You may have heard “pain and suffering” before, especially when discussing an injury lawsuit or a car accident. What is pain and suffering exactly? Are you able to sue for pain and suffering? Pain and suffering is a legal term used to quantify a plaintiff’s physical and mental pain they have endured because of an accident and injury. Pain and suffering can be a person’s anguish, inconvenience, suffering, disability, impairment, and the loss of enjoyment in life.
When filing a personal injury claim, the compensation you receive, also known as damages, are generally divided into two different types: economic and noneconomic. Economic damages have an amount attached to them, such as lost wages or medical expenses. Noneconomic damages are intangible and are difficult to put an exact number on them. These include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other nonmonetary damages.
Pain and suffering is difficult to calculate because two people could suffer the same injury but how they feel the pain can be different. What is generally needed is medical testimony to prove pain and suffering. From there, the court or insurance company would calculate the amount for pain and suffering damages. An insurance company would sometimes use multipliers to determine the amount:
- Multiplier method: In this method, medical expenses are added up and multiplied by a number between one and a half and four or five. Several factors are considered in determining which multiplier to use, such as the severity of the injury, the recovery time of the injury, and how the injury impacts the person’s daily life.
- Per diem method: In this method, insurance adjusters will try to assign a dollar amount to every day the person is impacted by physical and emotional effects of the accident. This is a less commonly-used method.
How Can You Document Pain and Suffering?
To sue for pain and suffering, there are a few things to keep in mind. Proving pain and suffering is difficult, and you will need the help of an experienced lawyer. Documenting your pain and suffering is necessary as well. Here are a few ways to help:
- Medical records: The main documentation you will have will be your medical records. This is why it is important to get medical attention as soon as an injury occurs; waiting too long may harm an injury case. Be sure to keep records of any medical visits, treatment plans, prescriptions, and follow-up care. If there are mental health records, make sure to keep those as well.
- Your testimony: A lawyer may want you to maintain an injury journal documenting your recovery. This should include pain levels, emotional recovery, and day-to-day activity. Generally, there needs to be documentation of how the injury has affected your life.
- Expert testimony: Expert testimony is good to have and can relay to the court or insurance company how the injury affected your daily life.
- Friends and family: Friends and family can share their testimony as well. They can provide a third-party view of how the injury has changed your life.
Chester County Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Will Determine Your Pain and Suffering Damages
Pain and suffering damages are difficult to calculate and to claim. Our Chester County car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. can help you with your case. Call us at 610-565-3701 or fill out our online form for an initial consultation. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we proudly serve clients in Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.