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Monetising the pain and suffering you've experienced.

In this section, we’re going to focus on the actual victim of medical negligence, and how the injuries have impacted their life.

We call these ‘general damages’.

General damages merely refer to non-pecuniary, or non-monetary, damages.

In simpler terms, it refers to the impacts of medical negligence that cannot immediately be measured in monetary value. These impacts include:

  • Pain;
  • Suffering;
  • Loss of enjoyment of life or a reduction in quality of life (loss of amenities); and
  • Emotional harm. 

To help quantify something so subjective, the courts created a generalised approached called the ‘Injury Scale Values’ (ISV). 

An ISV is a generalised approach to measuring the pain and suffering each type of injury causes.

The scale goes from 0 to 100 and, generally, the higher the ISV number, the greater the injury,
the bigger the compensation.


For example, the impact of paraplegia on your quality of life will be much greater than a stubbed toe – the ISV considers this and produces a general figure for each – $283,800 and $3,160 respectively.

So, now, let’s dig deeper and explore what ‘pain and suffering’ means in legal terms, and convert it to a dollar figure.

Want to fast track the process with our free interactive workbook?

  • Printable or accessible as an interactive PDF
  • Complete with examples, information, hints & tips, and space to write
  • 1 download for our entire 5-part online series - that means 1 download between you and your key to compensation

Quantifying Your Pain and Suffering

Despite its subjectivity, pain and suffering is quite easy to calculate because of these ISV’s.

What you need to do is not be intimidated by the number of steps – each is a bite-sized step of a larger, simpler process.

To find out the value (ISV) of your injury and what it’s worth, follow these steps:

STEP 1: LIST YOUR INJURIES

STEP 2: locate them in the isv

STEP 2A: use the contents

STEP 2b: identify the severity

STEP 2C: scale value

This is the final step for physical ISV’s at the moment. We’ll return to it after we’ve
considered the ISV’s for any mental trauma you might’ve experienced. If you are sure
you have no mental trauma to report (or the impact is minor), you can move onto translating your ISV to a dollar figure.


Consideration for mental trauma.

There are a few extra steps involved when recording your mental injuries.

In the CLR, instead of noting what the injury is, such as ‘schizophrenia’, ‘PTSD’, ‘anxiety’, etc., it
instead refers to a ‘PIRS’ rating. This stands for the ‘psychiatric impairment rating scale’.

This is used because the measurement is taken by the level of impairment caused, rather than the ‘injury’ itself.

The Psychiatric Impairment Rating Scale (PIRS) is a similar tool to the ISV, however is used to measure the impact that mental trauma and psychiatric impairment has had on a person.

For example, it will consider in what ways PTSD has affected you, rather than what the level of
PTSD you have is.

Straightforward, we need to work out your PIRS and then convert it to an ISV. This will then be converted to a dollar figure.

STEP 1: THE PIRS

STEP 2: IDENTIFY THE IMPACTS

STEP 3: IDENTIFY THE SEVERITY

STEP 4: NOTE THE SCALE

Want to fast track the process with our free interactive workbook?

  • Printable or accessible as an interactive PDF
  • Complete with examples, information, hints & tips, and space to write
  • 1 download for our entire 5-part online series - that means 1 download between you and your key to compensation

You have now measured your level of mental impairment and can translate that to an ISV number. To do this:

STEP 5: RETURN TO THE ISV

STEP 6: TRANSLATE TO ISV

STEP 7: SCALE VALUE

STEP 8: CONSOLIDATION


The conversion from ISV to $

We’ve worked out some numbers... but what do they mean and how do we translate them to a dollar figure?

STEP 1: dominant isv

Variation: unsatisfactory isv

STEP 2: translate to monetary figure

STEP 2A: DATE RANGE

STEP 2b: isv range

STEP 2c: base and variable amounts

STEP 2d: calculate the variable amount

STEP 2E: THE FINAL CALCULATION

Want to fast track the process with our free interactive workbook?

  • Printable or accessible as an interactive PDF
  • Complete with examples, information, hints & tips, and space to write
  • 1 download for our entire 5-part online series - that means 1 download between you and your key to compensation

Putting it all together.

You should now have added your figures to your schedule of damages.

It’s recommended, at this point, to add up your damages so far to see if you’ve reached the
$150,000 quantum threshold.

Below is Karen’s example.

By doing this, you can check if you can surpass the remainder of this workbook and start working out how you’re going to hold your doctor accountable.

If you haven’t passed the threshold yet, don’t worry.

We’re about to take on our third most significant head of damage (from a quantum perspective) – monetising your future pain and suffering.

Next article: What are out-of-pocket expenses after medical negligence, and how are they calculated?


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