Pain & Suffering Calculator - Estimate Your Claim Value

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Use our pain and suffering settlement calculator to estimate your claim’s potential value, and find out how much you may be able to recover for pain and suffering damages.

If you or a loved one has suffered severe physical and / or emotional injuries as a result of a personal injury accident. You may be eligible to recover compensation for pain and suffering. This includes physical injuries like broken bones, burns, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, nerve damage, and internal organ injuries. Additionally, pain and suffering may also be claimed for emotional injuries such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and loss of enjoyment of life.

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Calculator

Enter the estimated total of your past and any outstanding medical bills. Include the estimated future medical expenses.

Enter the estimated value of past and future lost wages due to hospital stays, physical therapy, doctor appointments, and vacation/sick days related to recovery.

Enter the expected value for any property that was damaged as a result of the accident.

This calculator uses the multiplier method, which uses a multiplier (between 1 and 5) to calculate total economic damages. You can use these guidelines for a rough estimate:

  • 1.5x multiplier: For minor injuries like lacerations and bruising.
  • 3x multiplier: For moderate injuries like broken or fractured bones.
  • 4.5x multiplier: For long-lasting severe injuries such as organ damages, permanent disfigurement, PTSD, and nerve damage.

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Note: This is not a guaranteed settlement amount that you will receive for pain and suffering. Rather, our settlement calculator is intended to provide a general idea of how much your pain and suffering claim may be worth.

Average Pain & Suffering Settlement Amount

Average pain and suffering settlement amount chart (2024)
Average pain and suffering settlement amount chart (2024)

The average pain & suffering settlement amount is $137,277, while the median settlement amount is $25,000 and is a better representation of the typical pain and suffering settlement amount. This data is based on 582 auto accident cases in the United States recorded by Thomson Reuters between 2019 and 2024.

  • Average settlement = $137,277: The average pain and suffering settlement amount is based on 582 auto accident settlements in the United States that include pain and suffering claims. It should be noted that this figure can be heavily skewed by very high or very low settlement amounts (unlike the median settlement amount that is detailed below.
  • Median settlement = $25,000: The median is the middle value in a dataset, which can be a more accurate representation of the typical pain and suffering settlement amount because it is less skewed by extremely high and low value settlements.
  • Highest settlement = $11,025,000: In an automobile accident, an individual sustained injuries initially perceived as minor but later developed severe complications. Following the accident, the individual experienced intense headaches, nausea, dizziness, and numbness, eventually leading to a medical emergency at home due to a severe headache and associated symptoms. Emergency services documented a brief seizure requiring urgent medical intervention. Hospital tests revealed a brain injury, specifically a ruptured aneurysm, prompting immediate medical procedures to manage the condition. Despite initial improvements, the individual experienced increasing neurological challenges, including visual disturbances and confusion, which were signs of brain blood vessel narrowing. Medical interventions were delayed, and as the condition worsened, the individual developed more severe symptoms, including difficulty speaking and facial droop. Ultimately, the individual required further emergency procedures. The prolonged medical complications resulted in a lengthy hospital stay followed by extended care in a skilled nursing facility. The individual returned home significantly later, with ongoing health issues including vision and balance problems, impaired short-term memory, and an inability to work as before. The family pursued legal action related to the accident and subsequent medical management, arguing for inadequate care and oversight, leading to additional health complications.
  • Lowest settlement = $4,400: Following an auto accident, a minor individual sustained unspecified personal injuries. The individual and their insurer proposed a settlement to resolve the claims related to the accident, offering a total of $4,400. This amount included compensation for pain and suffering, permanent disability, and disfigurement to the minor.

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Pain & Suffering Settlement Examples

Pain & suffering settlements under $100K

  • $25K settlement – A minor was injured in an automobile accident involving an underinsured motorist and was covered under an insurance policy that included uninsured/underinsured motorist benefits. The individual suffered injuries due to the accident, which included severe neurological and vision impairments. As a result of these injuries, the individual faces permanent vision and balance challenges, and their cognitive functions, particularly short-term memory, have been significantly affected, impacting their ability to work effectively. Family members of the individual also made claims for loss of relational support. The insurance company offered to settle the underinsured motorist claim with a payment that was later approved. The settlement included compensation of nearly $22,000 to the plaintiff’s parents for expenses related to the plaintiff’s injuries and for loss of love, services, and affection. Additionally, the plaintiff received compensation of over $3,000 for pain and suffering.
  • $32K settlement – A minor, through a guardian, filed a legal action after being injured in an accident as a passenger in a vehicle that lost control, veered off the road, and overturned. The vehicle was operated by another minor. The injured individual received medical treatment for back pain following the accident.

