“Pain and suffering” refers to the physical and emotional injuries a victim suffers following an accident. A victim’s pain and suffering refer to the physical stress (pain) and the emotional stress (suffering) caused by an injury. An example may be a victim that has suffered severely after an accident that is now permanently disabled, or their life has dramatically been impacted by this accident. So any considerable mental anguish or physical pain you suffer from an accident may qualify as pain and suffering. If a victim dies from an accident due to someone else’s negligence, the victim’s family can claim compensation through a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim may include loss of consortium.
Receiving financial compensation for pain and suffering after an accident is crucial for being put in a situation that has brought on adverse life-altering circumstances that would not have happened if not for the injury or accident. Compensation for pain and suffering may be for minor or significant situations. For minor cases, the compensation is for the inconvenience, but compensation for major cases is for the agony and suffering that has or will be endured.
Emotional pain and suffering
After suffering an accident, emotional pain and suffering may result in severe mental and psychological distress that could last days or years. After an accident, the chronic mental anguish can result in debilitating pain and suffering.
The following examples of emotional pain and suffering are as follows:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Psychological trauma
- Loss or diminishment of quality of life
- Cognitive changes following a brain or head injury
The emotional pain after a personal injury accident is often severe and can cause permanent damage.
Physical Pain and Suffering
Personal injuries following an accident due to someone else’s negligence are substantially painful and could also last for days or years. The pain a victim suffers may be permanent. In fact, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, chronic pain lasts for weeks, months, or even years.
Some examples that constitute physical pain and suffering include:
- Back pain
- Dislocated joints
- Traumatic brain injury
- Pulled or sprained muscles
- Broken or fractured bones
- Nerve damage
- Neck pain
- Internal organ damage
These medical conditions can last for years or become permanent, leaving a victim with constant physical pain following an accident.
Loss of Consortium
In some cases, an accident can result in a victim’s death. In these types of cases, the victim’s family files a wrongful death claim against the negligent person, which allows them to receive compensation for loss of consortium, lost wages of the deceased, and medical bills.
Loss of consortium is a type of pain and suffering a victim’s family experiences following the death of their loved one. So due to the family’s grief and anguish, they may be able to receive special awards for the pain and suffering felt by the victim’s family members.
Examples of loss of consortium may include the loss of:
- Household services
- Love and affection
- Parental guidance
- Spousal intimacy
Wrongful death cases lead to a loss of companionship, a strong example of pain and suffering.
How to Calculate Pain and Suffering
Every personal injury case is different, so the calculations of pain and suffering will depend on the circumstances and facts of the case. However, pain and suffering may be calculated in two different ways.
Per Diem Method
The per diem method refers to the specific dollar amount from the day of the accident to the day the victim reaches maximum recovery. Maximum medical recovery is when a medical professional says a victim has fully recovered from their injuries.
The multiplier method refers to the actual damages such as medical bills, lost wages, etc., that total to a specific amount and then multiplied by a number that depends on the severity of your injuries. The multiplier is usually one and five.
How do Insurance Companies Calculate Pain and Suffering
However, an insurance company may use other methods to calculate pain and suffering than the two mentioned above.
They may look at the following factors:
- The severity of your injuries.
- If you require further treatments in the future.
- Your overall pain and discomfort due to your injuries.
- The types and cost of medical treatment your injuries require.
- The time it takes for your injuries to heal.
- The overall pain and discomfort related to your injury.
- How the injuries have impacted your relationship, life, and work.
Insurance companies typically offer a meager amount of compensation for your pain and suffering. Hence, an experienced personal injury attorney on your side is crucial so that you can get the compensation you and your family deserve.
How to Prove Your Pain and Suffering
To prove emotional and physical pain and suffering, you must provide evidence in the form of documentation to support your claim.
The evidence to support your claim may include:
- Mental health counselor’s or therapist’s notes
- Doctor’s notes
- Personal journals that document your pain
- Documentation of prescription medications for physical or mental issues
- Medical evidence
- Photographs or videos
The more evidence you provide, the more the judge, insurance company, or jury will see how the accident negatively impacted your life due to pain and suffering. While you may be able to collect most of the facts regarding your case, you will benefit from hiring a personal injury attorney to help you on your case so that you can focus on recovery. Your injury attorney may also be able to recover even more compensation for your pain and suffering than handling the case alone.
Contact Our Personal Injury Attorneys Today!
If you suffered an accident or your loved one has died due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to receive damages, not just medical bills and lost wages, but also pain and suffering. Call Joe I. Zaid & Associates today at (281) 990-5200 or fill out our form online to schedule a free consultation to learn how we determine what qualifies as pain and suffering and how it relates to your injury or wrongful death case. We are passionate and detail-oriented attorneys who will ensure your legal rights are protected and fight to get you the maximum compensation you and your family deserve. Don’t delay your case any longer; let us prove your pain and suffering so that you can get your life back.