I can understand your curiosity on how can pain and suffering have value? I can also predict all those questions in your head. We all have a lot of pain and, yes we all suffer. Do we get money for all the pain we endure? But the fact is your pain and suffering has value only when it is induced on you by another individual.
Yes, if you are injured by someone with or without their intention. Then you are eligible for a personal injury claim.
A personal injury is inducing any kind of physical or psychological pain to a person by another individual carelessly.
As humans, we all undergo pain. None of us is an exception to it. We all know how pain can affect one and his family physically as well as mentally. Considering the adverse effects of pain and the sufferings that come along with it, a certain amount of money is charged from the defendant in a personal injury claim.
In a personal injury lawsuit, the claim is evaluated in two terms,
- Economic damages and
- Non-Economic damages
In a personal injury lawsuit, the economic damage is any kind of loss that occurred to the plaintiff in actual costs. Any sum of money paid for the injury caused to you can be claimed back in a personal injury lawsuit. This is known as economic damages. This includes,
- Medical treatments
- Hospital stays and doctor’s visits
- Prescription medications
- Medical and assistive devices (like prosthetics, wheelchairs, home modifications, etc.)
- On-going rehabilitative and other therapies
- Property repair or replacement
These are direct economic damages. There are other hidden economic damages like the salary you have missed during the period of your injury. In some cases, you may not be able to continue to work on the same job you were working due to the injury. In cases like this, you can claim money from the defendant calculating the losses too. All the damages caused to you in terms of money directly or indirectly by an injury is economic damage.
Any damage caused to you that does not have a price for itself is non-economic damage. This includes,
- Limb loss (amputation) or disfigurement
- Loss of an organ
- Loss of enjoyment of life or hobbies and activities
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress
You would have noted that none of the damage listed above has an actual cost although they hurt badly.
Now, we know that pain and sufferings come under non-economic damages and they are claimable. This pain and sufferings itself can be classified into two, they are
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental pain and suffering
Physical Pain and Suffering
When you meet an accident, either a car accident or a slip and fall, you endure physical pain caused by the injury. The injury may be a fracture in the bone, loss of an organ, or a scar, etc. All these pain and sufferings can be listed as initial pain. You are entitled to claim money for the pain you undergo.
There is another type of physical pain and suffering that may affect you on a long term basis. In case, you lose a leg or a hand your life is not going to be the same as it was earlier. You may lose your job or sometimes you may not even able to do any job. You may not able to play your favorite sport which may create a drastic change in your lifestyle. You are entitled to claim money for all these pain and sufferings you will have to undergo throughout your whole life.
Hope you now understand how your physical pain has value when it is claimed by a personal injury lawsuit. Let me also explain to you how mental pain is also considered in a personal injury lawsuit.
Mental Pain and Suffering
We are all aware of the physical injuries we endure by an accident. But the question is, Does an accident let it be a road accident, slip, and fall or a dog bite affect you physically alone? or do you face any kind of trauma after it?
We don’t necessarily get trauma or emotional distress after every accident but it does happen sometimes.
Common types of emotional distress include:
Emotional distress is non-economic damage. Mostly, it is very difficult to claim money for it but it is not impossible. You should provide a concrete explanation regarding the emotional distress you had to undergo. The medical bills of you attending a psychologist can boost your chances for the claim.
Calculating the value of pain and suffering
From the discussion we had, you will now be clear about the different types of pain and suffering. You also will have had a clear understanding that pain does not have actual costs. So, how do we make a claim?
There is no proper formula to calculate the claim amount for pain and suffering. It is totally based on what evidence you produce to the jury and how effectively you state your pain to the attorney. The major factors that affect your claim in a personal injury settlement are,
- The amount of the plaintiff’s economic losses
- The severity of the physical injury
- The intent or recklessness of the defendant’s actions
- The strength of the evidence
The other factors include the time of recovery from the injury. I stated the time factor separately because it can help you claim a higher settlement amount. For example, If a person loses a limb then it cannot be changed forever or if a person takes a very long time to recover then that means he is unable to do his job for a very long time thereby cutting his salary. This information adds a higher value to the pain you endure.
We all are aware of claiming money for all the economic damages caused to us. But, our country has been very friendly and has always understood our pain and sufferings and also valued it. So never miss claiming money for the pain you endure because of the carelessness of another individual. It is your right to claim. So don’t settle for less. Be aware and be updated. To know more information regarding personal injury claims, keep following the blogs in LezDo techmed.