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What Is Pain and Suffering? How Does It Affect My Case?


Injuries cause more than physical pain; they cause emotional or mental pain, too. When you’ve been injured, you can claim compensation not only for your physical injuries and medical expenses, but for your mental and emotional injuries-your pain and suffering- too. But pain and suffering is difficult to quantify. There is no chart or table that sets the going rate for someone’s physical pain, let alone the duration of the pain he or she experiences. The pain from your injuries can be permanent. Chronic pain can last for weeks, months, or even years. Some examples of physical medical conditions that qualify for pain and suffering including:

  • Back pain
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Neck pain
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Internal organ damage
  • Nerve damage or nerve pain
  • Head pain
  • Dislocations
  • Joint pain
  • Paralysis

Some of these conditions may heal over time, but some may cause permanent, physical pain that does not go away.

Likewise, emotional pain and suffering can also develop from one’s injuries. It may result in severe mental anxiety and/or psychological distress, which can be long lasting and sometimes permanent. Some examples of emotional pain and suffering include:

  • Post traumatic stress disorder
  • Fear
  • Insomnia
  • Psychological trauma
  • Grief
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Cognitive changes after a traumatic brain injury
  • Frustration

In cases where the victim loses his or her life or becomes permanently disabled or disfigured, a spouse or immediate family may bring a claim for Loss of Consortium. Loss of consortium is the loss of the care, companionship, intimacy, love and support of that individual. Due to the grief and emotional anguish following a preventable incident caused by the fault of another, the family may be entitled to seek compensation for their pain and suffering.

Every personal injury case is different. There is no chart or formula to calculate pain and suffering. And everyone experiences pain differently, everyone deals and recovers (or maybe not) with emotion and physical pain differently. What is consistent, though, is that there has never been a victim to say that for all the money in the world he or she would endure the disruption, loss to life and time again. But yet money is the only thing we have to compensate people. To try to make them whole. It’s why we have the justice system. Written evidence (such as doctor notes, therapist or counselor notes, journals, photographs, or other medical documentation) can help an insurance company, judge or jury in their determination of the value of your pain and suffering. Likewise, having testimony from friends and/or colleagues (such as co workers, your favorite coffee barista, people who are not part of your immediate family but know you before and after your personal injury) can help paint the picture of you before and after the incident. They can tell a story through their eyes of how the physical and emotional pain has affected you and your life.

When you suffer injuries, the disruption to you goes beyond medical expenses and lost wages; it includes your pain and suffering. Our team of experienced personal injury attorneys can educate you on these measures of damages and how they affect your claim. Let us help you obtain justice the next time you are injured. Contact us now for a free consultation.

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