Pain and suffering refers to any number of non-economic damages a plaintiff suffers in an accident that impacts their physical, mental, emotional, or psychological well-being. It is a non-economic damage because, unlike items such as medical bills or lost wages, it cannot be quantified in specific dollar terms. Whereas you can assign a dollar value to a bill or lost paycheck, pain and suffering does not involve actual financial depletion.
Even though what qualifies as pain and suffering does not involve actual financial loss, you can still recover substantial compensation for it from the party or parties who caused your personal injuries. There are several ways to come up with valuations for pain and suffering, and a diligent personal injury lawyer may be able to get you a substantial sum. In many cases, pain and suffering damages can exceed even what a plaintiff could collect in economic compensation.
Definition of Pain and Suffering Damages
The terms “pain” and “suffering” often call to mind physical distress. One might think of a person in acute pain because they have just suffered a severe bodily injury, such as a broken arm or leg. The word “suffering” similarly evokes images of physical misery. The Legal Information Institute defines pain and suffering as a broader concept. It does, in many cases, refer to the physical discomfort of an injury. In other cases, though, it may describe emotional anguish, psychological distress, or loss of enjoyment of life.
Also, falling under the umbrella of pain and suffering are everyday inconveniences that result from a personal injury, such as not being able to bend over to unload laundry from the dryer or needing assistance to walk outside and get the mail. Pain and suffering can include the inability to partake in hobbies you once enjoyed.
Fear and post-traumatic stress disorder, as presented by the Mayo Clinic, are forms of pain and suffering that very often spring from a personal injury, as are insomnia, nervousness, anxiety, and depression. If you get hurt partaking in an activity you once enjoyed, such as mountain biking, and even after you recover you find yourself fearful or apprehensive about returning to the activity, that is also a form of pain and suffering.
No matter how your pain and suffering manifests, a personal injury attorney can help you put a dollar amount on it and recover compensation from the party or parties responsible for your injury. Every state allows personal injury plaintiffs to pursue pain and suffering damages, and many states, including New York, do not cap damages. Some plaintiffs have been awarded damages well into the millions for pain and suffering alone.
Assigning Value to Your Pain and Suffering Damages
Since pain and suffering does not involve actual monetary depletion, it can be difficult to argue that you deserve a specific level of compensation due to your physical pain, emotional distress, or loss of enjoyment of life.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm for a Free Consultation
The personal injury lawyers at Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P., want to fight for the compensation you deserve, including your physical and emotional pain and suffering. For a free, no-obligation case evaluation with a member of our personal injury law firm, call us today at (631) 451-7900. We can even assist you in Spanish and Russian.