LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Christopher Michael Davis | Aug 1, 2013

Calculating or Neglecting Pain and Suffering? The Insurance Company ‘Formula’

What is pain and suffering?

Pain and suffering is defined as mental and physical uneasiness you experience after an accident. This includes mental anguish, emotional distress, and depression, with a probable chance of it happening in the future. Pain and suffering is defined by Washington State law.

Formula for Calculating Pain and Suffering

Were you in an accident and the insurance adjuster told you there was a magic formula for determining your settlement? If so, don’t believe them. Every accident is so unique that a standard calculation tool cannot be used to determine a fair settlement agreement. This is a tactic that adjustors use, to fool you into accepting a smaller settlement than you deserve.

The formula may look something like this:

Maximum Settlement Amount = Pain Multiplier x Medical Expenses + Loss of Income

Do not believe this formula!

Every accident is unique. It is not just a “add up your medical bills and be on your way" type of thing. Insurance companies are to pay for pain and suffering, which is not included in this formula. Insurance companies try to avoid paying for pain and suffering all together. Pain and suffering is subjective therefore the insurance companies rely on a multiplier range. This is where an attorney can be very important for you to obtain a higher settlement.

Experienced attorneys are master negotiators and understand how pain and suffering should be measured for each individual case, due to their extensive experience in dealing with insurance adjusters’ tactics.

Example of pain and suffering:

Our client was severely injured in an auto accident. Not only did she suffer from many physical injuries, she is also experiencing depression, emotional trauma and fear after the car accident. She is scared to drive, and has even more passenger anxiety. She is having a hard time concentrating at work due to her anxiety attacks.

This is an example of pain and suffering because the victim is experiencing psychological injuries that cannot be calculated into a formula. The accident has changed her emotionally and the at-fault driver is responsible for this.

If you decide not to hire an attorney, you need to do your own research on pain and suffering in order to receive a fair settlement for your emotional discomfort. If you believe that your injuries are too extensive to handle on your own, contact a personal injury attorney today.

Rate this guide


Avvo personal injury email series

Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and advice about personal injury law.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?


Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer