What Is Pain And Suffering And How Is It Compensated?

25 January 2023
 Categories: Law, Blog


Those impacted by a car accident will readily agree that they suffered and that it was very painful. You might expect that everyone who was hurt in an accident through no fault of their own would be entitled to be paid for their pain and suffering. However, pain and suffering are only available in certain circumstances and are not an automatic part of auto insurance coverage. To be paid for pain and suffering, read below.

Putting a Price on Pain and Suffering

When the other driver causes the accident, victims may be entitled to several forms of damage. These may include medical expenses, vehicle repairs, and lost wages. However, pain and suffering are not like those forms of damage, which are known as economic damage. This form of damage is a lot trickier to place a price sticker on. Several ways of calculating such damages have been created. What is used varies. However, some insurers use the multiplier method, and learning about it could provide some insight into how payment works for this form of non-economic damage.

Using Medical Treatment Expenses

To be paid for pain and suffering, the victim must have physical injuries and they must be seen by a doctor. The cost of the care is usually covered by the at-fault driver's insurer. In some cases, though, the victim uses their own healthcare insurance instead of the auto insurer. Regardless of how victims get their care paid for, they need to keep up with the treatments, the costs, the providers, etc.

The reason why it's so important to take medical expenses into account is that the multiplier method of calculating pain and suffering uses the total dollar cost of a victim's medical treatment as the starting point. Speak to a personal injury lawyer about this important aspect. Some victims must wait until they have reached a point in their medical treatment to demand payment for pain and suffering. Some victims need more time to heal, or they may have more surgeries in the future.

Using the Multiplier Method

With this way of figuring pain and suffering, the total cost of medical treatment is multiplied by a factor between 1.5 and 5. The higher the factor, the more severe the injuries. For instance, minor injuries that have healed in a month may use a factor of 1 or 2. Extensive injuries with a long hospitalization might use a factor of 3 or 4. Finally, injuries that may affect a victim permanently will call for a factor of 5 (or more, in some cases).

A personal injury lawyer will help you understand where you are when it comes to the multiplier method. Speak to them today.