There is no one exact way that an insurance company will calculate your pain and suffering. Your personal injury attorney was probably trained in one of two ways to calculate your pain and suffering. The first way is to multiply your actual damages (medical costs and lost wages) by a certain multiplier ranging from 1 to 5. If you have relatively minor injuries, you might use a 1-2 multiplier. For serious, life changing injuries, a 4 or 5 may be used. For instance, if you have $3000 in medical bills from your broken arm, the multiplier could be 3, so you would possibly be entitled to $9000 for your pain and suffering.
Other attorneys may use a per diem approach to calculate pain and suffering. In this method, a certain amount, perhaps $100, is assigned to each day from the day of your accident until you have gotten to maximum recovery.
Insurance companies are not obligated to use either of these methods to calculate your pain and suffering. Many insurance companies use computer programs to determine what their settlement offer will be and what should be allowed for pain and suffering. These programs will generally take into account not only the type of injury but also the type of medical treatment you had.
For instance, insurance companies will usually consider medical treatment by doctors to indicate a more serious type of injury than treatment by a chiropractor. Insurance companies also will take into account how long you had treatment. If the treatment appears to be excessive for the injury you had, the insurance company will not allow all of that treatment cost for its calculation of your pain and suffering.
The amount that you get for pain and suffering will probably rise if you have more evidence of your injuries and suffering. The extent of injury and pain and suffering can be proven with photographs and personal journals. Documentation from your friends and family also can provide evidence of how the injuries have affected your life. Proof of necessary treatments from medical professionals also will help your cause.