How to Determine Pain and Suffering Compensation After a Car Accident

More than three million people are injured in car accidents each year in the United States [1]. In fact, there are over 3,000 car accidents in Tennessee alone, equating to almost 10 every single day [2].

And every car accident correlates to another life that could be changed forever. Car accident lawyers in Nashville understand this all-too-well.

But more than the physical injuries, it is the pain and suffering that can take a toll on anyone who has experienced a car accident.

That’s why pain and suffering are factored into any car accident claim. The law states that victims should be compensated for their emotional and physical stress as a whole.

If you’re one of those who’ve been a victim of a negligent driver, you can file a claim that may include compensation for the pain and suffering. This is a brief outline to help you how to determine pain and suffering compensation after a car accident.

checklistIt’s important to remember that Tennessee law states that money awarded for pain, suffering, or emotional distress, caps at $750,000. Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-39-102


Pain and suffering

Understanding Pain and Suffering


When you are involved in a car accident, there is a chance you or a passenger may incur physical injuries as a result. But injuries don’t end there. Some car accidents cause pain and suffering, defined as the negative emotional and psychological effects of the experience.

It could be the loss of comfort and mobility, the trauma that comes after the accident, the anxiety of not being able to work, and the stress of having your life changed in the blink of an eye.

To get compensated for pain and suffering, you must prove to an insurance company that you have experienced physical and mental distress. Much like anything in the law, the subjective aspects experiences are calculated using a set formula.

Pain and suffering is usually calculated using the total medical bills multiplied by the severity of subjective distress which is decided on a scale of 1 to 5.

Learn how much you can ask for pain and suffering and be sure to talk to an attorney.


Be Prepared with Documentation


We all experience varying levels of pain and suffering and what can cause distress for some, may not cause any distress for others. This is why aspects of pain and suffering are considered subjective.

Although subjective pain and suffering is not quantifiable, you still need to provide as much admissible documentation as you can to your personal injury attorney.

For instance, if you’ve been having a hard time sleeping or if you have felt depressed because of an injury, you may need to include that in your claim. Be sure to mention all of this to your lawyer who will likely recommend you seek consultation with a doctor. Have your doctor document everything so you can present it as part of the claim.

Most lawyers also recommend clients maintain a daily log of what they are feeling which should include symptoms, as well as dates and times that symptoms began, to prove how long you’ve endured the pain and suffering after the accident.

Clear and detailed documentation will help your lawyer present a compelling argument to help you receive the compensation you deserve from your insurance claim.

Know the Requirements


After the accident, you may need some time to recover and resume your routine. This may depend entirely on the extent of your injuries. These things take time. But we highly recommend contacting a car accident attorney in Nashville as soon as you can. Speaking with a lawyer may increase your compensation.

Since each state may have different requirements for injury claims, you should be sure to understand the laws required for the state in which the accident occurred.

Here are some quick facts about car accident insurance claims for Tennessee: [3]

  • You can file a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
  • You can file a claim to your insurance company directly. Your insurance company will likely attempt to recover from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
  • You can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver in civil court.
  • According to Tennessee law, personal injury lawsuits must be filed within 3 years of the incident.
  • Tennessee car accident laws are related to the rule of negligence.
  • In Tennessee, a plaintiff can claim economic damages including lost wages, loss of services, and more.

Finally, it’s very important to remember that once your compensation is released, you will not be able to file for future claims for the same accident.

So it’s wise to look at the bigger picture before filing a claim and work with a qualified lawyer to help you get the most out of your claim. Speak to an auto accident lawyer in West Palm Beach for more information.

Have questions? Call our accident attorneys at (800) 560-5059 anytime, we're here to help
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[1]: TN Department of Safety Crash Statistics

[2]: State laws – Personal Injury TN

About the Author

Michael Steinger
Michael Steinger

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MICHAEL S. STEINGER, founding partner of Steinger, Greene & Feiner, believes in representing real people, not big businesses. Since the firm’s creation in 1997, Steinger, Greene & Feiner has never represented an insurance company or large corporation, and he vows to keep this promise. Over the course of his career, Michael has handled thousands of Florida accident cases, recovering millions of dollars for his clients and earning him membership into the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Staying up-to-date on the ever-evolving laws protecting injury victims and their families, Michael is an active member of the American Bar Association, the Palm Beach, and St. Lucie Bar Associations, and sits on the Auto Insurance Committee of the Florida Justice Association.