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  • Writer's pictureBrad Keating

How Much to Ask for Pain and Suffering - Car Accident

Updated: Jan 17

Everyone is used to watching car accidents on the news and the problems they cause, but they don't truly know how much these accidents can damage a person.

Pain and suffering damages are some of the worst things that can happen to someone in a car accident, and they are also some of the most expensive claims people can make. Victims of an auto accident can always sue the negligent driver, so they may consider doing that if they get hit by a car.

Economic losses are easy to calculate in a personal injury claim, but everything gets more complicated when talking about pain and suffering damages. This legal term refers to things considered non-economic damage, such as emotional distress, so insurance companies need to calculate how much compensation they may give the victim.

When filing personal injury claims, victims need to ask for specific compensation for their economic losses and pain and suffering. The problem is that not everyone knows how much they can ask for that.

Hiring a personal injury attorney can help victims with that since they know everything there is to know about pain and suffering claims and car accidents in general. Regardless of that, not all personal injury attorneys are good enough to address a complex car accident case, so victims need to look for the best one they can find.

It's not always easy to find top vehicle accident lawyers, but the Keating Firm LTD counts with excellent and qualified attorneys that give victims the best personal injury settlement they can ask for.

Lawyers can also tell them everything they need to know about how much money they can ask for pain and suffering cases, so they can call it if they need a free consultation of their case.

What Is Pain and Suffering?

What Is Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering is a legal term that refers to general damage or losses involving psychological trauma and physical pain. Therefore, suffering from PTSD, anxiety, or mild stress after a car accident can be considered pain and suffering.

This term includes, naturally, physical damage the accident may have caused the injured person. Whether it's a broken rib or a scratch, they can count everything in their pain and suffering claim. Insurance companies struggle a lot with pain and suffering cases since it's not that easy to calculate the worth of mental health damage and emotional suffering.

Filing an injury claim includes many lost wages, such as car damage, clothes, medical bills, and others. Pain and suffering money tends to be added to the coverage victims have to receive for other losses. People could say that pain and suffering is affected and modified by other circumstances, but it's still calculated as individual compensation.

People with a particular injury that causes mental or physical pain can also claim the plaintiff's pain as a need of insurance coverage. Minor injuries, like whiplash, and anything that affects the victim's emotional well-being may be on the table.

How to Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages

As it was mentioned before, pain and suffering is calculated as individual compensation in an insurance claim, so insurance companies need to calculate it with a different method to get the exact amount of money they have to give to the victim.

There are three effective methods to calculate the worth of pain and suffering in a car accident, so severely injured victims can use any of them to see how much they can ask in their car accident claim. Lawyers can help victims with that.

These are the three methods used to see how much pain and suffering money the victim can ask for, as well as the average personal injury settlement for each case:

Per Diem

Per diem translates to "daily rate," so some people call it the "daily rate method." Nonetheless, it consists of using the daily expenses victims have to go through to calculate the overall amount of money they have to ask for in their car insurance claim.

This method consists of assigning a value to the daily expenses the victim had to cover during the accident. If they, for example, suffered from a lot of back pain and had to take pain medication every day for three months, that's the amount of time they suffered from the accident.

Therefore, the victim would give a hypothetical value to the daily rate of expenses they spent on medication. If the value ends up being $100, the insurance company would have to pay the victim $100 for each day they had to take pain medication.

Taking three months as an example, the insurance company would have to pay the victim $9,000 as pain and suffering money. Some people may ask: how can someone assign a value to their per diem compensation correctly? Well, the best way to do it is by calculating the income they would have received if they didn't have to pay for pain medication.


Following up, there’s the multiplier method, which, as the previously mentioned one, is often used when someone makes a car accident claim. As its name suggests, this method consists of multiplying a specific amount of money to the overall compensation the victim would have received without counting pain and suffering.

If the insurance company were to pay a victim $3,000 of car damage and $5,000 for medical bills, they would have to multiply $8,000 - which is the total amount of compensation the victim was going to receive - by three.

Using the multiplying method, the victim would receive $24,000 of total compensation, which means they got $16,000 of pain and suffering compensation. Considering that, if the medical bill, hospital bed, or any other economic loss is higher, the pain and suffering amount of compensation is worth more, too.

As injury victims have to assign a number to their daily rate in the per diem method, they also have to add a multiplier when using the multiplier method. Historically, people have only used three as a multiplier, but everything depends on how severe the pain of the victim is and how expensive the medical treatment for it can be.

If the victim suffers from extreme pain, the multiplier could increase to four or five. However, if the injury they got is less severe, they can reduce the multiplier to two. An experienced personal injury attorney can easily determine the multiplier for a pain and suffering case, so whether the victim has a traumatic brain injury or soft tissue injuries, asking for legal advice is a good idea.

Final Value

Although both methods mentioned before are highly effective, this is the most accurate method someone can use to calculate pain and suffering. What people have to do here is use the per diem method and the multiplier method and get a ballpark figure between both results.

If the multiplier method, for example, gave the victim a personal compensation worth $40,000 and the per diem method one of $60,000, the ballpark figure could be $50,000. However, the ballpark figure the victim adopts depends on how severe the injuries were and the medical bills they cost them.

How Can Personal Injury Lawyers Help Me with a Pain and Suffering Claim?

How Can Personal Injury Lawyers Help Me with a Pain and Suffering Claim?

Whether a victim is calculating pain and suffering or not, it's always essential to contact a law firm when dealing with personal injury cases. The reason for that is that no one deserves to be involved in car accident cases, and most of those accidents lead to a long and painful recovery, as well as a lot of medical bills, so victims have to at least be able to get compensation for medical expenses and physical injuries.

Can Someone with a Serious Injury Take Their Case to Trial?

Lawyers can also help victims if an insurance adjuster tries to give them unfair compensation for the future pain they are going to endure. Some victims prefer taking their injury case to trial, where lawyers are completely needed, so there’s no reason to hesitate to look for a qualified attorney.

In the trial, lawyers can use medical records, pictures of the accident, driving records and any police report filed as evidence against the other party. All the relevant medical records are often taken to trial along with the doctor who addressed the victim's situation.

Is It Good for Victims to Call a Lawyer Referral Service to Solve a Personal Injury Case?

Many people try to call a lawyer referral service or someone with paid attorney advertising to deal with insurance adjusters and everything related to the car accident. While those lawyers are not bad, it’s best for people to always look for a law firm themselves. The Keating Firm LTD is always available for them if they need a free case evaluation.

Bottom Line

People can ask a lot of money for pain and suffering, and it's not good for any victim to keep themselves from getting a fair pain and suffering settlement to recover their lost income.

The first thing to do after a car accident, though, is to go to the doctor. A medical professional can tell the victim anything they need to do to heal from their injuries in the best way possible.

Naturally, they have to prove pain was suffered from the serious injuries caused by the accident, but lawyers can help them with that. Everyone in search of getting compensation for economic damages and mental anguish can call Keating Firm LTD to get a free consultation for their case!


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