Pain & suffering settlements between $100K and $500K

  • $145K settlement – A minor pedestrian, while crossing a street at a marked crosswalk with a signal indicating it was safe to cross, was struck by a vehicle. The individual suffered injuries and, through a guardian, initiated an injury claim seeking damages for damages for medical expenses and pain and suffering . The defense argued that the individual was negligent for crossing at a poorly lit intersection during the night, dressed in dark clothing, and not paying attention to traffic controls, claiming the individual stepped suddenly into the road. The legal proceedings determined that the individual had sustained serious injuries. The issue of liability went to trial, resulting in a jury siding with the injured individual. A settlement was reached for the claims, which was structured at a value nearly $150K, and received court approval for distribution.
  • $365K settlement – An action for wrongful death, survival, and conscious pain and suffering was initiated following the death of an individual after an accident involving a vehicle in which the individual was a passenger. The vehicle was being operated by an employee within the scope of their employment. The resolution of the case included a total settlement of nearly $365,000, with contributions made by both the driver’s liability insurance and the employer’s insurance provider. The settlement was distributed according to the deceased individual’s will, with the sole beneficiary being their spouse.
  • $490K settlement – An individual was in a pickup truck, waiting to make a turn, when their vehicle was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer operated by an employee of a trucking company. The individual sustained injuries to the brain, spine, shoulder, and ankle, and underwent multiple surgeries as a result. The individual’s spouse claimed loss of relational and household support. Negligence was asserted, and the employer of the tractor-trailer driver acknowledged vicarious liability for the employee’s actions under the legal doctrine that holds employers responsible for their employees’ actions. Compensatory damages for pain and suffering totaled over $330K.

Pain & suffering settlements between $500K and $1M

  • $610K settlement -An individual reported being involved in an accident while riding a motorcycle when a van crossed in front of them, leading to a collision. The individual sustained multiple injuries including a closed head injury, a generalized head injury, fractures to the left foot and wrist requiring surgery, as well as various cuts and scrapes. The individual’s spouse claimed loss of relational support. It was contended that the van’s owner was negligent in allowing an inexperienced and unlicensed minor to operate the vehicle without the required licensed supervision. Additionally, liability was claimed under the principle that holds an employer responsible for the actions of their employees. The owner of the van disputed the claim of negligent entrustment, noting there was no evidence of improper behavior such as alcohol abuse by the minor at the time of the accident. Damages awarded for pain and suffering totaled over $590K.
  • $750K settlement – An individual claimed to have suffered extensive spine injuries and nerve compression when the minivan they were traveling in was struck by a tractor-trailer. The individual and their spouse, who claimed loss of relational support, argued that the company owning the tractor-trailer was vicariously responsible for the driver’s negligence, which they alleged led to permanent injuries. The defendants contested liability, causation, and the extent of damages, arguing that the driver encountered a sudden emergency due to adverse weather conditions and poor visibility, asserting that the vehicle was operated according to industry standards. The total compensatory award was $750,000, including $170,000 for pain and suffering, $380,000 for past wages, $200,000 for future wages, and $5,000 for loss of services.
  • $925K settlement – An individual reportedly suffered injuries, including generalized bone injuries and head trauma, when their bicycle collided with an SUV as the vehicle was attempting a left turn. The individual claimed that the operator of the SUV was negligent for making an unsafe turn. The defense argued that the individual contributed to their own injuries by riding the bicycle at a high speed in low visibility conditions without adequate lighting or reflective gear. A jury found that although the individual had some responsibility for the accident, the SUV operator had the final opportunity to avoid the collision and failed to take the necessary action.

