How Are Damage Amounts For Pain & Suffering Determined?

Posted over 1 year ago. 2 helpful votes


If you have suffered an injury due to an accident, you may be entitled to damages. In some instances where another person has caused injury to you, you may be entitled to damages related to pain and suffering in addition to compensation for your physical injuries. We hear about these damage claims often enough, but you may be wondering how these amounts are determined when it comes to settling a case.

Emotional Suffering

Accidents can result in more than just physical injuries. Pain and suffering refers to emotional suffering like depression and anxiety or any other mental anguish that results from the injury. Injuries from car accidents, slip and fall accidents, accidents caused by faulty or defective products, or even medical malpractice accidents, can all impact a person’s quality of life. These can impact his or her ability to engage in normal activities, go to work, spend time with family, and otherwise participate in activities that were previously enjoyed.

These injuries can have a profound effect on a person’s happiness and well being. Recovery can be incredibly stressful, and when the injury impacts one’s ability to earn a living or requires extensive and expensive medical treatment, these stressors can cause mental and emotional pain and suffering.

In instances where depression or anxiety become a component of sustained injuries from an accident, this can require additional medical treatment. Injured parties are able to ask for compensation for pain and suffering as well as for any physical injuries. Because pain and suffering is more difficult to quantify than physical injuries are, working with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help to determine a fair settlement award is very important, as insurance companies oftentimes have different ideas of what is fair.

Calculating Pain and Suffering

It is not always totally clear as to how insurance companies calculate the value of pain and suffering. They will usually determine the amount by looking at calculable monetary losses associated with the injury (like medical expenses, lost wages, etc.) and then apply an outside multiplier to this amount. More serious injuries are assigned larger multipliers, but what the multiplier is depends on the insurance company, and they do not disclose how the multiplier is determined.

However, the insurance company’s understanding of pain and suffering associated with an accident can be very different from your own understanding and experience. Everyone experiences injuries in different ways and circumstances can vary significantly. One person may heal quickly and return to normal life with relative ease, while another individual may experience complications or require surgeries or ongoing treatment, develop chronic pain, or even have a prolonged disability.

Do not settle too soon

For these reasons, working with an experienced personal injury attorney is very important. You may be eager to settle, but settling too soon is not advisable, because you may not yet realize the full extent of your injuries or pain and suffering, and could end up with much less than you are entitled to.

Your pain and suffering settlement will be impacted by the following:

  • You still require medical treatment
  • Your enjoyment of life has been affected
  • Your family has been negatively impacted
  • You may require long term medical care or are permanently disabled
  • You are unable to perform daily activities like working or caring for yourself

The length of times that these issues are present matters. If some or all of these factors are present in the long term, you will be entitled to a larger settlement than if your situation was resolved after only a brief period of time.

St. Louis Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have been injured in an accident and wish to make a personal injury claim, contact a Missouri personal injury attorney to discuss your options and to begin the process of filing a personal injury claim.

Additional Resources

For legal assistance, call The Hoffmann Law Firm at (314) 361-4242. We offer free consultations in all personal injury cases and you never pay attorney fees unless we recover compensation for you.

The Hoffmann Law Firm

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Related Topics

Pain and suffering for personal injury

Pain and suffering refers to physical and mental trauma caused by an injury, and is often a significant component of non-economic damages.

Personal injury

If you suffer a personal injury as the result of the actions or negligence of another, you may seek financial compensation for physical or emotional damages.

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