After an accident, you will most likely file a claim for compensation for your
injuries. Often, this compensation covers your medical expenses, but you can also
claim damages for “pain and suffering.” Just what constitutes
pain and suffering, though? Learn what you need to know about these damages.
What is Pain & Suffering?
Non-specific damages, such as those paid for pain and suffering, are intended
to compensate accident victims for damages that are difficult to quantify.
It is easy to total up your medical bills and request that amount of compensation,
but it is likely that you have lost much more than the amount you’ve
spent on your healthcare after the accident. Pain and suffering refer
to the emotional and physical pain you’ve endured as you recovered
from your accident. Pain and trauma can have a detrimental effect on many
areas of our life, and may even cost you the ability to participate in
activities the way you did before, or may decrease the enjoyment you find
in your life.
Mental pain and suffering typically are applied to emotional trauma and
its effects after an accident, such as:
- Mental illnesses, including anxiety, depression, and PTSD
- Mood changes
- Panic attacks
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty sleeping
- Lack of energy
- Sexual dysfunction
- Loss of enjoyment of life
How Are Pain & Suffering Damages Calculated?
Because pain and suffering are highly subjective, it can be difficult to
calculate the value of these damages. There are not many guidelines to
provide juries with advice when awarding nonspecific damages, which can
result in unpredictable outcomes. Commonly, the factors that are considered include:
- The credibility of the plaintiff.
- The likability of the plaintiff.
- The consistency of the plaintiff’s testimony.
- Whether the plaintiff is exaggerating their injuries or suffering.
- Supporting testimony from the plaintiff’s doctor.
- Whether the jury suspects the plaintiff lied during the hearing.
- The plaintiff’s diagnosis, injuries, and claims, and if they make
sense in the context of the accident.
- The plaintiff’s criminal record.
Sometimes, pain and suffering are calculated as a multiplier of the claimant’s
medical bills and lost wages. If this occurs, the multiplier is usually
between 1.5 and 4 times the amount of specific damages.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, you are entitled to the full
amount of compensation you are owed. Our team at
Goldstein, Heslop, Steele, Clapper, Oswalt, and Smith is committed to helping our injured clients pursue the compensation they
deserve. Our Altoona
personal injury lawyers offer personalized client service and we will aggressively pursue
your best interests for your case.
Contact our offices to schedule a