for pain and suffering are typically very inaccurate. They are not able to consider the severity of your losses. They also do not consider other similar damages achieved in claims like yours. It’s best to steer clear of online calculators and allow a legal professional to help you understand the value of your pain and suffering claim.
Do Settlement Offers Account for Pain & Suffering?
While an insurance settlement offer will account for pain and suffering, it will not specifically state that you are being paid for non-economic damages. Instead, a personal injury settlement states that it encompasses all damages.
The Law Giant Gets You the Most for Pain and Suffering
It can be hard to prove all your damages for pain and suffering. You need to gather evidence about how you’ve been hurt and how your actual injuries have impacted your life. By working with a personal injury lawyer, you can get the most compensation possible for your pain and suffering damages. Call The Law Giant today at 505-900-0000 or use our online contact form to reach out.