What Is "Pain and Suffering" and How Is It Calculated?

gavelWhen someone is injured due to another person’s negligent action or omission, there are numerous legal battles he or she must face. Without legal experience, there may be some legal terminology that the injured person may not be familiar with. For example, one of the terms that often comes up in personal injury cases is “pain and suffering.” Understanding this element of your case and how the courts calculate its monetary value is extremely important. Below, we explain more about pain and suffering and how it is calculated in a personal injury case.

What Is It?

In a personal injury lawsuit, pain and suffering refers to the overall physical, mental, and emotional damages a person has sustained as a result of an accident. For example, a person may suffer the physical pain of a broken leg, and may also suffer from flashbacks of the terrifying experience of the accident. They may have suffered permanent consequences to their ability to walk, or may experience difficulty getting in a car again in the future due to anxiety.

Suffering may also be considered fear of the activity during which the injury was sustained, worry or grief on behalf of the family members of the victim, or the loss of enjoyment of life. An unexpected accident can profoundly affect a person’s life and wellbeing, which is why pain and suffering is considered a recoverable damage in a personal injury case.

How Is It Calculated?

There are a number of factors that must be considered when calculating the value of damages for pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is often referred to as “general damages” and can be separated into both current damages and future damages.

Current damages include a person’s current level of physical and emotional pain and suffering that resulted from the accident. This includes any physical limitations they may have sustained and the inability to enjoy the many aspects of life that they once did. The pain and suffering you endure from the moment you are injured until the final treatment is considered current damages.

Future damages may be considered those that don’t end, meaning pain and suffering experienced from the time of the injury, throughout all treatments, and into the indefinite future. This can include some of the same damages — physical pain and emotional pain. Determining the amount of the settlement for pain and suffering is often determined by the category under which the victim’s injury falls. The amounts paid for pain and suffering can be increased in a number of situations, including if the injury led to depression, changes in familial relationships, and behavioral changes.

Dallas Personal Injury Attorneys

If you have sustained an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you have legal options. At Crain Lewis Brogdon, LLP, our Dallas personal injury lawyers have the experience and tenacity necessary to represent injured clients and help them seek the compensation they deserve. From start to finish, you can trust that you’ll have someone on your side who can put your best interests first and make it a priority to hold the negligent party accountable for their actions.

If you have been injured, contact our firm to learn more about your legal options.


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