“Pain and suffering” as a legal term refers to the types of damages meant to compensate you for physical and mental pain and suffering you experience as the result of an accident. Pain and suffering damages also account for suffering you’re likely to experience into the future, such as ongoing pain from an injury.
No official definition of pain and suffering is defined under Georgia statutes, but it’s legally understood as pain and discomfort experienced after a personal injury accident, including a car accident.
There are two main types of pain and suffering injuries: physical and mental.
If you were hurt in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be able to sue the at-fault party for either of these pain and suffering damages. In fact, pain and suffering costs are very common in car accidents. Let’s look at what constitutes pain and suffering from a car accident and how those damages are calculate and pursued.
Common Damages that Count as Pain and Suffering from a Car Accident
A variety of injuries can result from car accidents. To qualify for a pain and suffering claim, there must first be a physical injury present, especially if you are wanting to sue for mental pain and suffering. Mental injuries are considered a secondary result of the accident and physical pain suffered as a result of it. They are just as valid but harder to directly quantify.
Mental pain and suffering damages greatly impact your quality of life after the accident and into the future. They generally refer to any negative emotion(s) resulting from the car accident itself or physical discomfort from the accident. All of these are things you have “lost” due to the accident. Examples include of mental pain and suffering can include:
- Anxiety, depression, or PTSD
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of relationships or companionship as you experienced before the accident
- Fear, humiliation, or feelings of insecurity
- Mental or social disorders
- Mood swings, anger, and sudden outbursts
How Is Pain and Suffering from a Car Accident Calculated?
Any car accident may have pain and suffering damages, but generally, the more severe or permanent a car accident injury is, the more pain and suffering insurance companies will acknowledge. Since the only way the law has to compensate you for your suffering and costs after a car accident is through money, pain and suffering must be demonstrated monetarily—even though money can never make up for physical and emotional anguish from a car accident.
Pain and suffering is difficult to calculate since you can’t exactly add up someone’s mental suffering. However, there must be someway to determine what you’re owed, so the law uses a certain method for figuring out your pain and suffering “price.”
Pain and suffering is often calculated by multiplying straightforward damages, such as medical bills, by a certain number (usually between one and five). The multiplier will typically be higher as the severity of the injury increases. The judge or jury in your case will look at the facts and come up with a number based on what they think is most appropriate to compensate you for what you lost. They will look at factors like:
- Whether you’ll be living with any permanent problems like disabilities or disfigurements
- How much treatment you had to receive
- How long the physical pain lasted or will continue to last
- How you explain your pain and suffering
- Evidence from others who have seen your behavior before versus after the accident
Working with a personal injury lawyer can ensure the right information is presented to the jury so they can see the clear value of your pain and suffering.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer for Free
If you were injured in a car accident and are dealing with consequences that impact your quality of living or ability to enjoy life as you did before, you may have pain and suffering damages. Our lawyers can examine your case and help you decide on the best options for pursuing a pain and suffering claim. We know what the insurance companies and courts typically look for when judging pain and suffering losses, including how to best present the information for financial recovery. For a FREE consultation to talk with one of our attorneys about your options, call us today at (404) 341-6555, or complete the form to your right to get started today.