Ray Arenofsky - Attorney At Law

How Do You Calculate Pain and Suffering After an Accident?

When dealing with your insurance company or the law in a personal injury suit, it is important for you to understand how damages are calculated.

Specifically, “pain and suffering” is one category of damages that can be difficult to monetize. Here is a quick guide to the terms and methods you can use yourself to get a sense of what your case is worth.

However, it is always imperative that you speak and work with an experienced Arizona accident attorney before assuming that you calculated your pain and suffering damages correctly.


In case you are not aware, the term “damages” simply refers to the amount of money you seek in compensation in a personal injury or accident case.

Often, you will discuss damages when talking with an insurance company. In a personal injury lawsuit where the other party was at fault, you will need to have a strong knowledge of what your damages are and what they amount to.

Special Damages

Special damages are fairly simple to add up.

Gather all your medical bills, vehicle mileage, repair bills (to damaged property), etc.

Second, figure out how much in wages you or your loved one lost while unable to work due to injury. For example, if you’ve been out of work for 2 months, and you bring in an average of $3000 per month, then you’ve lost $6000 in wages.

Third, factor in any out-of-the-ordinary costs you’ve taken on since the accident. For example, did you need to get a babysitter for your spouse to take you to a medical appointment? Were there permanent injuries resulting in your need to modify parts of your home to accommodate a wheel chair?

General Damages

General damages constitute your “pain and suffering.” How severe were the effects of the accident?

How hard has it been on you and your loved ones, both physically and emotionally?

What have you lost that you can’t get back?

These damages are difficult to put a dollar sign on at first glance.

Quick Calculation: Multiplier Method

Frequently, the simplest way to calculate your pain and suffering damages is to use the multiplier method.

After you’ve calculated all of your specific damages, you will take a “multiplier,” and multiply that number against your total specific damages.

Typically, you would use a multiplier of 5 or greater when the severity the accident and injuries is high. These are injuries that result in major trauma and permanent injuries.

And for accidents and injuries with a lower severity, you should use a multiplier of less than 5. These are injuries that will heal completely but may take a while to do so.

For example, if your specific injuries total $100,000, and you believe that the severity of your injuries merits a 6, then you would reach the total amount of pain and suffering damages accordingly:

$100,000 x 6 = $600,000 in pain and suffering damages

In a real-world serious injury case, the above formulas are almost useless. They tend to calculate much lower amounts of monies for your accident than a well-versed attorney would. This lawyer will see your case more in depth—factoring in future medical operations and helping to develop all the physical injuries that you may have missed. This is invaluable. Do not sell yourself short in a serious injury case; speak to a seasoned attorney.

For more information about how an Arizona accident attorney can help you with your car accident case, contact Ray Arenofsky at 480-345-0444 or visit our website.

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About the Author

I associate with the top 1 or 2% of trial lawyers that are best suited for your particular case. I am involved in practically any kind of injury case you can imagine. I will protect your rights and seek all possible compensation due to you.

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