What is the average payout for pain and suffering after a rear end accident?
It isn’t really possible to come up with an “average” dollar figure for a pain and suffering payout as part of a settlement after a rear-end car accident. Every case is different. But there are a few things to consider in order to arrive at a ballpark figure.
What are “pain and suffering” damages? Most car accident settlements have two different categories of damages: special damages and general damages. Your “special damages” are your monetary losses associated with the accident -- including your medical bills, your lost income, and other easily quantifiable damages. General damages include things like pain and suffering, which can be defined as all of the physical discomfort, emotional anxiety, and other negative effects of the accident and your injuries.
Pain and suffering damages are included in almost any kind of car accident settlement where the claimant was injured, but the final figure is usually determined by the seriousness of the injuries and the nature and extent of necessary medical treatment (plus the time it takes to achieve a full recovery). It also doesn’t hurt if fault is clear, which is usually the case in a rear-end car accident (where the tailing driver is almost always liable for the accident).
So, how is pain and suffering calculated after a car accident? The most popular method is to take the “special damages” total (as discussed above, that’s your medical bills and other quantifiable losses) and multiply that figure by a number between one-and-a-half and four. This “multiplier” will depend on the severity of your injuries, the length of your recovery, and other factors.
Obviously, the higher the multiplier, the higher the pain and suffering award. For example, if you have only minor injuries, and no other special circumstances, you might use a multiplier of one-and-a-half and arrive at a pain and suffering award. (adding up your total special damages and multiplying that number by one-and-a-half). But if your car accident resulted in serious injuries, scarring, and months and months of physical therapy, you might use a multiplier closer to four. (Learn more about Car Accident Settlement Formulas.)