How Much Should I Ask for Pain and Suffering From a Car Accident?


Car accidents are not just physical. You are not only incurring bruises, cuts, and other physical injuries, you’re also going through emotional and psychological distress. Not to mention the damage to property, the time taken off work, and the constant calls, emails, and texts that you have to deal with during this process.

No matter how severe, car accidents are always life changing and so discussing pain and suffering means discussing all the ways in which you are affected by the accident.

Anyone who has experienced a car accident can tell you that physical, emotional, psychological, and financial burdens are always going to be a part of the overall situation.  

And every car accident lawyer in Nashville would agree. For that reason, pain and suffering is one of the main factors looked into when filing for a car accident settlement

And here in Tennessee, the notion is that you should not complain but carry on. After all, Grizzlies aren’t bears, they’re the Memphis NBA team. And that is the Tennessee way.

But we urge anyone who is suffering from a car accident to speak up. You don’t have to go at it alone. You can and should be compensated for your pain and suffering after a car accident.

Tennessee is an at-fault state which means that someone is deemed at fault for the accident. Fighting for the compensation you deserve is the right thing to do.


The Legal Definition of Pain and Suffering

checklistLegally, pain and suffering is caused by both the physical and mental distress suffered from an injury.


That can include broken bones, bruising, aches and pains, as well as temporary or permanent limitations on activity.  The term can also be used to describe the depression and embarrassment from scarring that are caused by physical injuries. All of these injuries are called “general damages”.

The amount that you can recover from these injuries is subjective and all pain and suffering is considered. That includes medical bills, lost wages, and future medical costs. These are referred to as “special damages”.

Pain and suffering is a full picture of everything you endured as a result of a car accident. In order to collect full damages, the subjective aspects of pain and suffering must be legally proven and accepted.

pain and suffering images

How Much Can You Ask For Pain And Suffering?  

Since the full picture of pain and suffering is a unique circumstance that cannot be quantified in all subjective aspects which include distress and psychological harm, most insurance companies will use a formula that follows these three steps:

  • The amount you already owe. The insurer will add up all your expenses including medical costs, car repairs/replacement, therapies, and all other quantifiable costs related to the car accident.
  • The rating of your situation. This is usually the part of this equation that’s most difficult to prove because insurance companies then need to “rate” the severity of your condition, which can be very subjective. They usually assign numbers 1-5 depending on the long-term emotional consequences of your injuries or the experience.
  • The starting cause is multiplied by the rating. For instance, if your total expenses for the car accident amounted to $100,000 and you were rated 4 because you are left unable to walk for a year, then your total claim for pain and suffering will be $400,00 following the formula of ($100,000 x 4 = $400,000).

Although this is not a set method yet, most insurance companies follow this equation because it’s the most logical way to calculate pain and suffering.

The idea is that people who have suffered more should be paid more.   To ensure that you get the most of your claim, it’s best to work with an experienced Nashville car accident lawyer who knows the in-betweens of filing claims and understands the industry.

Be sure to talk to your car accident attorney about any and all possible damages you received as a result of the accident. Speak to a West Palm Beach car accident lawyer today!

Have questions? Call our accident attorneys at (800) 560-5059 anytime,
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About The Author

Michael Steinger

Michael Steinger

The Florida BarFlorida Bar Young Lawyers DivisionMillion Dollar Advocates ForumMillion Dollar Advocates ForumBest Workers Compensation Attorneys in MiamiBest Car Accident Lawyers in MiamiLawyers of distinction

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.