How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated?

February 23, 2022

What is Pain and Suffering?

 The term "pain and suffering" is defined as the physical, emotional, or mental losses caused by an injury. This term is a way to categorize general damages caused by another in the event of an auto accident or other injuries. In most personal injury cases, the statute of limitations to file a claim for pain and suffering is one year. Under Tennessee law, several factors may contribute to an injured person's suffering, such as:

  • Physical pain and emotional pain
  • Suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of society, companionship, and consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of regular activities, benefits, and pleasures of life and loss of mental or physical health, well-being or bodily functions
  • Shortened lifespan
  • Depression
  • Fear and trauma
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of property
  • Loss of income


When assessing pain and suffering for your injuries, your personal injury lawyer will look at current physical and mental pain, as well as damages that will continue into the future. One accident has the potential to uproot your life and the lives of your family and friends. Proper awards to the plaintiff can help ease the burden imposed upon their livelihood and overall happiness. 

Take this theoretical example of personal injury that could make a case. You are involved in a car accident that was not your fault. In the auto accident, you receive wounds that disfigure your face or other body parts. 

After the accident, you experience chronic pain that will require surgery to remedy. You can no longer participate in athletic activities you enjoyed. Your self worth has plummeted from your changed appearance, resulting in depression and altered moods. Not to mention, medical bills accruing from therapists and psychologists paired with a potential loss of income, causing economic damages. 

Since all of these damages, from physical pain to mental anguish, are a direct result of the accident, you may be entitled to compensation.


How Much Money is Pain and Suffering Worth?

 Your lawyer will likely assess the value of your pain and suffering through the "multiplier method." In this method, all of your medical bills, lost wages, property loss, and so forth are added up. That total is then multiplied by a number ranging from one to five. The multiplier is determined using a range of factors, and it changes from case to case. These factors are special damages relating to the accident and injuries experienced.  

Whatever the final amount is, that's what the settlement offer will likely be. You must remember though, this is not a hard rule and "the formula" will always change. In small claim cases, they may not even use one to calculate your injury value. It is best not to talk to insurance companies using these types of terms as it turns your case into a number. Some will use this against your lawyer, thinking they are inexperienced, and your case could suffer. 

Tennessee code 29-39-102 caps the available damages for most pain and suffering cases to $750,000. The Cochran Firm, a personal injury law firm in Memphis, Tennessee, is well versed in personal injury claim laws and how to calculated pain and suffering. 


What Are Punitive Damages?

In some injury cases, the defendant was outrageously negligent, and the award to the plaintiff also serves as a punishment to the defendant. This punishment is an attempt to deter the defendant from ever engaging in the conduct in the future. Punitive damages can also affect others to serve as an example of the potential penalty their actions could incur. A jury will look at objective and subjective evidence to determine the level of negligence. Wealth may also come into play in an attempt to deter future misconduct by the defendant. 


Collecting Evidence to Support Your Claim

 It is crucial to have credible evidence when pursuing a claim for pain and suffering. In Memphis, TN, certain factors can help you win your claim. You must prove the value of the pain you have experienced with documentation. An honest assessment of what has been taken from your life will help your case. Crucial evidence that can benefit your claim for pain and suffering damages includes:

  • Medical records and medical expenses
  • A record of lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, and other special damages
  • A doctor's prognosis of the surgeries, treatments, and therapy you will likely need in the future
  • Witness statements and police reports produced from the time of the accident
  • Expert testimony about the degree of your suffering and the challenges of recovery
  • A personal journal or record of your pain and its effect upon your daily life since the accident
  • Credibility and likeability of the plaintiff


Do you believe that you are entitled to Pain and Suffering Charges? Our attorneys handle severe personal injury law cases. The Cochran Firm in Memphis, Tennessee, can go over the facts of your case during a free consultation to determine the damages you are owed compensation. Each case is different and unique, and that deserves the attention of a qualified legal team. The burden of your pain from someone else's negligence should be their responsibility. Whether an injury is from an auto accident, medical malpractice, personal injury, or, civil law, you should be entitled to the best law firms in Memphis to help!  Talk to a Memphis Tennessee Lawyer today! Call 1-800-THE-FIRM.

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