How is pain and suffering calculated after a car accidentBeing involved in a car accident, brought special and general damages. Special damages can be calculated like a medical bill, income losses and other out-of-the-pocket losses. But, on the other hand, general damages such as “pain and suffering” is not easy to calculate right? If you are confused about how to calculate general damages after a car accident, this article is the right one for you!

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What is “Pain and Suffering” after a car accident?

The pain you are suffering as a result of the accident doesn’t have to be only physical but can be mental. The legal definition of pain and suffering is “Compensation for physical pain, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life caused by a defendant’s wrongful actions. Pain and suffering include physical pain and discomfort; negative emotions such as anger, fear, anxiety, humiliation, and shock; and decreased ability to enjoy life, including sleep disturbances, sexual dysfunction, lack of energy, inability to engage in hobbies, and loss of appetite. Pain and suffering is an element of damages commonly sought in personal injury lawsuits.

For a car accident, there are multiple things that can occur as a result of being involved in an accident. You can be left with scars, PTSD, mental or emotional stress and life-altering injuries. An example of pain and suffering could be PTSD from the accident that prevents you from driving in your car because you’re scared of getting in an accident again.

How to know if one experience general damages?

General damages cover the category of pain and suffering which covers physical and emotional pain. physical pain can be like discomfort or body aches as a result of the accident. Emotional pain could be a mental strain like insomnia, PTSD, Anxiety, and change in attitude.

How to prove “pain and suffering”?

You can keep a daily notebook monitoring your recovery and any changes to your life you’ve experienced. Monitor your mood and put down if you feel more anxious since the accident. Keep a daily diary and mention any doctors appointments and the results from them. You will create a timeline to show the progression of your pain and suffering to show if it’s getting worse or better. Your friends and family can also give statements on how you have changed compared to how you were before the accident.

How to quantify “Pain and Suffering”?

You can measure pain and suffering by keeping a journal that documents your recovery. Any change in your mood should be documented as well as any change in your pain. If the pain worsens while you are sitting down, then you would want to document it. If you get anxious at the thought of driving your car then you want to document that. Everything that counts as mental and emotional pain should be documented and tracked.

How do insurance companies and lawyers determine general damages after a car accident?

The amount you will receive from pain and suffering will depend on how bad your injuries are. For example, someone who lost a limb because of an accident might receive a higher amount compared to someone who broke their arm. They will use any evidence you give them to prove general damages like statements from your counselor, your personal diary, and statements from family and friends.

Frequently Asked Questions

It is possible to seek pain and suffering after you are injured in a car accident. You will talk to your lawyer about what information you would need to prove the general damages. They will advise you to keep a record of everything include doctors visits, counselor visits, a timeline of your mental health and anything else that can help your case.

The insurance company would be in charge of paying for your pain and suffering compensation. It will be included in the settlement demand letter that your attorney sends to the insurance company. They will explain why they feel that is a reasonable amount of compensation due to your injuries.

Pain and suffering can range between physical and emotional pain. Anything that can count as some type of strain on your lifestyle can count as pain and suffering. Examples can include insomnia, PTSD, anxiety, phantom pains, discomfort, and physical pain.

You would need to provide documentation proving that you are suffering from physical and/or emotional pain. You would need to provide any records of your doctor’s appointments and what the results are for those appointments. If you have to go to a counselor because you have anxiety or PTSD you would want to keep a record of that as well. The more you document the higher chance you can build a case for pain and suffering.

It is possible to claim pain and suffering without going to the doctor. The only issue is that you wouldn’t get the same compensation compared to if you did see a doctor for your injury. You can use the statements from your family and friends to prove that you just needed time to heal compared to going to a doctor to receive medical help. There are some people who believe in toughing it out instead of going to a medical professional depending on the injuries.

What do you mean by special and general damages in a car accident?

General damages are things that can’t have a monetary value. Pain and suffering would count as general damages. Special damages are things that you can put a monetary value on. Your medical bills and lost wages would count as special damages.

How to establish pain and suffering cost after a car accident?

To calculate how much to compensate for pain and suffering most lawyers will use the multiplier method. They will calculate all of your expenses and then choose a number between 1 and 5. The number will depend on the severity of your injuries. Then they multiply that number by your total expenses and that’s how much they will ask for pain and suffering.

For example, if you have $10,000 worth of medical bills related to a broken leg and a concussion, then they might choose the number 3. They’ll multiply the $10,000 but 3 and get $30,000 and that’s how much they’ll ask for pain and suffering. Another way to calculate it is the per diem method. They choose a dollar amount per day and for every day you are “suffering” it adds up from the day of the accident to the maximum recovery period.

What to list for pain and suffering after a car accident?

When coming up with what to add for pain and suffering you would want to think about how your life has changed since the accident. You want to mention any physical or mental stress you have been suffering since the accident. Has your sleep schedule changed and you’re battling insomnia? Mention if you are suffering physical pain or even phantom pains because you lost a limb.

Any emotional or mental stress should be mentioned as well. If you are experiencing panic attacks because of the accident and it’s preventing you from entering a vehicle. Make a timeline to show how you are feeling over time and show how you are recovering.

Need to calculated pain and suffering after a car accident?

By definition, pain and suffering is a monetary compensation given to someone who has endured physical or emotional pain as the result of a car accident. This pain can vary between physical body pain or PTSD that prevents you from functioning like you were before the accident. Pain and suffering can be calculated by counting the days you’ve been suffering since the accident or by multiplying your expenses to a number on a scale of 1 – 5. The amount you receive will depend on how severe your injuries were and what your lawyer feels is a reasonable amount to compensate you.

At the Smith & Eulo Law Firm, we have car accident lawyers to represent you in your case. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, do not hesitate to call us at 407-930-8912 or email at We strive to always be available for you.