What is Pain and Suffering?
May 5, 2015
In legal conversations regarding personal injury claims, the phrase “pain and suffering” is commonly thrown around as something for which the victim can and should be compensated. However, the phrase itself can be rather vague, and many clients struggle to understand what exactly can be considered “pain and suffering” and how to calculate it into the total value of their claims. Our legal team at Henningsen Injury Attorneys, P.C. want to help. A lot of the damage in a personal injury claim can be easily assigned a monetary value. Your physical injury is valued by how much medical treatment you needed for immediate attention, recovery, and therapy, as well as how much money you lost from missing days of work to recover. However, a significant portion of your damages are intangible and, therefore, impossible to measure in dollars. This is where the term “pain and suffering” applies.
Pain and Suffering Damages
Damages that fall into “pain and suffering” come in two separate categories. There are the physical pain and suffering damages, which include aches and pains caused by an injury. For example, if you broke your ankle in an accident and seek medical treatment, you may continue to experience pain and limitation for the rest of your life. The second category is emotional pain and suffering.
Emotional damages can include:
- Depression or other emotional distress
- Significant alterations to your lifestyle
- Inability to participate in activities you previously enjoyed
- Having to change your career path to better suit your physical abilities
- Missing out on significant life events
- Self-consciousness or embarrassment of visible scars
How are they applied to your claim?
Since pain and suffering are not damages that you can measure numerically, a common question is how they factor into the total value of a personal injury claim. Insurance providers will typically use what is known as the “multiplier.” This means that according to how serious and long-term your injury is determined to be, your monetary damages will be multiplied by a number between one and five. However, in terms of how much you can win in a settlement or court decision, the amount of pain and suffering you can receive is fairly subjective. Proving the scope of your pain and suffering can be difficult. Our personal injury lawyers can help you gather evidence to help build your case. We advise victims of personal injuries to document in a personal diary the physical and emotional pain that they experience after an injury. Furthermore, friends and family who have witnessed the negative impact on your life can provide testimony and documentation as evidence.
The following factors can also impact your ability to be compensated for pain and suffering:
- Your credibility
- Your likeability
- Consistent testimony
- Lack of exaggeration
- Support from physicians
Let’s Discuss Your Case
Ultimately, every claim is different, and the value of your pain and suffering will be unique to the details and facts relating to the accident and the recovery process. The best way to accurately evaluate your claim is by scheduling a consultation with one of our Atlanta personal injury attorneys. We can go over the circumstances surrounding your case and discuss your legal options at no cost to you.
Ready to begin? Henningsen Injury Attorneys P.C. is ready to take your call.