Lost income, medical expenses, and other non-economic damages are not the only things with which mesothelioma patients have to contend. Mesothelioma patients also have to deal with pain and suffering. Fortunately, if your mesothelioma developed due to another party's negligence you have the right to demand compensation for your pain and suffering. Specifically, pain and suffering is a component of non-economic damages in a mesothelioma case.
Defining Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering can be physical, mental, or emotional. In the context of a mesothelioma case, pain and suffering might include:
- The physical pain and discomfort resulting from the patient's health problems
- The physical pain and discomfort resulting from mesothelioma treatment
- Inability to perform some tasks or engage in some activities
It is crucial to note that pain and suffering include the effects the plaintiff has endured to date and those they are more than likely to suffer in the future.
Calculating Pain and Suffering in a Mesothelioma Case
Unlike economic damages, such as medical expenses, non-economic damages are difficult to quantify. It is easy to look at a medical bill and arrive at a dollar figure. On the other hand, pain and suffering are subjective. One's patients mild pain might be another patient's devastation. Calculating pain and suffering is more subjective than it is formulaic.
That said, pain and suffering is sometimes calculated using the "multiplier" method. This method involves taking the value of a claimant's economic damages and multiplying it by a multiplier. Usually, the multiplier is a number between 1.5 and 5. Whether a low or high multiplier is used depends on several factors, such as the seriousness of the claimant's health problems.
Suppose a mesothelioma patient's economic damages add up to $100,000, and then a multiplier of 2 is applied. In such a case, the claimant's pain and suffering damages are $200,000 (the $100,000 economic damages multiplied by 2).
It is crucial to note that even when the multiplier method is used, it is usually just a starting point. This is especially true if your case makes it to trial. One major determinant of the value of your pain and suffering is your ability to communicate exactly how your illness has affected you.
Proving Pain and Suffering
Before damages can be calculated, you need to present proof of pain and suffering. As already hinted, one way to prove your pain and suffering is by submitting your own testimony of how mesothelioma has affected you. The following are other acceptable proof that can help you prove pain and suffering;
- Doctor's reports
- Proof of treatment by a mental health professional
- Personal Journal
- Documentation and sworn statements from your family and friends
It is crucial that you have sufficient and irrefutable proof so that the defendant cannot deny or devalue your claim. Fortunately, a qualified mesothelioma lawyer can help you gather the evidence you need to increase your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.
Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyers
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced Arizona mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.