Understanding Pain and Suffering in Personal Injury

Posted On June 14, 2024 Personal Injury by John Allen Phebus

In your pursuit of recovery from a physical injury, you can obtain compensation for various damages, including pain and suffering. Even so, many injured victims don’t understand how pain and suffering damages work or how to calculate their potential compensation amount.

Pain and suffering damages compensate an injured victim for their physical and mental discomfort after sustaining harm due to negligence or intentional wrongdoing. A bodily injury affects the life of the plaintiff in many ways, not just financially. They often endure serious discomfort, limitations, and even chronic pain after an injury. Some injured victims endure pain for days, weeks, years, or the rest of their lives. This can be emotionally and mentally trying, as well. 

Our Glendale personal injury attorneys believe you deserve compensation for your non-economic losses, like pain and suffering. Consult our team to increase your chances of obtaining a fair settlement value for your losses.

The Differences Between Economic Damages and Pain and Suffering

When someone sustains an injury in an accident and someone else is to blame, they’re entitled to economic and non-economic damages. Non-economic damages represent the intangible losses related to injury, including pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of companionship.

On the contrary, economic damages represent the financial losses sustained by an injured victim. Examples of economic losses include medical expenses, out-of-pocket expenses, and lost wages.

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An Example of Pain and Suffering

Suppose you were involved in a head-on collision with a speeding driver, resulting in multiple broken bones. In that case, you may experience pain for weeks due to fractures and mental distress because of the trauma of the crash.

Here are a few results of serious injuries that can be compensable:

Any negative emotion directly attributed to the accidental injuries may be considered a form of mental pain and suffering.

Alternatively, you can claim pain and suffering damages because of the physical pain resulting from the injury.

You can claim pain and suffering damages if you experience any of the symptoms:

  • Neck pain
  • Back pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Pain from dislocated joints
  • Migraines

You may also be entitled to pain and suffering damages if your injury will likely cause chronic pain in the coming days.

How to Calculate Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering are intangible losses, making it difficult to calculate a direct dollar value. Estimating the value of pain and suffering differs from calculating economic damages.

If you sustained a broken hip injury following a slip-and-fall accident at a restaurant, you can establish the value of economic losses with bills, pay statements, and other documentation. However, it is different for pain and suffering because it is difficult to assign a dollar value to something like back pain, trauma, or persistent headaches. 

Insurers and personal injury attorneys have different methods to calculate pain and suffering as follows:

Per Diem Method

The per diem method of valuation places a dollar value on each day you endure physical or mental anguish. Pain and suffering is, therefore, the number of days you endure pain and suffering multiplied by the dollar value of each day.

Suppose the dollar value of your pain and suffering is $200 per day, and it takes 300 days to recover from physical or mental anguish. In that case, you may recover $60,000 as damages for your pain and suffering.

The Multiplier Method

The multiplier method applies anything between 1.5 to 5 times or more of your economic expenses. For example, if you sustained an injury in a car accident, your medical bills amount to $10,000.

If the jury decides to use 1.5 to arrive at your non-economic damages, you would demand an additional $15,000 for your pain and suffering. If you apply a multiplier of 3, then the value of non-economic damages amounts to $30,000.

The biggest question is establishing a multiplier factor to apply to your injuries. The value of the multiplier depends on the strength of the case. The multiplier is higher if you have a strong case with severe, lifelong injuries. 

Insurance companies will often minimize the severity of your injuries by using a lower multiplier. You need a lawyer to advocate for the appropriate multiplier so you are not shortchanged.

Some of the following questions may provide insight into the value of a multiplier:

  • Is the other party 100 percent or partially at fault for the injuries?
  • Will your pain and suffering last a lifetime?
  • Are there doubts about the cause of your injuries?
  • Does the pain and suffering affect your daily life?
  • Did mental health experts or doctors ascertain the extent of your pain and suffering?
  • Are your family members suffering because of your injuries?
  • Do you have sufficient proof of your injuries?

How to Prove Pain and Suffering to the Jury

Proving pain and suffering requires you to demonstrate and describe how an injury has impacted you and your everyday life. This can be difficult to do, since pain and suffering is so subjective. 

Your attorney might advise you to keep a journal detailing your pain levels each day, how your suffering restricts your activities and affects your life, and what treatment you seek for mental health struggles. Further, family and friends can testify about how the injury has changed you as a person. 

Pain and Suffering Settlement Examples

There is no average value for pain and suffering damages that injured victims receive. The injured victim can collaborate with an attorney to negotiate a fair settlement value that includes pain and suffering damages.

Get Legal Assistance from an Experienced Glendale Personal Injury Attorney

The prospect of fully recovering from a physical injury depends on the value of compensation you receive from the at-fault party. An experienced injury attorney can prove the extent of your injury and demand a fair settlement value that matches your losses.

The Law Office of John Phebus has over 20 years of experience, and we can stand up for your rights. Contact us online or at (623) 847-7120 for a free case evaluation.

Get In Touch With Us

If you would like to discuss options on your case and how we can provide legal help, contact The Law Offices of John Phebus Glendale Criminal and Personal Injury Lawyer today and connect with one of our highly experienced Glendale criminal defense attorneys.


John Allen Phebus – Experienced Personal Injury & Criminal Defense Attorney

John Phebus is a seasoned attorney specializing in personal injury and criminal defense law. With a focus on DUI defense, vehicular crimes, and serious injury cases, John has been fiercely advocating for his clients, ensuring they receive the representation and compensation they deserve. His expertise and dedication have led to numerous successful outcomes. If you’re seeking a knowledgeable and passionate attorney who will fight for your rights, John Phebus is here to help.

Years of experience: +30 years


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