How Much Do You Get for Pain and Suffering in a Car Accident?


After you have been hurt in a car accident, you may want to know exactly what you are entitled to for your pain and suffering. By talking to a personal injury lawyer, they can help you to know what your next steps will be. You need a car accident lawyer to handle this type of case as they will have the knowledge and experience that is needed to get you what you deserve.

The reality is that insurance companies have their own approach to calculating the values of a pain and suffering or personal injury claim. These calculations include the compensation for any medical bills, your lost wages, as well as some money to help with your pain and suffering. By reading on, you can see how to calculate the value of the claim using 2 different approaches: the per diem method and the multiplier method.

Per Diem Method

Also known as the “daily rate” method, this is the money that is assigned for every day or week that you had to suffer from your injury after you were in a car accident. Should you have medical bills of about $5000 and a lost income of $1000, this adds up to $6000. 3 months have passed by, this can end up calculated to a daily value of $200. If you were injured for 3 months, you would use this calculation of $200 x 90, to get a total of $18,000. This is just an overly simplified version of the calculation so that you can get a better picture of what this calculation is.

If you decide to take the per diem approach, you will need to validate your calculations otherwise you won’t win the money you need. In the above scenario, if you made $200 a day at work, then you can use this as your valuation of pain and suffering. You need to state your case as to the reasons for this amount of money, otherwise your case won’t even be considered.

Multiplier Method

The multiplier method is one of the most commonly used approaches to calculating pain and suffering claims. This approach takes your medical bills from the accident as well as the lost wages and then multiplies it by 3. Again, using a similar example from the last section, the sum of your actual damages is about $6000. You can multiply these damages by the number 3 to get a total of $18000.

The problem with this approach is that insurance companies are hesitant to just giving up this kind of money as this isn’t a reasonable approach to quantify a person’s pain and suffering damages. Instead, the approach is to now take any actual damages then multiply that amount by a specific figure that is calculated by a specialized software. This typically will undervalue your claim. The multiplier depends on several factors including how serious your injuries are, your recovery time, and any other aggravating circumstances. What this means is that a fender bender is less “valuable” than an accident where you suffered from injuries that required several surgeries.

A more serious injury will end up with a multiplier of 3 or 4, whereas minor accidents only have a multiplier of 1 or 2. However, there are some circumstances where the multiplier will be a lot more than that, such as if the other driver that caused the accident was intoxicated. On the same idea, if you were partially responsible for the accident, the insurance company will use a lower multiplier.

It is a bit more complex than just that. The type of treatment that is received after the accident will impact the multiplier. There are some cases where the injury claimants receive an excessive amount of medical treatment in order to get more money for their injuries. One example is when people seek out several months of chiropractic care and physical therapy for a very minor injury. Insurance companies are unwilling to consider these treatments as part of your medical bills when calculating your claim for pain and suffering.

It is recommended that you do not seek out extra medical treatments just to get more money from the insurance company. This will backfire on you, leaving you to pay for all of those extra medical bills and not allowing you to get the compensation that you deserve.

The Final Value

The most effective approach to calculating a claim is to use both the per diem and the multiplier method. This is an estimated figure that can help you to temper your expectations based on several factors, like the severity of the claim, if other people were injured, if you were out of work for an extended period of time or even laid off due to your injuries, and if there is any permanence of your injury.

When you add up all of these different factors, this can help you to create a reasonable value for your claim. If the per diem approach offers a value of $30,000 and the multiplier has a value of $18,000, you can assume that your estimated figure is about $24,000. If you have a limp, had several surgeries, or broke a bone, you can add some additional money to that estimated figure. If you suffered a minor injury or if you were partially to blame for this injury, you can subtract money from this figure.

After you have decided on an estimated figure that you are comfortable with, you will have a starting point before you get involved with settlement negotiations. That’s when you can get into writing out your demand letter. It can be beneficial to you to have a car accident lawyer look at your claim to help you out through this process. The car accident lawyer can let you know what expectations are realistic and help ensure that you get the most for your personal injury claim. After a car accident, you are going through enough. You need to make sure that you have a successful pain and suffering claim and a car accident personal injury lawyer can help you with that.