How to calculate pain ans suffering damages?

My husband was injured in an auto accident and we’re trying to calculate pain and suffering for our demand letter to the insurance company(for military families). I know we need to add up the medical costs and multiply by 1.5 to 5 for the range of damages but our healthcare provider has a deal with the government where they only have to pay a fraction of the medical bills and the rest is forgiven. In our case our insurer was billed almost $11,000 but actually only paid out about $4,000. Should we be multiplying based on what his bills totaled or based on what the insurer paid?

Asked on October 20, 2011 under Personal Injury, Arizona


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your calculation of pain and suffering should be based on the total medical bills; not what the insurer paid.

The amount you are seeking in the demand letter is just a starting point in negotiations and you should NOT expect to get that amount.  The insurance company will respond with a lower offer and you can continue negotiations.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver for negligence.  If the case is settled with the insurance company, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled with the insurance company, the lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault driver must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your husband will lose his rights forever in the matter.

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