In addition to seeking compensation for medical expenses and lost wages, you can seek compensation for any pain and suffering you experienced as a result of your injury. Pain and suffering encompasses not just physical pain, but also emotional and mental injuries such as grief, worry, fear, insomnia, or even the loss of enjoyment of life.
There is no universal rule that determines how an insurance company must calculate pain and suffering, but many attorneys have been trained to use one of three methods.
1. Multiplier Method
This method involves multiplying the plaintiff’s actual damages, which include medical bills and lost wages, by a certain number between 1 and 5 (depending on the severity of the injury). For example, if Steve incurred $5,000 in medical bills as a result of a car accident, he might multiply that number by 3. So, he could conclude that $15,000 is a reasonable amount to compensate for his pain and suffering.
2. Per Day Method
With this method, a certain dollar amount is assigned to every day—starting the day of the accident until the plaintiff recovers fully from the injury. For example, let’s say Steve’s pain and suffering is calculated at $100 dollars a day. If he’s injured for 150 days, then his pain and suffering would be calculated at $15,000.
3. Computer Method
Some insurance companies use computer programs to calculate pain and suffering. These programs also include the type of medical treatment that was sought after the injury, and the length of time the plaintiff sought treatment.