How to Calculate Pain and Suffering

How to Calculate Pain and Suffering


A knowledgeable personal injury attorney will help you determine the dollar value of your pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is defined as both the physical pain you endured due to your injuries, as well as any mental or emotional pain you experienced due to the accident. As you heal from your physical injuries, you also might deal with depression, mood swings, anxiety, or the inability to sleep well.

Pain and suffering deserves to be compensated in a personal injury lawsuit because if you never had the accident in the first place, you wouldn’t be dealing with these issues. While pain and suffering varies from case to case, there are a few factors that remain consistent.

Pain and suffering damages are not limited to lawsuits seen before a judge or jury. Insurance companies also award payments for pain and suffering. There are a few ways this is typically calculated:

Using a multiplier:

An insurance company will look at all of your expenses related to the accident. These include doctors bills, pharmacy bills, and travel to and from doctor appointments. It also includes the pay you lost due to being out of work while you heal. Once this number is determined, an insurance company may then multiply it by a factor, which varies by company. The number arrived at using this method is the payout you will receive for your pain and suffering.

A per-day calculation.

Some insurance companies issue a pain and suffering payout based on how long the recovery period is expected to be. Therefore, they have a specific dollar amount that they issue per day. Then, they multiply that amount by the number of days it will take for a full recovery.

Determine fault.

Insurance companies also look at who is at-fault for the accident. If you were even a little bit responsible for the accident, the insurance company will deduct that amount from your payout.

If your case does go before a judge and/or jury, then the amount of money you receive for your pain and suffering will be determined by the court. A judge will instruct the jury on the actual costs of your injuries — such as the actual medical bill — but then will leave it up to the jury to decide upon what should be paid out for pain and suffering.

It’s important to document your pain and suffering with actual evidence. For example, if you’re depressed or anxious after the accident, see a mental health professional who will properly record their findings to back up your claim. This will help the insurance company, judge or jury determine a sufficient dollar amount that is owed to you.

For more information on how pain and suffering is calculated, contact a personal injury attorney. The May Firm offers a free initial, no-obligation consultation to hear the details of your accident and determine if you have a case. Call today at 1-844-MAYFIRM to find out more.

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