The Basics of the Legal Concept of “Pain and Suffering”

If you have experienced a serious injury caused by the negligence of another party, you are likely considering a personal injury lawsuit. These lawsuits are the proper way to recover financially from the injuries you experienced. If you win your suit, you will typically be awarded damages to cover all the losses you incurred while injured, such as lost wages, medical bills, damaged property, and more.

These types of losses are easy to calculate, but as anyone who has experienced a serious injury knows, they are often only a fraction the of damages you incurred. To cover those types of damages that you can’t put a fixed dollar amount on, the law allows recovery of non-economic damages known as ‘pain and suffering.’ This is the term used to describe any effects that may not be easily visible or determined by doctors, but are nonetheless very real losses.

Considerations in Determining Pain and Suffering

When a judge or jury is working to determine what, if any, damages you will be awarded due to pain and suffering, they can consider a variety of factors. Each case is unique, and your attorney will work to argue which of the following things he wants the judge and jury to really think about:

  • Pain – If you will experience long-term pain due to the injury, it may not be entirely treatable by doctors. Experiencing this pain can seriously detract from your quality of life, which is what the courts will try to compensate you for.
  • Insomnia – Many people have a very difficult time sleeping after a serious accident. This could be because of the physical pain, or the mental anguish of going through such a traumatic event.
  • Spouse – If you are severely injured, you may not be able to interact with your spouse the way you used to. This is also known as ‘loss of companionship’ or ‘loss of consortium.’
  • Fear – Fear is a very common emotion after an accident. If it was a car accident, for example, you may not be able to drive due to the fear, or it may be very difficult. Many people experience post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, after a serious injury.

There are many other considerations that the courts can use when determining whether or not you will qualify to receive damages related to pain and suffering. Your attorney will fight aggressively to show why you deserve this type of damages.

Calculating Damages for Pain and Suffering

One of the most difficult parts of getting damages for pain and suffering is determining how much should be awarded. Unlike covering the costs for medical bills, which will have a very specific number, pain and suffering is much more abstract.

Courts and insurance companies often use a variety of different types of calculations to determine the right amount. Juries do have a significant amount of leeway in calculating damages related to pain and suffering, and an experienced attorney can fight for the maximum amounts possible.

Contact Us Today

If you or a loved one has been injured, contact us right away. We offer a free consultation, and only collect a fee if we win the case for you. We’ll go over the specifics of your case, and begin the process of crafting effective arguments to get the largest settlement or verdict possible.

The following two tabs change content below.

Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC

Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC is a litigation law firm that represents individuals and families in serious personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout Missouri. We help people who have been injured in all types of accidents—including car or truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and much more. Whether your injury is something that can cause long-term issues like a brain injury or spinal cord injury, or it is something you’ll likely make a full recovery from, we are here to help.

Latest posts by Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC (see all)