What is Personal Injury "Pain and Suffering"?

There are two types of "pain and suffering" that can arise in your personal injury case: physical and mental. One or both of these may be used to determine the compensation for your insurance claim or lawsuit.

The obvious pain and suffering in a personal injury case is physical. These included the injuries that occurred during the actual incident and those that the plaintiff is likely to have in the future. For example, your injuries may require extended periods of medical attention such as multiple surgeries or rehabilitation.

The second type of pain and suffering in a personal injury case is mental. Think of this situation as a possible result of the injuries to your body. Mental pain and suffering can manifest as distress, anguish, fear, anxiety, shock, sleep disorders, depression and many other negative emotions due to the physical pain and trauma of a personal injury. Depending on the severity, this type of pain and suffering could even rise to the level of post-traumatic stress disorder.

In a serious car accident, for example, the plaintiff's physical injuries could require months for recovery or cause disfigurement. As a result, the person becomes depressed, loses his or her appetite and cannot sleep. If a therapist is needed to overcome this mental pain and suffering, the plaintiff is entitled to compensation.

There are also less serious circumstances that can be considered mental pain and suffering. For instance, a personal injury that prevents you from participating in a favorite sport or pastime can cause frustration and depression. An example of this type of situation would be training for months for a rigorous hiking trip, and then being unable to participate due to the personal injury.

Every situation is unique. Contact our office to discuss your personal injury circumstances.

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