About Pain And Suffering Damages In A Personal Injury Case
In negligence and other tort cases, damages are generally defined as the amount of money that is awarded to compensate someone who has been harmed by another's wrongdoing or negligence.
There are two categories of damages, economic and non-economic. Examples of economic damages include lost wages and medical bills, while non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment. Almost all personal injury claims include some demand for reimbursement for pain and suffering. Because they are non-economic, subjective, and difficult to quantify, damages for pain and suffering are often a hotly contested trial issue.
The term “pain and suffering” in a personal injury case refers to the combination of the physical pain and emotional distress suffered due to an event. It can result from physical pain or some psychological or emotional trauma. There is really no strict formula to determine pain and suffering damages. Because each personal injury case is different, damages for pain and suffering are determined on a case-by-case basis.
An experienced Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer familiar with the factors considered in determining compensation for pain and suffering can make the necessary analysis of an individual's case and specific injuries to maximize compensation for these non-economic losses. These factors are listed below.
Pain and suffering damages include not only the injuries caused by the accident but those injuries and pain caused by post-accident treatment-related events like surgery and medications. Pain and suffering damages will depend on:
- Nature and severity of the injuries and pain suffered;
- Pre-existing conditions, injuries or pain;
- Medical treatment and services rendered;
- Required medical procedures and medications;
- Nature of emotional damages;
- The effects of the injury upon regular and daily activities;
- The consistency of behavior after the injury;
- The long-term impact of the injury.
The consideration of all of these factors will clearly yield an accurate portrayal of the effects of the accident, which will ultimately determine any award for pain and suffering.