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What Is Pain And Suffering in a Personal Injury Case?

Need Help Recovering from Losses for Pain and Suffering?

Just because it can be difficult to quantify an amount for mental or physical pain and suffering in a personal injury case does not mean you should give up the compensation that is rightfully yours. If you or a loved one were hurt and now face a lifetime of pain and suffering from your physical injuries, or from the mental anguish you now must endure, you need to call Regan Zambri Long.

For almost three decades, our Washington, DC personal injury lawyers have been fighting for the rights of accident victims who need help standing up for themselves. We know how difficult it can be to move forward from an accident, but we also have a track record that shows it’s well worth the fight.

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If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident as a result of the negligence of another, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for pain and suffering. According to the Legal Information Institute pain and suffering “refers to the physical discomfort and emotional distress that are compensable as noneconomic damages.” Simply stated, pain and suffering is the legal term that refers to the physical and emotional stress caused by an injury.

Is Pain and Suffering Separate from Medical Bills?

Yes, this compensation can be used to compensate for the losses associated with “pain, discomfort, anguish, inconvenience, and emotional trauma” following an injury. This compensation is often separate from economic awards used for medical bills, lost wages, wrongful death, etc.

Pain and suffering can be difficult to be awarded in a personal injury case, but an experienced personal injury lawyer from Regan Zambri Long PLLC can help.

Physical Pain and Suffering Versus Mental Pain and Suffering in a Personal Injury Case

There are two forms of pain and suffering that may be awarded in a personal injury case; they are physical and mental pain and suffering. But knowing how these two differ can be complicated but integral to knowing how much compensation you may be entitled to.

Physical Pain and Suffering

Physical pain and suffering are that which immediately result from the injuries sustained in the accident. This can include things like broken bones, amputations, traumatic brain injuries, etc. However, physical pain and suffering in a personal injury case may also be long-term pain that may require rehabilitation, therapy, and overall changes to the victim’s day-to-day life.

Physical pain and suffering may result from the following personal injury cases:

  • Automobile accidents (including motorcycle, car, truck accidents, etc.)
  • Workplace injury
  • Dog bites
  • Slips, trips, and falls

Pain and Suffering in a Personal Injury CaseCommon forms of injury that result from the physical pain and suffering of an accident can also include:

  • Back and neck injury
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Internal organ damage and/or nerve damage
  • Headaches and concussions
  • Muscle injuries
  • Dislocated joints
  • Paralysis

While physical pain and suffering can be calculated rather easily by reviewing medical bills and doctor’s reports, mental pain and suffering do come with their own unique challenges.

Mental Pain and Suffering

Unlike physical pain and suffering that you can see on the victim, mental pain and suffering are a bit more subjective, making it all the more difficult to assign a value to. But, just because it can be tedious to document your mental pain and suffering, does not mean you should discredit it towards your overall compensation.

Mental pain and suffering, sometimes called mental anguish, can occur immediately after the accident or even as you begin to recover. For example, if you were in a serious car accident that resulted in severe injury, you may have fear or crippling anxiety over getting behind the wheel again. This would be considered mental pain and suffering as it has both short and long-term ramifications from your initial accident.

catastrophic injury and accident victim standing by window Other forms of mental pain and suffering may include:

  • Distress
  • Fear
  • Humiliation
  • Anxiety

Unfortunately, for some personal injury victims, the mental pain and suffering can also make them more susceptible to the following conditions:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Impulse control
  • Depression

How Are Pain and Suffering Calculated for Personal Injury Compensation?

Calculating the value of pain and suffering following a personal injury claim can be difficult again due to its subjective nature. Further, two people can experience a similar accident, yet have completely different emotional outcomes as a result.

Despite this, there are things a personal injury lawyer will look toward to calculate the value of your pain and suffering-related losses. This includes:

  • Police reports
  • Medical records and bills
  • Photographic evidence of the injuries sustained
  • Medical professionals who work in the related mental health field

Further, the insurance companies may also apply one of the two methods to calculate your losses:

  • Multiplier Method: Takes the actual value of your damages (bills, wages, etc.) and multiplies it by a number that correlates to the severity of your injuries
  • Per Diem Method: Assigns a specific dollar amount to each day since the accident until the victim can reach maximum recovery

What Can Impact the Value of Pain And Suffering in a Personal Injury Case?

In addition to all of the above factors the insurance adjuster or a judge will consider when calculating the value of pain and suffering, they will also look into the victim themselves.

This includes traits and observations such as:

  • The personality and trustworthiness of the victim
  • If the victim’s testimony is consistent
  • If the judge feels like the victim is over exaggerating their pain and suffering
  • If the victim has lied about anything throughout the case, even if it is minor
  • If the victim’s diagnosis makes sense
  • If the victim has a previous criminal record

Is Loss of Consortium a Form of Pain and Suffering?

In the event an accident results in the death of the victim, either immediately or shortly thereafter, the family of the deceased may be able to bring forth a wrongful death case. These claims allow the family to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and loss of consortium.

Loss of consortium is a form of pain and suffering experienced by family members of the victim. The grief and mental anguish they may experience were likely preventable, had the negligent party acted more responsibly.

Potential awards for loss of consortium can include:

  • Care and companionship
  • Guidance
  • Intimacy, love, and affection
  • Household services/income

How Will I Receive Payments for Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering are calculated and awarded at the same time as other awards you may be entitled to following a personal injury claim. Whether you take a settlement from the insurance company or take the personal injury case to court will be entirely your decision, but know that if you accept a settlement before meeting with a personal injury lawyer, you run the risk of being given a lesser amount for the losses you sustained.

A personal injury attorney can help you receive the maximum compensation for your pain and suffering, as well as your award of economic damages by:

  • Gathering evidence from the accident
  • Negotiating with the insurance companies
  • Representing you in court

Call Our Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers About Your Pain and Suffering

Our team has helped accident victims recover millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements and we can do the same for you.

For a no-obligation, free consultation, contact the DC Metro area personal injury law firm with the experience and compassion needed to secure the results you deserve. Call us today at 202-960-4596 or connect with us online.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Have you or your loved one sustained injuries in Washington DC, Maryland or Virginia? Regan Zambri Long PLLC has the best lawyers in the country to analyze your case and answer the questions you may have.

Call 202-960-4596

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