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What Is Pain and Suffering?

Jan. 26, 2018

Individuals who are injured in accidents that were due to the reckless or negligent conduct of others may be able to recover damages for pain and suffering. Let's take a look at the two types of pain and suffering and how victims can obtain compensation.

Physical Pain and Suffering

Physical pain and suffering arises from current physical injuries as well as long-lasting effects that may be suffered in the future. Common symptoms of physical pain and suffering include broken bones, concussions, muscle and ligament damage, body aches and pains, and many others.

Mental Pain and Suffering

Physical injuries often lead to emotional distress or psychological problems that are classified as mental pain and suffering. Mental anguish, fear, grief, anger, and humiliation and embarrassment are all symptoms of mental pain and suffering. In addition, victims may experience depression, loss of enjoyment of life, sleep disorders and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

In short, physical and mental pain and suffering go hand-in-hand and injured parties may be entitled to damages for symptoms of both. However there are a number of factors that may be considered in determining the severity of pain and suffering such as the type of injuries sustained, the duration of suffering, and the potential for problems to arise in the future.

In order to have a valid claim, the injured party must provide evidence including:

  • Medical records demonstrating claims of physical pain and suffering

  • Records of therapy appointments

  • A professional therapist's testimony verifying mental pain and suffering

In addition, the injured party must be able to show that the person being sued had a duty not to induce such harm, he or she breached that duty, and that breach caused the victim's harm and pain and suffering.

The amount of compensation that may be awarded depends on the state in which the injury occurred because some states impose restrictions on damages for pain and suffering. Lastly, there are a number of other factors involved in determining compensation such as the type of injuries suffered and the degree to which these injuries will impact the injured person's quality of life.

In the end, obtaining the full value of a claim for pain and suffering can be difficult. Your attorney can be provide you with guidance on these and other matters related to your personal injury claim.