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Calculate Pain And Suffering Compensation After An Injury

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Calculating how much money you need to cover your property damage and medical bills after an accident is relatively straightforward- add all of your receipts and bills together. However, there is often a much higher cost for injuries than just what receipts calculate. That’s where the tricky part comes in; how exactly do you put a price tag on suffering and trauma? Trying to figure out a dollar amount that will compensate you fairly for the hardship and suffering you go through due to an accident is a lot more complicated. Justifying your demand to the insurance adjuster is an even more difficult job. This article will discuss the factors that go into calculating your pain and suffering, some ways to calculate pain and suffering, and the insurance company’s perspective when looking at different kinds of injuries. 


What Is Pain And Suffering In A Personal Injury Claim?

Pain and suffering in personal injury claims stand for the “mental anguish” or emotional distress the injured party goes through after falling victim to the party’s negligent acts deemed at-fault. The term “pain and suffering” is a general one used for non-economic “general” damages that cannot be calculated by looking through receipts and bills. Some causes of pain and suffering include:

  • Depression, memory loss, anxiety, insomnia, or other emotional disorders
  • Physical pain and discomfort (both permanent and temporary)
  • Physical limitations, like not being able to play or be affectionate with your children
  • Loss of consortium (the support of) your family members
  • Any other kind of psychological or emotional trauma

There are certain cases where you won’t be eligible for pain and suffering compensation, such as in no-fault insurance claims, workers’ compensation claims, and small claims court lawsuits.

Methods For Calculating Pain And Suffering

The Per Diem and Multiple methods are two basic methods for determining appropriate compensation for pain and suffering.

Per Diem Method

Per Diem is Latin for “by the day.” This method of determining pain and suffering settles on a dollar value for one day (generally, the figure comprises the person’s daily wages) then multiplies it by how many days the injury impacted the injured party. Insurance settlements rarely employ the per diem method. Here’s an example of the Per Diem calculation: Ashley slipped and fell at the gym, breaking her ankle and suffering a concussion. The gym accepted full liability for the accident. Ashley suffered severe headaches and nausea for three weeks and was unable to read, look at bright lights, or even be outside if the sun was out. She was in a sling and cast for six weeks, which stopped her from working her regular receptionist job, gym workouts, cooking, and other household chores. After recovering from her injuries, Ashley used her average daily wage as the per diem value for her calculations and demanded $5,040 in compensation; $120 per day for the 42 days (six weeks) she had to deal with physical pain and loss of enjoyment of her life.


Multiple Method

This is the method insurance settlements most commonly use to determine suffering and pain. This calculation is made by adding up the injured person’s economic damages and multiplying the number by a factor of one to five. Economic damages are your hard costs for lost wages, medical bills, and related out-of-pocket expenses. These are known as special damages, or “specials,” by insurance adjusters. You will have receipts and bills to support the dollar amounts your economic damages add up to. The tricky part of this method is deciding on what number the multiple will be.

Looking for an experienced workers’ comp attorney? Contact Invictus Law P.C. today!

How To Get The Adjuster To Pay

Of course, you can’t just ask for a significant amount of money to compensate for pain and suffering and expect the insurance adjuster just to roll over. You still have to justify the amount with a credible and reasonable basis backed up with evidence. Your demand for pain and suffering typically should fall between one and three times the amount of your special damages, unless the accident permanently or critically injured you. The final amount of your settlement will depend on how you were injured, along with how well you can justify your pain and suffering. During settlement negotiations, most adjusters expect to add a small amount on top of the special damages to cover pain and suffering. You can choose to take the initial offer or raise your pain and suffering settlement with factual justifications. 

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How To Prove Your Pain And Suffering

Each individual experiences pain and suffering in a unique manner, which is why it’s essential to carefully evaluate how your injuries affect your emotional well-being and lifestyle, along with the length of time the injury interferes with your life. Some terms to keep in mind:

  • Current and future pain and suffering: What you go through starting from the time of injury, through the medical treatment, and into the future indefinitely. This is an open-ended period.
  • Current pain and suffering: What you go through after being injured until therapy, and medical treatment is completed. This period is finite and can be measured.

If you’ve healed entirely and aren’t expecting any future problems, it’s reasonable to ask for one or two times how much your specials are for pain and suffering. If you face ongoing effects of your injuries, you may be justified in trying to get a more considerable amount for suffering and pain. No matter how much you ask for, you’ll need to convince the adjuster of the negative effect that pain and suffering have had on the quality of your life.

Evidence To Support Your Claim

Before you start to calculate your demand for pain and suffering compensation, consider how you’re going to convince the adjuster to raise the multiple. These reasons should be listed in your demand letter and later used in settlement negotiations. You need logical arguments backed with as much credible evidence as possible. Some examples of evidence include medical records, witness statements, and photographs of your injuries.


To successfully raise your settlement amount, your pain and suffering must be accurately put into words that are persuasive, clear, and reasonable to the adjuster. There’s only one shot at settling your claim, so make sure to account for all factors and don’t hold back. The more prepared you are to convince the adjuster of your pain and suffering’s depth, the better your compensation will be. If you don’t want to deal with the insurance company on your own, seek counsel from a personal injury attorney about your claim’s value. Invictus Law P.C. serves injured workers through the workers’ compensation process. Work with Invictus Law for your workers’ compensation case today. 

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Looking for an experienced workers’ comp attorney? Contact Invictus Law P.C. today!

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