| Read Time: 3 minutes
Featured Image Articles

Physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional distress can be some of the most significant harm you have to grapple with following an accident.

While these types of harm can be more difficult to prove than economic harm like medical bills and lost wages, they are no less significant.

In fact, in some cases, they can make up the bulk of your claim for compensation from an accident.

You may wonder, How much will I get for pain and suffering from a car accident?

The answer depends on your individual circumstances, but you can get a rough idea of what your claim might be worth from our discussion below.

What Is Pain and Suffering in a Car Accident Claim?

Pain and suffering join other monetary damages in the category of compensatory damages.

Compensatory damages are split into two parts, economic (tangible) and non-economic (intangible).

Pain and suffering are noneconomic damages that cover all physical and mental anguish felt after an accident.

How Do You Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages?

So how much will you get for pain and suffering from a car accident?

Damage calculations start by considering the following factors:

  • Injury severity,
  • Length of recovery time,
  • Existence of scarring or disfigurement,
  • Existence of permanent damage or disability,
  • Extent of loss of enjoyment of life, and
  • Extent of loss of consortium.

The more of these factors exist, the higher the amount you can claim.

Pain and suffering are somewhat subjective to each individual, so proving the amount is difficult. 

There are two primary ways pain and suffering are specifically calculated: the multiplier method and the per diem method.

With the multiplier method, you multiply any financial damages by a specific number, typically ranging from .5 to 5 in Alabama, depending on the severity of the pain and suffering.

This method is most commonly used when injuries are extensive and recovery takes a while.

The per diem method involves creating a “daily rate” of pain and suffering and then multiplying it by how many days you are affected.

This method is more commonly used for less severe accidents with a more definite recovery time.

Your attorney will help you calculate the value of your pain and suffering and provide examples of pain and suffering settlements that would be reasonable for your circumstances. 

Pain and Suffering Settlement Examples

Clients often ask us for pain and suffering settlement examples.

Understandably, you want to know how much you can expect to recover for your car accident claim.

But keep in mind that the value of your claim depends on the specific circumstances of your case.

Only an experienced personal injury attorney can review the facts of your accident and give you an estimate of your claim’s value.

With that in mind, let’s walk through a couple of personal injury settlement amounts examples that can give you an idea of how an attorney might go about determining your claim’s value.

Example 1

John is a landscaper who breaks his arm in a car accident. He is in a cast for six weeks but suffers no lingering pain after his arm heals. 

John incurs medical bills of $5,000 for his visit to the emergency room, pain medication, and follow-up appointments.

He is also unable to work for six weeks while his arm is healing, so he loses wages amounting to $6,000.

His broken arm causes him physical pain, and he is stressed about paying his bills while he is out of work.

Based on her experience with similar cases, John’s attorney assigns his pain and suffering a per diem value of $100.

Since it took six weeks (42 days) for his arm to heal, this amounts to pain and suffering damages of $4,200.

This means John would try to get a total personal injury settlement of $15,200.

Example 2

Paul is a ballet dancer who suffers a severe compound fracture to his leg in a car accident. He undergoes multiple surgeries and spends several months in a rehabilitation facility.

While he will be able to walk again, his doctors tell him that his leg will never fully heal and he will likely have ongoing physical pain.

He is no longer able to work as a ballet dancer. Paul is severely depressed following the accident.

Paul has $200,000 in hospital and therapy bills and has been out of work for six months, amounting to $25,000 in lost wages.

While he has some other options for work, his earning capacity has decreased by 25%, amounting to a $500,000 decrease in his future expected income.

Due to Paul’s extensive surgeries, his ongoing pain, and the severe impact on his life and career, Paul’s attorney assigns a multiplier of 3 to his economic damages, estimating a value of $2,175,000 for his pain and suffering.

This means Paul would seek a total settlement of $2.9 million.

Contact a Top Personal Injury Lawyer, Fob James Law Firm, LLC Today

If you suffer an injury, please feel free to reach out to our attorneys at Fob James Law Firm, LLC.

Our attorneys commit themselves to a 24/7 communication policy that sets us apart from other large firms.

We will fight on your behalf to get you every bit of compensation you need to recover.

Author Photo

Fob James

Fob James obtained a B.S., in software engineering from Auburn University and then continued his education by getting his J.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Law. After working for a large regional firm for several years where he obtained awards for both individual and corporate clients, Fob found that his passion was fighting for individuals who have been seriously injured or wronged by others. Fob believes that the jury is the great equalizer to the power and influence that large corporations have in society.