Pain and suffering is one of the most difficult aspects of a personal injury claim.
It can be difficult to put a dollar amount on physical pain and emotional trauma, but it’s important to do so if you’re planning to pursue a personal injury claim. Pain and suffering is not limited to just physical pain, but also covers mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, inconvenience, physical disability, disfigurement, or even loss of companionship.
Courts use various techniques to determine the extent and value for pain and suffering in a personal injury case. In this blog post, we will look at some examples of pain and suffering awards from real-life cases that have gone before the courts. Consider speaking with an Austin car accident lawyer to better understand how your pain and suffering damages may be evaluated. We hope that this information will help provide you with an understanding of how courts measure pain and suffering when evaluating personal injury claims.
Definition of Pain & Suffering
If you've suffered a personal injury due to someone else's negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your pain and suffering. But what exactly is pain and suffering?
Pain and suffering is a legal term that refers to a host of injuries that a person can suffer as a result of an accident. It encompasses both physical and mental anguish, such as:
- Physical pain: This can include broken bones, lacerations, cuts, bruises, burns, or other physical injuries.
- Mental anguish: This may include shock, depression, anxiety, or other psychological trauma experienced due to the accident.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: A personal injury may also leave you unable to fully enjoy activities or hobbies that once provided pleasure before the injury.
- Loss of consortium: You may also be able to seek compensation for the impact your injury has had on your personal relationships with friends and family members.
Ultimately, determining whether you're entitled to compensation for pain and suffering can be complex. However, an experienced personal injury attorney can help evaluate the details specific to your case and assess what type of damages you might be eligible for.
Types of Pain & Suffering Damages
In a personal injury lawsuit, certain damages are available to compensate victims for the pain and suffering experienced. This type of compensation is often referred to as non-economic damages, and comes in two forms: physical pain and mental anguish.
Physical Pain: Examples of physical pain include the following types of injuries:
- Broken bones or fractures
- Neck and back strains
- Soft tissue injuries
- Burn injuries
- Surgery or hospitalization
Mental Anguish: Mental anguish is an emotional strain caused by an accident or injury. It can including experiencing fear, anxiety, frustration, depression, grief and shock. In some cases, mental anguish may also include the inability to enjoy activities once enjoyed prior to the incident. These types of damages are often more difficult for a jury to quantify than physical damages.
Examples of Physical Pain & Suffering
Physical pain and suffering refers to any type of physical harm or discomfort experienced as a result of an accident or injury caused by someone else's negligence. Examples of physical pain and suffering can include:
Chronic pain is pain that lasts for more than three months, and is a common example of physical pain and suffering. Oftentimes, chronic pain is associated with motor vehicle accidents, slips and falls, construction accidents, medical malpractice, and other types of personal injury cases.
Any discomfort caused by an accident or injury can also be considered physical pain and suffering. This includes things like headaches, soreness, muscle tightness, throbbing muscles, neck stiffness or shoulder pain.
Loss of Enjoyment
Loss of enjoyment generally relates to the inability to take part in the same activities one was able to take part in prior to the accident or injury occurring. In some cases, this can include loss of sexual functioning or mobility-related issues which can lead to an overall decrease in quality of life.
Mental & Emotional Pain & Suffering
When it comes to personal injury cases, physical pain isn't the only type of suffering that can affect you. Mental and emotional pain and suffering can also have devastating effects after an accident.
Examples of mental and emotional pain and suffering can include:
- Anxiety & Depression : Feeling helpless, overwhelmed, scared or helpless after an accident can contribute to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
- Flashbacks & Nightmares: Reliving the trauma through flashbacks or nightmares long after the accident has occurred can be quite distressing for victims.
- Difficulty Concentrating: Victims may find it difficult to concentrate on tasks due to the trauma experienced from an accident.
- Loss of Enjoyment: Struggling to engage in activities that were once enjoyable before the accident such as hobbies or leisure activities are common for many victims.
If you have suffered any of these forms of mental or emotional pain and suffering as a result of an injury, we recommend seeking legal counsel from our experienced team at [BRAND]. We will work to get you the compensation you need for your medical treatment, lost wages, and other damages associated with your injury.
Assessing Pain & Suffering for Injury Cases
When it comes to personal injury cases, the court may require an assessment of the person's pain and suffering in order to determine their damages and compensation. Pain and suffering is not easy to quantify, but there are certain pieces of evidence and criteria that can be used to help make a fair ruling.
If you experience personal injuries due to the negligence of another party, here are some things to consider:
- Medical Documentation: For any injury-related damages claim, medical documents must be provided as evidence. Medical documents can include hospital records, doctor's notes, lab test results, prescriptions and X-ray images. This helps provide an understanding of the extent of your physical or mental injuries that were caused by the incident.
- Testimony: Testimony is also essential when making a case for pain and suffering. Your witnesses may be asked to testify about your injuries or how they have affected your lifestyle, including any limitations on activities or hobbies due to the accident. You may also want to consider hiring an expert witness who can speak on behalf of your attorney in court regarding pain and suffering assessment practices in similar cases or industry standards as it pertains to your claim.
- Pain Levels: It is important for victims dealing with personal injury cases to document their levels of chronic pain — both physical and psychological — in order for them to receive just compensation for their pain and suffering incurred from the incident in question. This evidence can include statements from yourself about how the incident has changed your life or reports from family members who witness regular episodes of anxiety or depression because of it.
At the end of the day, recovering fair compensation for pain and suffering depends on substantiating
How an Attorney Can Assist With Your Injury Claim
Not all personal injury claims involve physical pain and suffering; indeed, many involve emotional pain. If you have experienced any type of trauma due to an injury, you may be entitled to compensation. A qualified personal injury attorney can help evaluate your case to determine whether pain and suffering is part of your claim.
A trained lawyer knows the ins and outs of the legal process, and can help you maximize the value of your claim. Here are some ways a personal injury attorney can assist with your claim:
- Estimate the Severity of Your Injury: A good attorney will assess the severity of your injury to get an accurate assessment of potential damages. This includes gathering medical records, consulting with healthcare professionals, and assessing the long-term effects.
- Calculate Accurate Damages: An experienced attorney will understand how to properly calculate damages associated with emotional pain and suffering, such as mental distress, humiliation, or despair.
- File a Claim: A lawyer will take care of filing a claim on your behalf so you can focus on recovering from the incident that caused your emotional or physical pain and suffering in the first place.
- Negotiate With Insurance Providers: It's not unheard for insurance companies to try to reduce or deny claims for emotional pain and suffering - an experienced lawyer will work hard to negotiate with insurance providers in order to get you what you deserve from your case.
When it comes to personal injury cases, pain and suffering can make up a significant portion of the damages awarded. While there may be no one-size-fits-all definition of what constitutes pain and suffering, physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional distress are all examples of the damages that can be claimed—ranging from medical bills and lost wages to loss of consortium and loss of companionship.
In order to receive the compensation you are entitled to for your personal injury, you should consult with a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you assess the pain and suffering endured and seek the maximum amount of damages possible. Fletcher Law can help you understand your rights and guide you through the complexities of the personal injury legal system, so you can get the compensation you deserve.