Pain & Suffering Defined

When you think about a personal injury case, your mind may go to compensation for property damage (car accidents), medical bills, and lost income. And, if it was a wrongful death case, funeral expenses, and money for the decedent’s surviving loved ones. But there’s another breed of damages that are often awarded in personal injury cases, including car accidents, and it’s called “pain and suffering.”

There are two types of pain and suffering in the context of a personal injury case: 1) physical pain and suffering, and 2) mental pain and suffering. Physical pain and suffering have to do with the actual physical pain that stems from the injuries themselves, but it can also include the negative effects the plaintiff (injured party) suffers as a result.

Mental pain and suffering can be many things; it has to do with the various negative effects that the plaintiff suffers on an emotional or mental level, such as grief, humiliation, embarrassment, depression, anxiety, shame, shock, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – those types of feelings.

Examples of Pain & Suffering

Here are some examples of physical pain and mental suffering to help you better understand what they are:

Physical Pain

  • A woman is in a car accident and her leg is broken. Not only did she experience a lot of pain during the accident, but her leg is extremely painful 24 hours a day for months after the incident.
  • A senior slips and falls on spilled dish soap at a grocery store and she breaks her hip. She ends up needing surgery and her hip hurts for six months after the fall.
  • A woman’s fingertip is cut off while using a defective saw. For a solid year, her finger hurts every time she tries to use it to brush her teeth, get dressed, drive, type, or do anything that involves the use of her fingers.

Mental Suffering

  • A man is paralyzed from the waist down in an accident. His wife leaves him because they can no longer start a family as they planned. He is devastated by the divorce.
  • A truck driver’s leg is cut off when he’s hit by a car when he’s walking down the street. He can no longer provide for his family and he goes into a deep depression.
  • A 10-year-old girl is attacked by a dog. Her face is seriously disfigured for life and she experiences severe PTSD. She cannot leave the house and she’s terrified of dogs.

We hope this helps you better understand damages for “pain and suffering” in a personal injury case. If you were injured in an accident and you want to file a claim for compensation, contact our Personal injury firm to learn more about the claims process, including filing a claim for pain and suffering.

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