I can see how medical bills, lost wages and property damage could easily be calculated, but how do you talk to an insurance company about the value of “pain and suffering” from an injury?
It depends on the circumstances. It really just depends on the actual damages, the injury you suffered.
A good way of doing it is if you have loved ones or close friends who can write an affidavit or opine or testify as to what you were like beforehand, and then what the pain did to you after the accident. They could describe how maybe you were very active prior to the accident – you know, you engaged in sports or you skied, or went running or something – and because of the accident you no longer do that, and elaborate on how that affected your overall quality of life and the physical pain you have endured.