Most people who have listened to the news or are vaguely familiar with legal settlements have heard the phrase “pain and suffering.” You might be surprised to learn that this phrase is a vital part of most personal injury cases. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by another party, it can help to understand some additional details about “pain and suffering,” like what this category of damages includes as well as how this type of compensation is calculated.
How Pain and Suffering is Defined
Both physical pain and suffering, as well as mental pain and suffering, are included in the definition of pain and suffering. Physical pain and suffering are often based on the type of medical treatment that a person receives after an accident.
The category of mental pain and suffering is much broader and includes things like emotional distress, loss of enjoyment, and a number of other negative emotions. Mental pain can include anger, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
When a court awards compensation for pain and suffering, it will look into both what a person is currently experiencing as well as what they will likely face in the future.
Some Examples of How Pain and Suffering is Awarded
An example might further clarify how pain and suffering are awarded. Imagine that a person is involved in an auto accident and experiences several broken bones as well as internal organ damage. The accident victim is no longer able to participate in a number of daily living activities like brushing his teeth and tying his shoes.
Consequently, the victim ends up experiencing negative emotions like anger and depression. As part of his pain and suffering claim against the party responsible for causing the accident, the victim would likely be able to obtain compensation for mental suffering.
It is also worth mentioning that in the most serious cases involving mental pain and suffering, a person is sometimes able to claim any special damages including lost wages.
How Courts Calculate Pain and Suffering
Juries are seldom provided with details about how to determine the value of pain and suffering caused by an accident. In some cases, courts rely on fixed “multipliers” to determine the amount of compensation that an accident victim deserves for pain and suffering caused by an accident.
Some people prefer to use the “pain and suffering calculator,” which states that the amount of an injury settlement is equal to the pain and suffering that a person experiences after an accident multiplied by that person’s medical expenses plus the person’s lost wages.
Contact an Experienced New Jersey Accident Lawyer
Obtaining compensation for pain and suffering after an accident is full of challenges. If you pursue a pain and suffering claim without a lawyer, there is an increased risk that you will not receive the compensation you deserve. For this reason, if you or a loved one has been impacted by an accident, one of the best steps that you can take is to obtain the assistance of an experienced accident attorney.
During an initial consultation with a lawyer at Ferrara & Gable, we will collect details about the damages that you now face and provide you with an idea of the compensation you might receive through a lawsuit. Contact our law office today for assistance.