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Pain and Suffering Compensation: How Is It Calculated?

When someone injures you intentionally or through negligence, like in a car accident, the law allows you to seek monetary compensation for your trauma. Pain and suffering is the legal term for such injuries. Besides physical injuries, pain and suffering encompasses mental and emotional injuries such as grief, inconvenience, fear, worry, and insomnia.

What Damages Can You Include In a Pain and Suffering Claim?

The damages available in a pain and suffering claim can be either economic or non-economic. Economic damages include any financial losses you sustain following an injury, including lost wages, personal care costs, and medical bills. These damages are fairly objective, and calculating the accompanying monetary compensation is often a straightforward process.

On the other hand, non-economic damages include any mental, physical, and emotional suffering occasioned by your injuries. This might consist of actual bodily harm sustained following the incident, including disabilities, scarring, and disfigurement. Generally, the more permanent your impairments following catastrophic injuries, the greater the value of your non-economic damages.

Due to the subjective nature of non-economic damages, calculating pain and suffering compensation can be quite challenging. No two people ‘suffer’ the same following an injury, even if they sustain similar injuries.

How is Pain and Suffering Compensation Calculated?

Surprisingly, there is no rigid formula for generating a dollar value on a plaintiff’s pain and suffering. Nevertheless, if you ever sustain injuries from an accident, your auto accident attorney will work to extract the highest amount a jury would award for your case. Here are the most common methods used to calculate pain and suffering damages.

The Multiplier Method

This is arguably the most common method used to value pain and suffering damages. Your attorney might use your medical bills, lost wages, or both as a basis for the valuation. Depending on the severity of your injuries, your attorney will pick a multiplier – typically a number between one and five – and multiply it with your medical bills and lost wages. For example, if you incurred $30,000 in medical bills following an accident, your pain and suffering damages would amount to $60,000 if the multiplier was two ($30,000 X 2).

The Per Diem Method

This method is somewhat similar to the multiplier method, except the basis for your pain and suffering damages is determined by the number of days between your injury date and maximum recovery. Your attorney chooses a per diem amount depending on the severity of your injuries then multiplies it to the number of days you took to recover. For instance, assuming a 200-day recovery period and $100 per diem, your pain and suffering damages would amount to $20,000 ($100 X 200).

You should be compensated for your pain and suffering after an accident. Regardless of the method, insurance companies will try to reduce your damages’ valuation as much as possible. Opting to work with an experienced attorney is your best shot at winning the highest settlement possible and getting the compensation you deserve.

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here

Bob Kraft

I am a Dallas, Texas lawyer who has had the privilege of helping thousands of clients since 1971 in the areas of Personal Injury law and Social Security Disability.

About This Blog

The title of this blog reflects my attitude toward those government agencies and insurance companies that routinely mistreat injured or disabled people. As a Dallas, Texas lawyer, I've spent more than 45 years trying to help those poor folk, and I have been frustrated daily by the actions of the people on the other side of their claims. (Sorry if I offended you...)

If you find this type of information interesting or helpful, please visit my law firm's main website at You will find many more articles and links. Thank you for your time.

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