When it comes to personal injury cases, the definition of pain and suffering is wide-ranging. Not only does pain and suffering include any physical harm that befalls a victim, but also any damages to their financial and mental wellbeing. For example, if the victim of a car accident falls into a deep depression as a result of being housebound from their injuries, this can constitute additional pain and suffering in their settlement with the parties responsible for the crash.
A court will consider all the factors that constitute a victim’s overall pain and suffering when it comes time to calculate how much compensation they might be awarded.
Examples of pain and suffering can include, but may not be limited to:
- Loss of passions after their injuries prevent them from doing the activities they previously enjoyed
- Loss of employment
- Worn down personal relationships after the gravity of the accident took its toll
- Compromises to a victim’s financial state, such as large hospital bills or household bills that built up during the victim’s recovery period
- Mental anguish that accrues over time as the result of the injury, which may include a lack of sleep, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), changes in mood, loss of romantic intimacy, and more
- Damages to the victim’s vehicle or home, which may affect their livelihood in more ways than one
- Physical injuries, including chronic pain, which may vary from nerve damage to spinal cord injuries to broken bones and more
- Other physical suffering or emotional losses
Assigning a Monetary Value to Your Overall Suffering
When it comes to tangible, physical suffering, there are ways to monitor how much money you may deserve by documenting your pain in medical records. However, mental anguish may be assigned a subjective value when it comes time to determine compensation. It may be difficult to reach an exact settlement with the party who caused your injuries, as certain factors do not have monetary value — such as a strain on your marriage or being unable to play your favorite sport. However, a personal injury lawyer will do their best to collect any physical bills accrued during your recovery period that do have an exact dollar amount, such as hospital bills.
These costs may include:
- Surgery costs
- Vehicle repair costs
- Replacing broken possessions with market values assigned to them
- Any homeowner or apartment renter’s bills, including electricity, water, and more
- Legal costs
- And more
As there is no way to track their value in a monetary way, the costs of a victim’s mental anguish may be difficult to gauge. These cases will be judged on a case-by-case basis, and the court may make a completely different ruling, even between two cases where the suffering was similar.
In some cases, there may be legal precedents that will be referred to in order to reach a value, but it will largely be left up to the court to decide how much compensation should be in order. A personal injury lawyer may be able to reach an out-of-court settlement or will work to get the court to understand the true extent of your suffering so you may be able to receive the compensation you deserve for your hardships.
Reaching a Fair Settlement or Pursuing an Award in Your Case
Every personal injury case is unique, and it will be judged accordingly when any compensation is awarded. In fact, a slip and fall accident can be just as dangerous and harmful as a high-speed car accident under the right circumstances. Everyone’s physical makeup is different, and every case will have its own contributing factors that determine the severity of the pain and suffering. The court will need to take a holistic view of the evidence before making any judgments.
In some cases, the insurance company or individual party responsible for the accident will reach out to attempt to make a settlement before it goes all the way to court, but only the victim will be able to tell how much compensation they are willing to settle for given their first-person perspective of the damages. Some victims choose to use a personal injury lawyer to help them understand what qualifies as pain and suffering, gather their overall evidence, and negotiate the terms of their potential settlements.
Personal injury Lawyers Fighting to Protect Your Right to Compensation
Here at the Morris Bart law firm, our attorneys know how much pain and suffering personal injury cases can cause. We have worked with countless victims over the years to try to get them compensated for all their hardships, including any non-economic damages that may have built up. By sticking by our clients during their legal battles, we aim to give them peace of mind throughout the entire process. We will work to have this injustice recognized for what it is.
For more information, contact the Morris Bart law firm today at (800) 537-8185 for your free consultation.