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How Pain and Suffering Compensation is Calculated

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How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated


Pain and suffering is the general consequence of personal injury cases that often leads to physical, emotional, and psychological distress for the victim. Consequently, pain and suffering damages are given to compensate for the negative impact of the injury. But, what are pain and suffering damages called, how are pain and suffering damages calculated, how much can you get for pain and suffering, how do you calculate pain and suffering, how do insurance companies calculate pain and suffering, and how much pain and suffering should I ask for are just some of the baffling questions for victims of an accident. Most people in an accident are clueless about what does pain and suffering include, does pain and suffering include medical bills, how pain and suffering is calculated, how much is pain and suffering worth, how to sue for pain and suffering, is pain and suffering separate from medical bills, how much should insurance pay for pain and suffering, etc. In this article, we will touch all of these questions.

In legal terms, pain and suffering damages are a form of non-economic damages. They are calculated based on the severity of the injury, the extent of the pain and suffering, and the overall impact on the victim’s life. Calculating pain and suffering damages can be complex and vary depending on the case’s circumstances. How much can you get for pain and suffering? How do insurance companies calculate pain and suffering? Get answers now with our experienced injury attorneys.

What is Pain and Suffering Damages? 

Pain and suffering damages are the compensatory money against tangible and non-tangible suffering of a person who has suffered harm due to the illegal actions of another person. What is included in pain and suffering is different for different states in the US. Some states have vast jurisdictional laws on the quantum of pain and suffering claims, while others have limitations on compensation claims. So, how much do you get for pain and suffering will depend on the laws of where you are residing. Any physical, psychological, and emotional injury can be compensated under the pain and suffering damages. The damages that are awarded as pain and suffering compensation can be: 

  • Physical pain
  • Impairment
  • Disability (temporary or permanent) and incapacity
  • Emotional suffering, anxiety, and depression
  • Economic damages – medical expenses or lost wages

Two Approaches to Calculating Damages for Pain and Suffering

Two approaches are generally used to calculate how much does pain and suffering pay. The first is per diem. The word per diem is a Latin word that literally means “per day”. In the legal sense, it means the compensation is awarded to the victim on the day-to-day impact of the injury and pain and suffering due to the injury. This amount is paid by calculating it the number of days a person has suffered an injury. On the other hand, in the second method, which is the multiplier method, the injured person chooses a multiplier, and it is multiplied by the medical damages to get the compensation amount. 

The Basics of Filing a Claim for Pain and Suffering Compensation

How does pain and suffering work in terms of compensation in injury cases depends on the impact of the injury on the victim. Therefore, when filing a claim for pain and suffering compensation, it’s important to gather all relevant documentation related to the injury, such as medical records, bills, and any police reports. You’ll also need to document the impact the injury has had on your life, including any physical or emotional limitations, loss of enjoyment, or missed opportunities. It’s advisable to consult with a personal injury attorney who can guide you through the process and help negotiate with insurance companies or represent you in court. It’s important to know that each state has its own statutes of limitations for filing a claim, so you should act promptly.  

When Pain and Suffering Damages Are Not Available

In some states, you cannot file for pain and suffering damages. In addition to the limitations applied by the state legislation on pain and suffering claims, you also cannot file a compensation claim if there is no cause of action. It simply means that if you are not hurt, you cannot claim pain and suffering compensation. You can also not claim pain and suffering compensation if the damages you have suffered are financial only. Additionally, in cases of workplace injuries, medical malpractice, slip and fall, there are limitations on how much pain and suffering damages you can claim. It will depend on the degree and extent of pain in such accidents. Similarly, federal tort claims also include a limited quantum of damages that you can add to your injury lawsuit. You cannot add pain and suffering damages to your injury lawsuit for medical malpractices occurring by the federal government hospitals. There are some limitations imposed by the states on how much you can claim, and it may depend on several factors, such as how severe the injury is and the nature and type of injury lawsuit, etc. 

When Pain and Suffering Damages Are Limited

Pain and suffering damages are limited in some cases but it will depend on the state you are residing in. In Kansas City, there is a limitation on how much compensation you can claim for pain and suffering damages. Usually, there is a limitation of up to $350,000 on pain and suffering damages. However, it may depend on the nature and impact of the injury on the quality of life of the victim. Additionally, if you have suffered an injury that was partially your fault, there is a bar of 51% on fault, which means if the degree of your fault is more than 51% in an accident, you cannot. claim pain ad suffering damages. 


In conclusion, pain and suffering damages cover the emotional, psychological, and mental injuries suffered by a person due to the illegal, negligent, or intentional act of another person.  The quantum of these damages is limited in some states. However, you can claim pain and suffering damages based on the specific circumstances of your case. If you have suffered pain and suffering, it is important to consult an experienced injury attorney to understand your options better because pain and suffering damages may be limited or unavailable in some situations, such as when damages are purely economic or when the victim is partially at fault. Our experienced injury attorneys can help victims obtain generous damages for their pain and suffering within legal limits.

Jason Royce Allen

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