What Does “Pain and Suffering” Cover in a Personal Injury Case?

Many people have heard of the term “pain and suffering,” but they may not know what it means. Pain and suffering is a legal term used to describe the physical and emotional injuries following an accident. Keep reading to learn more about pain and suffering, what it entails, and how jurors or insurance companies calculate compensation. It may be difficult to prove pain and suffering in claims, which is why you may want to enlist the help of a qualified personal injury attorney.

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What Is Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering is the physical and emotional distress you feel after an accident. This can be physical pain and suffering, mental pain and suffering, or both.

woman with neck pain after car accident

Physical Pain and Suffering

Personal injuries following an accident due to someone else’s negligence may not only be painful but can also last for days, weeks, or even months. It’s also important to note that future pain caused by initial injuries qualifies as pain and suffering. Some examples of physical pain and suffering are:

  • Back pain
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Internal organ damage
  • Broken bones
  • Paralysis

Some of these medical conditions may be chronic, causing the victim pain well after the accident. Also, any potential future pain caused by an accident should be included in pain and suffering claims.

Mental Pain and Suffering

Mental pain and suffering is a byproduct of the experience and physical injuries. Just like physical pain, mental pain can last for weeks or be chronic. Typical cases of mental pain and suffering are:

  • Fear
  • Psychological trauma
  • Insomnia
  • Anger
  • Cognitive changes to the brain
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Like physical pain and suffering, mental pain and suffering includes both the effects the victim felt at the time of the accident and the pain they may feel in the future.

Mental Pain and Suffering

Mental pain and suffering is a byproduct of the experience and physical injuries. Just like physical pain, mental pain can last for weeks or be chronic. Typical cases of mental pain and suffering are:

  • Fear
  • Psychological trauma
  • Insomnia
  • Anger
  • Cognitive changes to the brain
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Like physical pain and suffering, mental pain and suffering includes both the effects the victim felt at the time of the accident and the pain they may feel in the future.

How You Can Prove Pain and Suffering

To establish pain and suffering, you must provide adequate documentation to support the claim. Judges and insurance companies will ask for evidence when determining compensation. Some ways you can provide proof are:

  • Doctor’s or therapist’s notes
  • Medical evidence such as X-rays
  • Photographs

The more evidence you provide, the more likely a judge, jury, or insurance company will see how it negatively affected your life. You may be able to collect the majority of the evidence yourself, but an attorney will be able to help gather proper documentation while you focus on your recovery.

close up of an accountant or banker calculating insurance

How Pain and Suffering Compensation is Calculated

Every personal injury case is different, which means the calculations regarding pain and suffering will depend on the facts surrounding your case. In most cases, judges do not give jurors or insurance companies much guidance on how much each case should receive. There are no charts, and most judges instruct jurors to use their common sense. However, there are two methods jurors can use to calculate pain and suffering: multiplier and per diem.

Per Diem Method

In the per diem method, a specific dollar amount is assigned to each day from the accident to when the victim fully recovers. A full recovery is determined when medical professionals do not expect the victim’s condition to improve or worsen any further.

Multiplier Method

The multiplier method takes the total amount of damages (medical bills, lost wages, etc.) and multiplies that by a number that depends on the severity of the victim’s injury. A judge or jury determines the multiplier. However, it can also be mutually agreed upon by the insurance company and the victim. The multiplier is often between one and five.

Contact Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys at The Barnes Firm

When another person’s negligence causes you pain and suffering, you should be able to collect the proper compensation needed to pay medical bills and to make up for the loss of wages. You are entitled to pursue full and fair financial compensation, and a top-rated personal injury attorney at The Barnes Firm can help you navigate the complexities of your case.

We have a proven track record of settlements for hundreds of clients in New York. Reach out to The Barnes Firm today to discover all the ways we can help you after your accident. Complete our contact form today to schedule a free consultation.

The Barnes Firm (800) 800-0000