Man with pain and suffering sitting at a table

What are Pain and Suffering Damages?

Compensation for pain and suffering is in addition to medical bills and lost wages in a personal injury case. Pain and suffering is considered General Damages and include not only mental anguish and physical pain, but also loss of quality of life, and limitations in your day-to-day activities and loss of enjoyment of life, which specifically addresses a talent or pastime you can no longer pursue.

Pain and suffering can be physical and/or mental. It includes the pain and discomfort that the claimant has endured to date, and also accounts for the detrimental effects that he or she is likely to suffer in the future as a result of the accident.

Mental pain and suffering encompasses things like mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, fear, anger, humiliation, anxiety, and shock. Mental pain and suffering is any kind of negative emotion that a victim suffers as a result of having to endure the physical pain and trauma of the accident. In more severe cases, this can manifest as depression, anxiety, insomnia and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As with physical pain and suffering, your personal injury lawyer will account for current mental pain as well as future or ongoing emotional stress as a result of the accident.

How are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated?

There is a lot of misinformation regarding how pain and suffer is calculated. There is no standard or method of calculating general damages. The amount of pain and suffering damages is based upon recent jury verdicts for similar cases. As you might imagine, the amount of pain and suffering damages fluctuates and can be effected by things like the economy, whether you reside in a liberal or conservative county, an how great an interference in your daily activates of living the accident caused.

Per Diem Calculation for Pain and Suffering

The Per Diem approach (Latin for “per day”) allocates a certain amount per day for pain and suffering, from the time the plaintiff was hurt until they reached a full recovery. For example, let’s say that number is $100 a day and it took 60 days for recovery, then the pain and suffering claim would be $6,000.

How Do You Prove Pain and Suffering in a Personal Injury Case?

Pain and suffering is personal to the individual. The best measure is providing specific examples of how your life was changed by the event causing the injury. Documentation of pain, suffering and inconvenience in your medical records is a good source. Make sure to tell your doctor about not only your physical pain but how it has changed your daily life. Your own notes or journals can also be used to document your pain and suffering, or a friend or family member may be asked to testify how the accident has negatively affected your life.

With all the right documentation and an experienced personal injury lawyer to walk you through the process, your pain and suffering claim can be maximized.