After a car accident in New York, your auto insurance will help cover some of your medical care costs, car repairs, and lost wages. However, that is only a part of the monetary costs of a car accident. How do you seek damages for changes in your lifestyle or your inability to participate in the activities you once enjoyed? When you face a permanent injury that affects how you live everyday life, you may be entitled to additional compensation than what your insurance company is willing to pay. If this happens, you can file a claim for pain and suffering. Learn more about pain and suffering damages below.

Defining pain and suffering 

Pain and suffering covers non-economic damages after an accident. You may be entitled to pain and suffering if you deal with chronic pain that prevents you from living everyday life, grief about the loss of a functioning organ, or suffer from anxiety due to the trauma of the event. Although pain and suffering damages have no measurable value (as replacing a totaled car would), they are still credible damages you may sue for following a car accident injury. 

Determining eligibility for pain and suffering damages 

To claim pain and suffering, you must have experienced a significant and permanent loss of body function, permanent scarring, or disfigurement due to the accident. If a loved one passed away in a car crash, you might be able to claim pain and suffering damages in a wrongful death suit. You could also be eligible for pain and suffering if you received a temporary injury that led to a permanent one, such as a herniated disc.  

Calculating pain and suffering

The Buffalo Injury Law Firm can help you receive what you are entitled to due to your injuries. Since there is no tangible value on the mental trauma experienced after a car accident, pain and suffering damages are calculated in several ways:

Multiplier method

The multiplier method uses the economic damages you incurred due to the accident to determine how much you are entitled to for pain and suffering. The total amount of economic damages is multiplied by a certain amount (typically between one and three) to determine your pain and suffering damages. 

Per Diem 

Per diem pain and suffering damages assign a value to each day you experience symptoms until you are healed. Then, damages are awarded accordingly. 


In some instances, an algorithm weighs the effects of injuries and treatments to determine what you are entitled to for pain and suffering. 

Recovering pain and suffering damages 

The first step to filing a pain and suffering claim is seeking adequate medical care after an auto accident. Keep excellent records of your doctor’s visits, care costs, copays, and prescriptions. You will also want to submit police reports and any records you have from law enforcement. The court may request documents such as medical records and prescription orders to determine how much the injury affected your lifestyle. Pain and suffering damages are often added to other damage claims when filing a lawsuit after an auto accident. 

New York car accident attorneys: Buffalo Injury Law Firm 

At the Buffalo Injury Law Firm, we will fight for you and help you receive the compensation you are entitled to if you are injured in an auto accident. We serve all areas of western New York, including Rochester, Niagara Falls, and West Seneca. Call us at 716-646-8412 for a free consultation. 

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