You have likely heard the term “pain and suffering,” but may not fully understand what this phrase means in the context of your personal injury action. The phrase can be vague and clients often struggle to understand what exactly is considered pain and suffering and how these damages can be calculated.
Some damages in a personal injury claim can be easily assigned a monetary value. Your physical injury will be largely evaluated by the amount of medical treatment you need, medical bills, recovery, therapy and missed time from work. However, a significant portion of your damages are intangible and cannot be itemized. Thus, the phrase “pain and suffering” applies in the realm of intangible damages.
Defining Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering can encompass both physical and mental injuries:
- Physical pain and suffering: This type of pain and suffering relates to the accident victim’s actual physical injuries. It includes the pain and suffering experienced by the plaintiff in the past, present and future, due to ongoing injuries and recovery time.
- Mental pain and suffering: This type of pain and suffering also stems from your physical injuries, but goes well beyond the physical symptoms. It includes things like emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, anxiety, fear, anger and shock caused by the accident. Mental pain and suffering can, in sum, encompass nearly any negative emotion experienced by the accident victim as a result of the physical pain and trauma the injured person endured. Some of the more severe mental pain and suffering claims arise from diagnoses including, but not limited to, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and sleep disturbances. You can seek compensation for your past and current mental suffering as well as anticipated future mental pain and suffering.
Calculating Pain and Suffering
It can be difficult to assign a monetary value to pain and suffering. In some cases, a multiplier is considered in which pain and suffering is calculated as being worth a multiple of the accident victim’s total medical bills and lost earnings. For instance, dependent upon the courtroom, injury, and jurisdiction, pain and suffering can be calculated by multiplying the medical bills and lost wages by somewhere between one and a half and four. This is just a rough estimate and will not apply in every case, especially because there are many factors in a case that affect an amount for pain and suffering. Your attorney will assist you in calculating your pain and suffering award.
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If you have been injured because of the actions of another person or party, speaking with an attorney can help you understand your legal rights as well as the actions necessary to preserve your rights. Our compassionate Personal Injury Attorneys at Montlick and Associates represent those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast, including all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
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