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How is a settlement for pain and suffering determined?


The results of a motor vehicle collision were not in your favor. The serious injuries have led to extensive medical treatment, loss of income and chronic pain and suffering. With the help of an attorney, you have begun legal action.

One major question is whether you are eligible for a settlement based on pain and suffering. You are. Whenever a person suffers significant physical pain and a disability or mental distress after an incident or collision, he or she does qualify to potentially receive damages. But how is that amount determined?

The multiplier method

It is not easy to determine the amount of pain and suffering damages. The main reason is that pain and suffering differ from person to person. Because of this, insurance companies and attorneys have created a way. Though not perfect, it does help injury victims secure what they deserve.

The “multiplier method” determines the monetary amount of damages a victim may receive. Here is how it works. First, all actual damages get added together. Then that amount is multiplied by a number ranging from 1.5 to 5 – which signifies the seriousness of a person’s pain and suffering.

If a person sustains serious injuries, including fractures, a concussion and disabling injuries, that number – also known as the multiplier – may be as high as 5. However, that number may even go higher to as much as 7 due to more serious injuries such as paralysis, loss of limb and severe burns.

Matters that play into number determination

Four factors figure into a suitable multiplier number. They include:

  • The other driver’s fault: The negligence of the other driver always gets scrutiny.
  • The seriousness of the injuries: How bad were the injuries?
  • Evidence of pain and suffering: You need evidential support. This may include medical records, testimonies from witnesses along with supporting documents, including photos of the injuries, medical bills and a police report.
  • Recovery time: Will it take weeks, months or years to recover? Maybe a victim must permanently live with these injuries.

The details, evidence and research involved in determining a dollar amount for a pain and suffering settlement take time.

Securing what you deserve

The multiplier method simply creates an estimate. A final settlement must be negotiated with the insurance company. But you have experienced pain and suffering. Now, it is time to obtain the settlement you rightfully deserve.