What Is Pain and Suffering?
In personal injury cases, claimants are entitled to compensation for two different kinds of losses, also known as damages. These are economic and non-economic damages; the former refers to aspects such as lost income and medical bills. At the same time, the latter—which will be the article’s focus—deals with less quantifiable and more personal effects following an accident.
The main component of non-economic damages typically involves compensation for what is known as pain and suffering. In this article, the expert team at The Morgan Legal Group will highlight everything you need to know about what is pain and suffering from a legal standpoint.
This includes the many types of pain and suffering damages that can be sought. Remember, if you have been injured in an accident that was not entirely your fault, we are here to help. Let’s get started.
What Is Pain and Suffering?
Pain and suffering can be defined as compensation for physical pain, loss of enjoyment of life, and mental anguish caused by the wrongful actions of a defendant. As we will highlight below, pain and suffering is a broad term and includes everything from grief and depression to humiliation and damage to reputation.
Pain and suffering are somewhat abstract, though the plaintiff can seek compensation in cash. The amount of money owned for pain and suffering is calculated separately from the amount held in cases of economic damages.
Calculation of pain and suffering is typically done in two different ways. The multiplier method takes the specific amount of actual damages. It then multiplies this by a number, depending on the severity of the injury, to determine the pain and suffering calculation.
The per diem method assigns a specific dollar amount, starting from the day of the accident until the day the person reaches maximum medical recovery.
Types of Pain and Suffering Damages
Let’s look at some types of pain and suffering damages that can be sought following an accident. If you are unsure of any of these and whether or not they relate to your case, speak to our team today.
Damage to the body that creates mild to severe discomfort is a typical example of pain and suffering damages. Damages can be sought for injuries sustained during an accident that causes pain and/or distress, such as head, neck, leg, and back injuries.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
This refers to damages from an accident that alter a person’s life or ability to participate in activities they would have previously enjoyed. It is possible to recover compensation for loss of enjoyment of life if you can no longer engage in these activities due to the accident.
Mental anguish can include feelings of:
- Mental trauma
These feelings occur as a result of an accident. Damages can be awarded for mental anguish if an accident leaves lasting emotional trauma.
Disfigurement, within the scope of pain and suffering, refers to permanent damages or changes to a person’s body or physical appearance. Permanent scarring is an example of the injuries that can be filed under this type of claim.
A person can pursue damages for physical impairment if they have sustained an injury that limits their ability to coordinate actions, move, or perform daily living activities.
Loss of Quality of Life
Within pain and suffering, this is defined as a reduction in a person’s ability to engage in life or enjoy it as they did before the accident in question. Examples here include severe head trauma, paralysis, or loss of limb.
Non-economic damages can also be sought for anger. This type of loss can be claimed if an accident causes severe mental pain and suffering that results in anger, specifically persistent anger, which was not present before the accident.
Shock is a psychological injury resulting from an accident, and it may be triggered either by the damages that a person sustains in an accident or by witnessing an accident.
A person may also be able to receive compensation for fright if an accident causes extreme and sudden fear/terror that has a severe impact on their life.
It is also possible to cite nervousness in a claim if an accident causes acute or unnatural nervousness or uneasiness. An example of this would be a change in demeanor or personality that was not present before the accident.
Feelings of extreme embarrassment, shame, and wounded pride following an accident fall under this type of damage. A person may be able to pursue damages under mortification if they feel embarrassed or ashamed following an accident or life-changing event.
Indignity refers to insults or damage to a person’s self-respect or dignity following an accident or incident. It can be abusive language, ill-treatment, disgrace, intentional disrespect, or vulgarity.
A person can pursue non-economic damages if they have suffered an intense fear of death, injury, or disability due to an accident, to such an extent that it impacts their life.
Pain and suffering may also be cited as apprehension when an accident causes little uncertainty or fear that something terrible could occur. This is especially true if the concern limits a person’s ability to lead an everyday life.
A person can claim an ordeal as a form of non-economic damage following an accident or incident that causes a horrific, painful, or traumatizing situation, which typically lasts for a long time.
A person can also cite inconvenience as a type of pain and suffering should an accident or incident hamper their daily activities, business, or ability to engage with loved ones or introduce injustice or hardship.
Grief refers to a deep sorrow or sadness that results from a loss. A person might be able to recover damages by citing distress if an accident resulted in the death, disappearance, or loss of someone or something they hold dear.
A person who feels they have been belittled, made to look foolish, or disgraced after an accident or incident can claim non-economic damages under humiliation.
Anxiety is defined as a generalized feeling of unease, nervousness, or worry. It typically concerns uncertain outcomes and events. It can be classified as pain and suffering if a person displays these symptoms following an accident or incident.
A person can recover compensation for depression in a personal injury claim if an accident seriously affects how they act, feel, or think. Sudden and severe personality shifts are an example of depression in this instance.
This can be a combination of other types of pain and suffering. Emotional distress may be claimed if a person experiences fury, sadness, or anguish following an accident.
Loss of Companionship
This is also known as loss of consortium. This type of pain and suffering can be cited if an accident results in a person being deprived of the benefits of parenting or married life, such as the ability to show care or affection.
A person may be able to cite sexual dysfunction as a type of non-economic damage if an accident causes them to have difficulty returning to an average level of sexual activity. Regular sexual activity may refer to arousal, desire, or physical pleasure.
Damage to Reputation
This is defined as someone making statements about a person’s reputation that are untrue and that put them in an unfavorable light, whether to their friends and family or within their community.
We’re Here When You Need Us Most
If you have suffered injuries in an accident, you may also have experienced pain and suffering and financial loss. The Morgan Legal Group is your No. 1 choice in Houston, Texas, and we work to provide evidence of pain and suffering so that you can receive the justice and compensation you deserve.
We are here when you and your family need help the most. You can expect to receive an accessible attorney that will guide you through your case with fierce advocacy and care. Contact our experienced and friendly team today for a free 30-minute consultation where we will discuss your case with you.
We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients and charge no fee unless you win. Schedule your free consultation here. We look forward to speaking with you.