auto accident

Pain and Suffering in an Auto Accident – What to Know

Auto accidents can cause severe physical and emotional distress to the victims involved. While physical injuries can be easily quantified, determining the extent of emotional distress, commonly referred to as pain and suffering, is relatively challenging. 

In this article, we will explore the factors that determine pain and suffering in an auto accident and how they are calculated.

What is Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering refer to the physical and emotional distress that an individual experiences following an accident. It may include physical pain, emotional trauma, loss of enjoyment, and decreased quality of life. Pain and suffering are subjective and can vary from individual to individual, making them difficult to measure.

Factors that Determine Pain and Suffering

Several factors can determine the amount of pain and suffering experienced by an individual. Some of these factors include:

1. Severity of Injuries

The severity of injuries sustained in an accident can significantly impact the amount of pain and suffering experienced. Severe injuries such as fractures, spinal injuries, and traumatic brain injuries can result in long-term pain and suffering.

2. Duration of Recovery

The length of time required for recovery can also determine the amount of pain and suffering experienced. Prolonged recovery periods can cause emotional distress and decrease quality of life.

3. Impact on Daily Life

The extent to which the injuries affect the victim’s daily life can also determine the amount of pain and suffering. If the injuries prevent the victim from engaging in their usual activities, such as work or hobbies, it can cause emotional distress.

4. Age and Health of the Victim

The age and health of the victim before the accident can also play a significant role in determining pain and suffering. Younger and healthier individuals may recover faster and experience less pain and suffering than older or less healthy individuals.

How Pain and Suffering is Calculated

Calculating pain and suffering is challenging because it involves subjective factors. Insurance companies and courts use various methods to determine the amount of compensation to be awarded for pain and suffering. Some of these methods include:

1. Multiplier Method

The multiplier method involves multiplying the victim’s economic damages, such as medical bills and lost wages, by a specific number. The multiplier is usually between 1.5 and 5, depending on the severity of the injuries and the impact on the victim’s life.

2. Per Diem Method

The per diem method involves assigning a daily rate to the victim’s pain and suffering. The rate is then multiplied by the number of days the victim experienced pain and suffering.

3. Hybrid Method

The hybrid method combines the multiplier and per diem methods. The economic damages are first multiplied by a specific number, and then a daily rate is assigned for the remaining days the victim experienced pain and suffering.


Pain and suffering can significantly impact the quality of life of auto accident victims. While it is challenging to determine the amount of compensation to be awarded for pain and suffering, several factors, such as the severity of injuries, duration of recovery, impact on daily life, and the victim’s age and health, can be considered. 

The multiplier, per diem, and hybrid methods are commonly used to calculate pain and suffering compensation. It is essential to consult with an experienced attorney who can help victims navigate the legal process and ensure they receive fair compensation for their pain and suffering.

If you have been injured in an auto accident, it is essential to seek the help of experienced and reputable auto accident injury attorneys. At Frankel Injury Law, we have the experience, expertise, and compassion to help you through this difficult time. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you get the compensation you deserve!