Pain & suffering settlements between $500K and $1M

  • $1.2M settlement – An individual claimed to suffer permanent injuries including a ligament tear in their left wrist requiring reconstruction, a shoulder injury needing surgery, a concussion, cuts on the left side of their head and leg, and multiple bruises and scrapes when their motorcycle was struck by a vehicle during an intersection crossing on a green light. The individual argued that the vehicle operator was negligent due to a failure to maintain proper lookout, attention, and to yield while turning. The defendant contested both liability and the extent of the damages. Before the trial, there was an agreement regarding the individual’s healthcare expenses and wage loss.
  • $3.5M settlement – An individual reported being involved in a multi-vehicle accident at an intersection, where one vehicle reportedly entered against a red light while the other involved vehicles encountered yellow lights. This action led to a collision affecting the individual’s vehicle. The individual sustained multiple injuries including a fracture in the left elbow requiring surgery, severe fractures to the right leg and knee necessitating multiple surgeries and fasciotomy, a complex fracture in the left femur with associated tendon injury, and chronic ankle tendonitis causing ongoing pain and contracture. The individual accused the drivers of negligence, and also pursued claims against the respective vehicle owners for negligent hiring and/or retention. One driver contended they had stopped for the red light and proceeded only when it turned green, and also disputed the severity of the individual’s injuries, claiming the individual could walk unaided, use their left arm, and care for themselves independently. The driving company was found to be 40% at fault.
  • $7M settlement – A wrongful death action was initiated following a severe accident where an individual suffered fatal head injuries after being struck by a vehicle in a crosswalk. The vehicle was operated by an employee acting within the scope of their employment. The legal representatives of the deceased, acting on behalf of the surviving family members, asserted that the driver was both negligent and grossly negligent, resulting in significant pain and suffering for the deceased before their death, and claimed that the employer was vicariously liable. Although liability was admitted by the defendants, the extent of the damages was contested, particularly the claim that the deceased experienced conscious pain after the incident. Ultimately, the court proceedings concluded with the jury awarding significant damages to the surviving family members for their loss and for the pain and suffering endured by the deceased prior to their death. The total compensatory award to the two surviving adult children was $1,000,000 for pain and suffering, with an additional $6,000,000 awarded for loss of services.

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Methods And Formulas Used To Calculate Pain & Suffering Settlements

Calculating a pain and suffering settlement in personal injury cases often involves subjective judgments, but there are several common methods used to quantify these non-economic damages. Here’s a look at the primary formulas along with example calculations:

Multiplier method: As used in the pain and suffering calculator above, this calculation method involves summing all actual damages (like medical bills and lost earnings) and then multiplying this total by a number (the multiplier) based on the severity of the pain and suffering. The multiplier typically ranges from 1.5 to 5, or even higher in extremely severe cases.

🛈 Example: Let’s say the actual damages incurred (medical bills plus lost wages) amount to $50,000. Assuming the pain and suffering are moderate and a multiplier of 3 is chosen:

Total Economic Damages: $50,000

Multiplier: 3

Pain and Suffering Settlement: $50,000 x 3 = $150,000

Per diem method: The per diem (per day) method assigns a daily rate of compensation for pain and suffering, which is then multiplied by the number of days the plaintiff is expected to experience pain or disability. The daily rate can be arbitrary or based on the plaintiff’s actual daily earnings.

🛈 Example: Imagine a case where severe initial injuries warrant a multiplier (for long-term impact) and more transient symptoms are calculated per diem:

Initial Economic Damages: $100,000

Multiplier for Severe Injuries: 4 ($100,000 x 4 = $400,000)

Daily Rate for Short-term Pain: $100

Number of Days for Short-term Pain: 90 ($100 x 90 = $9,000)

Total Pain and Suffering Settlement: $400,000 + $9,000 = $409,000

Hybrid or modified methods: In some cases, attorneys or insurers may use a combination of both methods, applying a multiplier for more severe and lasting injuries and a per diem rate for more transient pain.

🛈 Example: Imagine a case where severe initial injuries warrant a multiplier (for long-term impact) and more transient symptoms are calculated per diem:

Initial Economic Damages: $100,000

Multiplier for Severe Injuries: 4 ($100,000 x 4 = $400,000)

Daily Rate for Short-term Pain: $100

Number of Days for Short-term Pain: 90 ($100 x 90 = $9,000)

Total Pain and Suffering Settlement: $400,000 + $9,000 = $409,000

When considering these methods used to calculate pain and suffering, it’s important to understand that each case is unique, and the chosen method or the applied rates and/or multipliers may vary based on the jurisdiction, specific circumstances of the injury, and the negotiating parties’ perception of the pain and suffering involved. Personal injury attorneys often tailor these calculations to the specifics of each case, arguing for higher or lower multipliers or daily rates based on the severity of the injury, the impact on the individual’s life, and the expected recovery period.

