How Much Can I Get for Pain and Suffering In My Personal Injury Case?

Pain and suffering is a legal term that refers to the physical pain and emotional stress faced by the victim of a personal injury accident. While the expenses from medical bills and damage repairs may come to mind first and be the initial issues to deal with following an accident, the pain and suffering that victims experience is often the most significant resulting trauma with the longest-lasting impact.

“How much can I get for pain and suffering, and what is it worth?” It’s a common question asked by injury victims after an accident when pondering what compensation they may receive. It makes sense then that there are considerations in the law for pain and suffering. If you have endured a serious injurious accident, you are likely entitled to compensation for your difficult experiences throughout the ordeal.

Thompson Law is an established personal injury law firm dedicated to fighting for client’s best possible outcome after a serious accident. Attorney Ryan Thompson and his highly skilled team have seen the devastating effects of all types of accidents. We know how to prove pain and suffering damages, fight the insurance companies, and win for our clients. What you get for pain and suffering when you come to Thompson Law is every penny allowable under the law.

Pain and suffering settlement

How is Pain and Suffering Calculated?

Many people ask at the point of starting their claim, “How much can I get for pain and suffering in my personal injury case?” There is no set answer to this question, as everyone’s situation is unique but several common methods of calculating overall damages – including pain and suffering – are:

Multiplier Method

In this calculation, all the economic damages are compiled, and this sum is multiplied by a number between 1.5 and 5 based on the severity of the event. Five would be for devastating, catastrophic losses, and 1.5 would be for less impactful injuries. This scale might surprise you, as a broken arm could be considered a 1.5, and most of us would find a broken arm to be pretty detrimental to our daily lives!

Per Diem Method

Another common method of calculating non-economic damages is the “Daily Rate” or “Per Diem” Method. This is a calculation that uses how much you make in a day multiplied by how many days you suffered limitations to your normal routine due to your accident-related injuries. For example, if you typically made $150 a day, and missed two weeks of work your damages amount would be $1,500.

Hedonic Damages

Hedonic damages are for the loss of enjoyment of life (LOEL), focusing on the impact of an injury on a person’s ability to enjoy the life’s pleasures. There is debate about whether hedonic damages and pain and suffering are the same or different harms. Hedonic damages are generally proved through testimony by lay people (e.g., friends, family), expert witnesses, and economist calculations.

Insurance Company Software

The insurance companies have ways of determining the value of these compensatory damages that may be startling. You may be surprised to hear that one way they make the determination what you get for pain and suffering is by using a software. The “Colossus ” system may not be well known to the general public, but to those in the insurance industry it is a foundational tool. Used by many large insurers, this computer program aggregates input facts about the accident and the people involved and calculates the amount of general damages that should be paid out.

It is extremely reasonable to ask how a software system is able to quantify and decide an answer based on this type of abstract data. To just use software, plug in some dates and numbers and have a comprehensive understanding of the pain and loss someone suffered is nearly impossible. A primary goal of Colossus is “Minimizing Payout Variance.”

This objective is to streamline the way that insurance claims are paid out and make it easier on the insurers to predict settlement costs for accidents. As you can imagine, this does not bode well for you as the customer. You suffered a specific event, with unique circumstances and deserve more consideration for your pain and suffering than an insurance algorithm will provide.

Types of Personal Injury Damages

The first thing to understand is the types of damages that are totaled and awarded in a personal injury settlement. The three primary types of damages awarded to personal injury victims are:

  • Special Damages: Special damages include calculable hard costs: things like lost wages, medical bills, loss or damage of property, costs of care for recovery and repair. These are sometimes referred to as economic damages.
  • General Damages: General damages are sometimes referred to as either “non-economic” or “non-monetary” damages. They are the more abstract impacts of an accident. Pain and suffering that a person is forced to withstand as a result of the accident that may not be tethered to a specific bill or monetary amount is a subset of general damages. When general and special damages are combined, they are commonly referred to as “compensatory damages”.
  • Punitive Damages: Punitive damages, also known as “exemplary damages“, are intended to punish the defendant for reckless, negligent, or intentional misconduct. Further, they are intended to discourage such behavior in the future. A common example of a case where punitive damages may be awarded is a drunk driving accident.

Types of Damages in Personal Injury Cases

How Do You Argue to Recoup These Expenses?

All of these methods, whether algorithmic or mathematical estimation, certainly leave room for interpretation and disagreement. This is where it is useful to engage the skills of an experienced personal injury who has the knowledge and expertise to understand what you should seek for pain and suffering, and negotiate for your best possible settlement.

The ferocious negotiators at Thompson Law build your case and fight on your behalf for your maximum pain and suffering compensation in a few key ways.

  1. Tracking and sharing of your medical expenses and treatment plan after the accident
  2. Documenting the medical costs you accrued
  3. Helping to ensure you received the various types of medical services you required
  4. Describing the impacts to your routines all combine to paint a picture of the physical and emotional suffering you endured.

Based on this information, your expert personal injury attorney can build a case for your full deserved compensation and defend that case in negotiations – whether they take place through a claim demand, mediation, or even in court. What you get for pain and suffering is largely dependent on the law firm you hire, and their results getting pain and suffering money for past clients.

Let Us Help You Get for Pain and Suffering Every Penny You Deserve

For information and advice on your specific situation, reach out anytime for help from your Dallas personal injury lawyers at Thompson Law. We understand pain and suffering damages, and want to help you today. Call the 4’s today in Dallas at 214-444-4444, in North Dallas at 972-444-4444, in the DFW Mid-Cities at 469-444-4444, or in Fort Worth at 817-444-4444.

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