The legal phrase “pain and suffering” refers to injuries a victim suffers that impacts their quality of life. Pain and suffering damages are not easy to calculate or measure, as they are more subjective and complex than straight-forward damages like medical bills or the number of days you’ve had to take off work. This is because there is no specific amount of money that can make up for pain and suffering damages that directly affect your quality of life after an accident. However, settlements that involve pain and suffering often pay out significantly, especially serious physical injuries occurred.
What Types of Pain and Suffering Damages Can You Claim?
Pain and suffering settlements can vary widely depending on the nature of an accident, degree of injuries the victim suffered, and other factors related to the victim’s life. There are generally two categories of pain and suffering cases:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental/emotional pain and suffering
Physical pain and suffering is the easiest damage to point to and demonstrate: it’s the pain you experience from your actual physical injuries. But physical pain and suffering take into account not only the pain and discomfort you’re living with now but also any pain and detriments you’re likely to suffer in the future because of the at-fault party’s negligence.
Mental pain and suffering comes as a result of your physical injuries, but the damages involved go beyond physical pain. Mental and emotional pain and suffering includes damages like:
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Anxiety, depression, fear, anger, or mood swings
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Loss of appetite or lack of energy
- Sleep disturbances
Any type of negative emotion you’re dealing with as a result of the physical pain as the victim of an accident can be considered emotional pain and suffering. This also includes any mental pain and suffering you’re likely to suffer in the future because of your injuries.
Common Pain and Suffering Settlement Examples
Examples of pain and suffering settlements could involve:
- Someone is the victim in a car accident and suffers whiplash and a concussion. Because of these injuries, the victim can no longer exercise as they did before, which prevents them from training and participating in a triathlon they had been preparing for all year. The victim suffers from unhappiness, depression, and frustration at missing the triathlon
- A truck accident leaves a victim with a visible scar on their face that they’ll have for the rest of their life. This leads to emotional distress and constant feelings of embarrassment
- A man is involved in a serious pedestrian accident and left with several broken bones. Because of his injuries, the victim becomes depressed and experiences loss of appetite and sleeping problems
In other cases, the victim could be prevented from returning to their job even after they’ve recovered from their physical injuries, forcing them to adjust to a new occupation that better suits their situation—or not being able to work at all. They may also miss out on important activities or events in life or lose the quality of life or personal relationships.
Each of these situations are pain and suffering settlement examples that could result in financial recovery for the victim.
A personal injury lawyer will often measure your pain and suffering damages by multiplying them with other accident costs using a number that most accurately represents how bad your injuries are. Since these calculations can be so subjective, it’s important to work with a lawyer who understands pain and suffering cases and can seek the most accurate and substantial recovery for your suffering.
How Do I Know If I Have a Pain and Suffering Claim?
If you were injured in a personal injury accident, you can potentially make a pain and suffering claim. But pain and suffering damages are easier to claim if you have injuries that are more serious. Courts and insurance companies are more likely to recognize serious injuries as impacting your quality of life and causing you great degrees of pain.
Contacting a personal injury lawyer who understands pain and suffering damages can help you determine whether you have a potential pain and suffering claim.
Talk to an Atlanta Pain and Suffering Claim Lawyer for Free
If you were injured in an accident, you may have be able to pursue a pain and suffering settlement. Our attorneys know what courts and insurance companies are looking for when they approve pain and suffering damages. For a FREE consultation with one of our attorneys to look at your own case, contact us today. Call (404) 341-6555, or complete the form to your right for your free consultation.