Variables That Affect How Much Pain & Suffering Is Worth

The value of pain and suffering claim is influenced by a variety of factors and case variables. These variables can significantly affect how much a plaintiff may be entitled to for their non-economic damages. Here’s a list of key factors that typically impact the assessment of pain and suffering:

1. Severity and Nature of the Injury

  • Type of Injury: More severe injuries (e.g., fractures, burns, traumatic brain injuries) typically result in higher pain and suffering awards than less severe ones (e.g., sprains, minor cuts).
  • Permanence: Long-term or permanent disabilities generally lead to higher compensation than temporary injuries.

2. Pain and Suffering Already Endured and Future Pain

  • Duration of Pain: Chronic pain or long-lasting symptoms can increase the value of a claim.
  • Future Medical Needs: Ongoing medical treatments, surgeries, or therapies imply prolonged pain or discomfort, thus raising the potential settlement.

3. Impact on Daily Life

  • Loss of Quality of Life: If the injury impacts the individual’s ability to enjoy daily activities, hobbies, or life events, this can substantially affect the calculation.
  • Changes to Lifestyle: Modifications in lifestyle, such as becoming unable to perform certain tasks or requiring assistance for basic needs, also play a critical role.

4. Age of the Plaintiff

  • Younger Plaintiffs: Generally, younger individuals might receive more for pain and suffering, especially if the injuries impact their quality of life over a longer future period.
  • Elderly Plaintiffs: The rationale might differ based on the perspective that their active life expectancy is shorter, though this can vary greatly by case.

5. Emotional and Psychological Impact

  • Mental Anguish: Conditions like anxiety, depression, PTSD, and loss of sleep due to the accident or its aftermath.
  • Psychological Disorders: Long-term psychological impacts increase compensation.

6. Evidence and Documentation

  • Medical Records: Comprehensive and clear medical documentation that details injuries and treatment can substantiate claims of high pain and suffering.
  • Personal Journals or Diaries: Records that document daily pain levels and emotional health can be persuasive in proving the extent of suffering.

7. Credibility and Likeability of the Plaintiff

  • Jury Perception: A plaintiff who is viewed sympathetically and credibly by a jury is more likely to be awarded higher compensation.
  • Consistency in Testimony: Consistency between what the plaintiff claims and what is shown in medical and other records can influence awards positively.

8. Economic Damages

  • Direct Correlation: Often, there is a correlation between high economic damages (like medical bills and lost wages) and higher pain and suffering damages, as these can indicate more severe injuries.

9. Jurisdiction

  • Legal Precedents: Different states and even counties can have varying precedents for awarding pain and suffering damages.
  • Caps on Damages: Some jurisdictions have statutory limits on the amount of non-economic damages that can be awarded.

Understanding these variables can help both plaintiffs and legal professionals navigate the complexities of valuing pain and suffering in personal injury cases, ensuring that the compensation sought reflects the true extent of the individual’s suffering and the impact on their life.

Get Help Recovering Compensation For Pain & Suffering

It’s important to understand that each pain and suffering claim is unique, and the methods and variables used to calculate a final settlement amount will vary between cases. Consulting with a personal injury attorney can help ensure that you receive a fair settlement.

Getting started with your pain and suffering claim is easy. Just request a free case evaluation online, and a legal team in our network will reach out to you regarding your case. Our network of attorneys includes a team of over 250+ legal professionals throughout the United States with over $1 billion recovered for clients, including settlements and verdicts with claims of pain and suffering.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long do I have to file a pain and suffering claim?

The time limit to file a pain and suffering claim as part of a personal injury lawsuit is governed by the statute of limitations, which varies by state and the type of case. In the United States, the deadlines are generally as follows:

  • Personal injury / auto accidents: Typically, the statute of limitations ranges from 1 to 6 years, with most states allowing 2 to 3 years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit.
  • Medical malpractice: Often shorter than general personal injury claims, ranging from 1 to 4 years, but it can be extended if the injury was not immediately discoverable.

How long will my case take?

Generally personal injury cases that involve pain and suffering claims settle within 1 to 2 years. However, cases that involve more severe injuries that require significant medical treatment and longer recover times may take longer to settle. Similarly, cases that involve comparatively minor injuries often take less time to settle (generally within 6 to 9 months after medical treatment is complete).

What is a typical amount of pain and suffering?

The average pain and suffering settlement amount is $137,277. However, the median settlement amount is $25,000, which is a better representation of the typical settlement amount for cases that involve claims of pain and suffering.

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