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If you sustained injuries in a serious accident due to someone else’s negligence, you could have the legal right to bring a claim for your damages. Depending on your accident circumstances, you could receive money for your injuries, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Compensation for pain and suffering is often a large part of your injury claim, and it’s dependent on the type and severity of your injuries. To learn more about filing a pain and suffering injury lawsuit, contact the skilled personal injury lawyers at Gerling Law.

What Are Pain and Suffering Damages?

If you are making a claim for pain and suffering, you’re demanding compensation for the physical and emotional pain that you endured because of the accident. If not for the person who caused your injuries, you would not be in the pain you are.

Pain and suffering damages fall under what’s known as general or non-economic damages. That means there is no specific number that relates to your pain and suffering from a car accident. General damages are subjective, and you will likely think your pain and suffering is worth far more than the insurance company does.

Calculating Your Pain and Suffering Compensation

To reach a value for pain and suffering, you must look at a variety of factors. Please don’t rely on settlement calculators you find online as they are not going to give you accurate results. These calculators do not consider everything that a judge, jury, or insurance company will look at when they determine an amount.

No two claims are exactly alike, which is why there’s no average settlement amount for car accident claims either. Someone who suffered only minor injuries will not receive the same pain and suffering compensation as someone who is permanently disabled after the collision.

Here are some examples of questions that insurance adjusters, juries, and judges consider when determining a dollar amount for your accident pain and suffering:

  • What type of impact did the accident have on the plaintiff’s life?
  • Did the plaintiff lose a lot of time off work?
  • What types of injuries did the plaintiff sustain in the accident?
  • How long did the plaintiff’s injuries last?
  • What types of medical treatments did the plaintiff have?
  • Will the plaintiff require additional medical treatment?
  • Can the plaintiff return to work?
  • Did the plaintiff sustain any permanent impairment?
  • What is the usual physical and mental pain that people typically experience with these injuries?
  • What is the plaintiff’s prognosis?

When it comes to calculating pain and suffering, some insurance companies and juries might use one of two methods. 

The first is known as the multiplier method. You multiple your economic damages by a number between 1.5 and 5, depending on the severity of your injuries. For example, if your medical bills and loss of earnings total 30,000 and you use a multiplier of three, then your pain and suffering is worth $90,000.

The second option is the per diem method. This option assigns a specific value to every day that you were injured. The cut-off date is when you reached your MMI, or maximum medical improvement.

Proving Pain and Suffering in a Serious Accident

Before you can successfully collect any compensation for your pain and suffering, you must provide evidence showing why you deserve the amount you’re asking for in your claim. Always document all your medical visits, and see a therapist about any emotional turmoil after the accident.

When you’re submitting copies of your records, include the opinion of your medical health professionals too. You should have information from all your providers on your injuries and how severely you’re injured. The reports should talk about how your injuries will impact your life and what you are going through pain wise. In some cases, it may be necessary to hire a medical expert. This person is a neutral third party who will confirm the reports and evidence submitted by your medical doctors.

Some accident victims start a journal after the accident. It can be therapeutic, but it can also help your case. You can describe your daily life: How did the accident change your life? How did it impact your ability to take care of daily tasks, etc. Describe your pain, using a pain scale. Your case may not go to litigation for one or two years; having that information written down can help jog your memory and provide valuable evidence on how drastically the accident affected your life.


If you were seriously injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you deserve to be compensated for your damages, including pain and suffering. However, pursuing a claim can be complicated, especially when your injuries are severe. Don’t let the insurance company take advantage of you and offer you less than your case is worth. Instead, let one of our seasoned personal injury lawyers fight for the compensation you deserve. At Gerling Law, we have decades of experience representing injured victims just like you in Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois. We have a proven record of success and have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. Contact our office today to learn more about how we can help. Remember:

Go with Experience. Go with Gerling®

Author Photo

Gayle Gerling Pettinga

Born and raised in Evansville, Gayle is a respected, experienced lawyer and a valued community leader. She graduated near the top of her class at Indiana University’s prestigious Maurer School of Law. She’s practiced law with one of the largest firms in Indianapolis as well as one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. And that means she knows how big law firms and big companies think and how they operate – and she will put that knowledge to work for you.

Gayle has received numerous awards and honors including Martindale-Hubbell — Peer Review Rated: AV®, American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys 10 Best Attorneys in Indiana for Exceptional and Outstanding Client Service, and YWCA Evansville 100 Years, 100 Women Honoree, 2011.

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