Although most people can define the phrase “pain and suffering,” few people understand its legal definition. In a personal injury claim, pain and suffering can result in significant compensation. Find out what qualifies as pain and suffering and how much money your case could be worth.
Defining “Pain and Suffering”
Pain and suffering can refer to physical or mental pain. The physical pain is what you feel during and after the accident. It can be something as mild as discomfort, or something as serious as excruciating pain.
The mental pain is not caused by the physical impact of injuries. Rather, it’s caused by anxiety, shock, anger, and distress. For instance, a person who loses a limb experiences severe mental anguish. They know their lives will never be the same. As a result, they worry about the future and mourn the loss of their limbs.
All of the following could be symptoms of mental pain:
- Mood swings
- Lost appetite
- Trouble sleeping
- Decreased energy
- Sexual dysfunction
There is a strong link between car accidents and PTSD. In some cases, the trauma of the accident is enough to cause PTSD. This is a particularly devastating type of mental pain that can result in significant compensation.
Much like physical pain, mental pain can affect a victim long after the accident. While you can receive money for the mental pain you experienced during the accident, you can also receive money for the pain you received after the accident. For many, the only way to cope with mental pain is to see a therapist or another mental health professional.
How Does It Affect Your Case?
If you file a personal injury claim for your accident, you can receive money for your pain and suffering. But it’s not easy to determine how much money you will receive. Every personal injury case is different and everyone suffers in a unique way. There’s no single formula for calculating the amount of pain and suffering one person experiences. Typically, judges tell a jury to use their sense and experience to calculate a fair amount of compensation.
Although the court doesn’t use a formula to calculate pain and suffering, you may be able to. Your lawyer can use a formula known as a multiplier to estimate your compensation. Your pain and suffering could be calculated by multiplying your medical bills and lost earnings by a certain number.
The multiplier is usually a number between 1.5 and four. For extreme pain and suffering, you would get a higher multiplier. The value you receive is an estimate of how much compensation you can receive for pain and suffering.
However, the number is only an estimate. If your case goes to court, the jury will take into account many factors when determining compensation. They will consider your credibility and your likability. Additionally, they will determine if your testimony was exaggerated and your story was consistent.
The more evidence you have in your favor, the better your chance at receiving a high value for pain and suffering. But it is important to realize that most personal injury claims are not resolved in court. Usually, they are resolved with a settlement. This gives you and your attorney more say in the amount you will receive for pain and suffering.
Working with an Attorney
If you want to maximize your amount of pain and suffering damages, you should work with an attorney. Grossman Law Offices – Personal Injury Lawyer in Fresno can take on your case.