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Motor Vehicle Accident

How to Determine the Cost of “Pain and Suffering” in Your Personal Injury Case

This blog aims to break down what "pain and suffering" means and how it can impact your case. We understand that dealing with an injury can be overwhelming, so we’ll help you navigate through the legal process.

5/31/2024

In personal injury cases, “pain and suffering” can be a significant aspect of the compensation you’re entitled to. But what is it and, exactly? Find out what it means, how the legal system measures it, and how knowing can help you navigate the process of getting the justice (and compensation) you deserve.

Dealing with a personal injury can be overwhelming, and the legal process is full of hard-to-understand terms that can make you wonder if it’s worth all the effort.

While medical bills and lost wages are easily quantifiable, “pain and suffering” can also account for a significant portion of your compensation. And you should know exactly what you’re dealing with, if you want to maximize your compensation.

If you've experienced an accident, whether it's a car crash, a slip and fall on someone else's property, or a dog bite, it's important to consider not only the physical injuries such as cuts, bruises, or broken bones, but also the emotional impact. The constant ache in your back, the fear of getting behind the wheel again, the anxiety that keeps you up at night, are all important factors to take into account.‍

That’s all “pain and suffering”. But what does it entitle you to? This blog post aims to break down what "pain and suffering" means and how it can impact your case. 

Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult with a qualified personal injury lawyer to discuss the specifics of your case, especially if you are seeking compensation for pain and suffering due to personal injury.

What You'll Learn

  • What is Pain and Suffering in a Personal Injury Case?
  • How is Pain and Suffering Valued?
  • Evidence of Your Pain and Suffering
  • Examples of Pain and Suffering Damages
  • How to Move Forward If You’re Experiencing Pain and Suffering

What is Pain and Suffering in a Personal Injury Case?

"Pain and suffering" refers to the physical and emotional distress you experience after an accident caused by someone else's negligence. It goes beyond the initial injury and includes your ongoing discomfort, emotional turmoil, and impact on your daily life. Here's a closer look at these:

Physical Pain and Suffering Explained

This includes the physical discomfort, pain, and limitations caused by your injury. These can be short-term or long-term, depending on the severity of the injury. Some examples of physical pain and suffering include:

  • Chronic pain: This can manifest in various ways, such as back pain, headaches, or joint pain, significantly impacting your daily activities.
  • Limited mobility: Injuries can restrict your ability to move freely, making it difficult to perform basic tasks like walking, climbing stairs, or dressing yourself.
  • Scarring: Depending on the nature of the accident, you might be left with permanent scars that can be a constant reminder of the trauma and a source of emotional distress.
  • Disability: Severe injuries can lead to long-term or permanent disabilities, impacting your ability to work, participate in hobbies, and live independently.

Emotional Pain and Suffering

This encompasses the emotional and psychological distress caused by the accident. These can be just as debilitating as physical pain and can have a lasting impact on your well-being. Here are some examples of emotional pain and suffering:

  • Anxiety: The experience of an accident can leave you feeling anxious and worried, especially if it involved a traumatic event.
  • Depression: The physical limitations and emotional toll of an injury can lead to feelings of depression and hopelessness.
  • Fear: You might develop a fear of returning to the scene of the accident or engaging in activities that remind you of the trauma.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): In severe cases, an accident can trigger PTSD, a complex condition characterized by flashbacks, nightmares, and hypervigilance.
  • Emotional distress impacting relationships and daily life: The emotional toll of an injury can strain your relationships with loved ones and make it difficult to manage your daily life.

How is Pain and Suffering Valued?

Unlike medical bills or lost wages, there's no set price tag for pain and suffering. It's a subjective evaluation based on the severity of your injuries and the specific ways they affect your life. Experienced lawyers can understand how to effectively present evidence that demonstrates the full extent of your pain and suffering.

Factors Influencing Pain and Suffering Compensation

Now, let's delve into the factors that can influence the amount of compensation you might receive for pain and suffering in your personal injury case.

Several factors can influence the amount awarded for pain and suffering:

Severity of Your Injuries

This is a major factor. More serious injuries with long-term consequences typically lead to higher awards. For instance, a fractured bone that heals completely will likely result in a lower award compared to a spinal cord injury with permanent paralysis. The extent of medical treatment required, the potential for future surgeries, and the impact on your overall health are all considered.

Duration and Intensity of Your Pain

Chronic pain, recurring pain episodes, or constant discomfort significantly impact your daily life and can lead to higher pain and suffering awards. Lawfty's legal team will work to document the ongoing nature of your pain through medical records, doctor's reports, and even pain journals you might keep.

Limitations on Your Daily Life

How much the injury restricts your ability to work, participate in activities, or maintain relationships plays a significant role. Were you an athlete who can no longer play sports because of your injuries? Did you have to give up your physically demanding job due to limitations? These limitations will be documented and presented to support your claim for pain and suffering.

The Emotional Impact

Mental and emotional distress, including depression, anxiety, and PTSD, can be significant factors. Lawfty can help you connect with mental health professionals to document the emotional impact of the accident. This documented evidence strengthens your case for pain and suffering compensation.

Evidence of Your Pain and Suffering

Having strong evidence to support your personal injury  claim is important. This may include:

  • Medical records: These document the extent of your injuries, treatment received, and ongoing medical needs.
  • Doctor's reports: These provide expert opinions on the severity of your injuries, prognosis, and potential long-term effects.
  • Psychological evaluations: If you're experiencing emotional distress, evaluations by a mental health professional can document the impact on your well-being.
  • Pain journals: Keeping a record of your pain intensity, location, and how it affects your daily life can be valuable evidence.

Examples of Pain and Suffering Damages

Here are some more specific examples of how pain and suffering might be reflected in your compensation:

  • The constant pain you experience due to whiplash after a car accident, limiting your ability to work and participate in hobbies.
  • The emotional distress caused by facial scarring from a dog bite, impacting your self-esteem and social interactions.
  • The depression and anxiety you experience after a traumatic slip and fall injury, requiring ongoing therapy and medication.
  • The loss of enjoyment in activities you used to love due to your limitations, such as gardening or playing with your children.

These are just examples. The specific amount awarded for pain and suffering varies depending on your case's unique circumstances. Lawfty's team of experienced personal injury lawyers will work tirelessly to gather all the necessary evidence and build a compelling case to maximize your pain and suffering compensation.

Think You Might Have a Case to be Compensated for Pain and Suffering? Lawfty Can Help.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident through no fault of your own, you deserve fair compensation for your pain and suffering. Dealing with insurance companies and the complexities of personal injury claims can be stressful. You shouldn't have to go through this alone.

We understand. Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers are dedicated to helping you understand your rights, assess your case, and fight for the compensation you deserve, including pain and suffering damages. We'll work tirelessly to build a strong case that reflects the full extent of your injuries and the impact they've had on your life.

Contact Lawfty today for a free consultation. (And we mean it: we only get paid if and when you win your settlement.) 

We're here to help you heal and get back on your feet, both physically and financially. If you deserve compensation, you shouldn’t settle for any less than what you deserve.

Free Case Consultation

To schedule your free and confidential case review call us at (844) 997-5100 or fill out the contact form below.

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