Understanding Painand Suffering Damages
When an individual is involved in an auto accident, slip-and-fall, traumatic brain injury, truck accident, motorcycle crash, or any other type of personal injury case, we often hear about the physical injuries such as broken bones or herniated discs. However, it is usually less common to hear about the emotional and mental injuries that people are coping with, such as the loss of ability to hold and care for one’s young child after being severely injured. Often, there is coverage for the physical injury medical bills. All too often, there is little to no cover offered for pain and suffering which can be a major hindrance after an injury. Hiring a personal injury attorney can help you to recover these less talked about damages.
This type of emotional pain that people experience after sustaining an injury that was due to someone else’s negligence is known as “pain and suffering”. Enjuris, an online collection of legal resources, explains pain and suffering as something that “addresses the overall loss of comfort, happiness, and opportunity that usually follows an accident”.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a traumatic accident or incident that was due to someone else’s negligence, please read our article as we at The Eberst Law Firm want to ensure that your pain and suffering can be properly documented and recognized as something that has negatively and unnecessarily affected your life, and can be recovered monetarily.
Physical Pain & Suffering vs. Mental Pain & Suffering
As an example, let’s envision a hypothetical scenario: a man is involved in a horrific car crash with a drunk driver that leaves him with a fractured spine and broken bones in both legs. He is hospitalized for many weeks, undergoes multiple emergency surgeries, and performs physical therapy for months in order to walk again. His medical bills are increasing by the thousands or tens of thousands every week, he hasn’t been able to work and has no idea when he will be able to work again, and he is having to constantly withdraw money from his dwindling retirement and savings in order to make ends meet.
As a result of his horrific accident, this injured man has been experiencing several issues he never experienced in the past. He has become a borderline insomniac, his appetite has decreased because of the many medications he has been prescribed, he is embarrassed to walk in public due to his weak legs, he is depressed about being unable to hold his new granddaughter, he feels anger toward the man who hit him and turned his world upside down, and his anxiety has skyrocketed due to his diminishing retirement account.
The first paragraph is an example of physical pain and suffering, and the second paragraph is an example of mental physical pain and suffering. Oftentimes, insurance companies neglect to acknowledge mental pain and suffering in the aftermath of an accident; but it is important not to downplay this type of pain, as this form of anguish is significant and adds, sometimes greatly, to your personal injury case. Nolo is an online legal encyclopedia that offers several examples of pain and suffering while explaining the differences between severe and less severe cases of pain and suffering.
Should I mention Pain & Suffering? Does it really matter?
Sometimes, until people have been involved in an accident, they may roll their eyes at the term “pain and suffering”. There is a connotation that it may be trivial or not totally related to the crash. Because of this preconceived negative insinuation by society, some people who have been victims of a traumatic accident due to another’s negligence may choose to downplay their pain and suffering or not even mention it at all. However, for anyone who has been involved in an auto accident or any other type of personal injury accident, it is easy to see how pain and suffering caused directly by the accident can derail you from your regular life and wreak complete havoc on your life. Please do not fall victim to thinking that your emotional pain and suffering is not important or justified.
Be sure to consult with an attorney at The Eberst Law Firm as we want to make sure that the pain and suffering you are experiencing is taken into full consideration by the insurance company so that we can obtain the best settlement award for you.
How do you claim Pain & Suffering after an accident or injury?
It might seem almost impossible to assign a monetary value to one’s pain and suffering, but it can be done. One way that insurance companies handle this task is by assigning a “multiplier” to an amount that an individual is awarded, and the multiplier scale typically ranges from one to five, with five being the most severe. Typically, the more severe the injuries, the higher the multiplier that is assigned. Enjuris’s article on calculating pain and suffering offers a more detailed explanation regarding the multiplier that is often used by insurance companies to determine pain and suffering.
“Per Diem” pain and suffering calculation
Another way that pain and suffering damages may be calculated is through the “per diem” method which roughly translated from Latin to “by the day”. The way this calculation method works is by assigning a dollar value per day and then multiplying that value by the number of days that a person is affected by an injury.
For example, someone could suffer a back injury at their job which rendered them unable to work. After being out of work several days while suffering painful symptoms as a result of their injuries they seek compensation for their pain and suffering in the form of $5,200 based on a per diem of $130 a day. This form of calculation for pain and suffering is uncommon but still not impossible to see.
Factors that affect pain and suffering calculation
- The severity of the injury
- Type of medical treatment received by the claimant
- Length of recovery from the injury
- The injury’s prognosis
- The impact of the injury on the claimant’s life
Ultimately, the most important asset an injured party can have after being involved in an accident or incident that was caused by someone else’s negligence is an experienced personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney at The Eberst Law Firm will dutifully ensure that every single aspect of your life that has been negatively been affected by the accident will be accounted for and taken into consideration during settlement negotiations.
Consider Eberst Law as Your Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured and has sustained pain and suffering after the accident, please contact Eberst Law at 772-225-4900 or contact us online. Our lawyers are experienced in handling cases in which clients are experiencing pain and suffering. When you hire The Eberst Law Firm, you are hiring a firm that will negotiate aggressively on your behalf for a settlement that you can feel comfortable with. For a free consultation, contact us online or at (352) 269-0017.
About the Author of this Page: The above information was written or reviewed by one of the attorneys at The Eberst Law Firm who have extensive experience trying legal cases outside and inside courtrooms throughout Florida. This article was also extensively researched to ensure that all information is accurate and up to date. If you want to know more about the author of this page, view our attorney bios here.