What Qualifies as Pain & Suffering?

Man on couch suffering from back pain due to an accident.

When you've been injured due to someone else's negligence, understanding what qualifies as "pain and suffering" can be crucial for your personal injury claim. While you may be familiar with other damages such as medical bills or lost wages, pain and suffering cover the intangible aspects of your injuries.

What Is Pain & Suffering?

According to Cornell Law School, pain and suffering refer to the physical and emotional distress caused by an injury. It encompasses a range of experiences, from chronic pain to mental anguish, affecting the quality of life.

What Is Considered Pain & Suffering?

Close up of the definition for pain in a dictionary.

Various factors contribute to what might be considered pain and suffering in a personal injury case.

Here are some of the key types:

  • Physical Pain - Physical pain refers to the actual bodily pain experienced due to an injury. This can include everything from initial pain at the time of the injury to ongoing chronic pain that affects daily activities.

  • Mental Anguish - Mental anguish covers the emotional and psychological impact of an injury. This can include anxiety, depression, post-traumatic trauma (PTSD), and other forms of emotional distress that interfere with daily life.

  • Loss of Enjoyment - Loss of enjoyment of life pertains to the inability to engage in activities that you previously enjoyed. Whether it’s a hobby, a sport, or time with family, losing the ability to participate in these activities can be devastating.

  • Disfigurement - Disfigurement refers to any changes in appearance resulting from an injury, such as scarring or permanent marks. This can have a significant emotional and social impact, contributing to the overall pain and suffering.

  • Disabilities - Permanent or temporary disabilities resulting from an injury can severely restrict your physical abilities and independence. Disabilities can affect your career, personal life, and general well-being, contributing substantially to your pain and suffering.

How Is Pain & Suffering Calculated?

The extent of pain and suffering is subjective and varies with each individual case. Unlike medical bills, which can be easily tallied, human damages can be more challenging and harder to convey to a jury and to quantify fairly. However, there are a few methods used to calculate pain and suffering.

These methods can include:

Per Diem Method

The per diem method assigns a daily rate to the pain and suffering experienced by the victim. This rate is then multiplied by the number of days the victim has suffered and will likely continue to suffer due to the injury.

For instance, if the duration from your accident to the date your doctor released you from treatment amounted to 90 days, and the value of your pain and suffering was assessed at $150 per day, multiplying these figures would be your total compensation.

Multiplier Method

This method begins by tallying all your economic losses, including medical expenses, property damage, lost income due to your injury, etc. The total is then multiplied by a factor ranging from 1.5 to 5, based on the severity of the injury.

For instance, if your economic damages amount to $20,000 and your injuries are moderately severe, the multiplier might be 3, resulting in a compensation of $60,000.

Injured? Contact Our Personal Injury Attorneys

Understanding what qualifies pain and suffering is a crucial aspect of your personal injury claim. By recognizing its various forms and how it’s calculated, you can better navigate the complexities of your case. Furthermore, it's important to highlight that you don't have to face this challenging time alone; you can reach out to our dedicated team at MAS Law for legal guidance.

Our personal injury lawyers understand the intricacies involved in such claims and are committed to helping you thoroughly investigate your case, identify the damages you're entitled to, and pursue the maximum compensation you deserve.

Contact us today to schedule a free personal injury consultation. Dial (972) 460-9339 or fill out our online form.

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