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What is pain and suffering in a personal injury case?

February 28, 2017

Pain and suffering is a way to recover money to compensate for the impact an accident or injury had on a victim. Some payments (referred to as damages) are designed to punish offenders who were negligent. This money is often intended to get the life of a plaintiff back on track.

These damages are split up between special damages (monetary figures that can be objectively calculated) and general damages (subjective figures determined by a judge or jury based on evidence, testimonies, and interpretations).

Personal injury attorneys are the most qualified to evaluate injury cases objectively and honestly to determine if general or special damages should be pursued.

What is Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering (general damages) is any physical or mental pain suffered after an accident or injury.

General damages include:

  • Physical pain and discomfort
  • Complications that affect a victim’s quality of life
  • Disability
  • A shortened life expectancy
  • Physical limitations now and in the future.
  • Mental disturbances such as depression, anxiety, and changes in sleeping or eating patterns

However, there are some factors that judges and juries will commonly consider when evaluating pain and suffering:

  • The types of injuries that were suffered
  • How long the pain lasted
  • The severity of the pain
  • The effects of the pain or injury on someone’s enjoyment of life
  • The effect of the incident on the plaintiff’s ability to partake in favorite activities
  • Anticipated future problems
  • The age of the victim at the time of the injury
  • The evidence that your attorney is able to supply

What Pain and Suffering Isn’t

Anything that falls under special damages isn’t considered pain and suffering. Special damages are monetary figures that can be added up to an objective, definite dollar amount.

Special damages may include:

  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Medical expenses
  • Bills that are not connected to pain and suffering

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