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Personal Injury Settlements: How Do We Evaluate Pain and Suffering?

If you are unfortunate enough to have been injured due to another person’s negligence, it is your right to pursue a personal injury compensation claim from the party at fault. Once the defendant has been established as at-fault, your financial losses will need to be proven in order to get the money required to rebuild your life. This tends to cover medical bills and loss of earnings, which are easy to calculate, but you can also claim for non-economic losses, like for pain and suffering. It can be difficult to calculate how much a victim can claim for pain and suffering because there are no bills for this. An injury lawyer will be the one to help you understand more through an evaluation, and here’s how.

Defining Pain and Suffering

Any physical and/or mental distress that has been caused by an injury, including discomfort, physical damage, any temporary or permanent activity restrictions, mental anguish, mutilation, shortening of life, and anything else that is unwelcome but has been caused by the accident, will fall under the category of pain and suffering. This is a category of damages known as general damages, which will be paid by the person who has caused the injury due to their own negligence or intended harm.

Special and General Damages

When you discuss the damages that are included in a personal injury case, then you may have heard of the terms special and general damages. For general damages, there are usually no tangible receipts or bills, like pain and suffering, but they are still losses that deserve compensation. Special damages include any out of pocket expenses you have incurred. These damages are easy to calculate and are often easier to maintain compared to general damages because the costs are written down and can be added up.

Calculating Pain and Suffering

Calculating pain and suffering is considered to be difficult because there is no way to portray or measure how the whole experience has truly made you feel. Most of the time, an insurance company and an injury attorney will rely on a suitable formula to help give them some kind of idea of how much a case is worth. This is viable for almost every type of injury case. When claiming for personal injury, it is important to do what you can in order to prove your pain and suffering, which brings us to our next point…

Proving Pain and Suffering

It is important to document any evidence of both your pain and suffering if you plan to include it in your personal injury claim. These documents will be able to convey your pain and suffering, which can increase and secure your claim. Examples of documentation include:

  • A written opinion from an evaluation of a mental health expert
  • Documented and written opinions from medical experts and experts in specific fields
  • Past and present documents of medical prescriptions
  • Your own oral or written testimony of your pain and suffering
  • Family and/or friends’ oral or written testimony to testify your pain and suffering.

Next, you should hire a personal injury lawyer that specializes in your type of injury or illness. For example, if your injuries have been sustained through an MVC, you should consult a Lehigh Valley truck accident law firm to help increase your chances of making a successful claim for any general damage, which includes pain and suffering. They will be able to get your case together and will do everything they can to help you win the compensation that you deserve in a professional manner.

Going through a personal injury settlement is a difficult and stressful time for the defendant and their family and friends, whatever the extent of the injury may be. It can be difficult to remember to gather evidence and document your pain and suffering during the time, but if you can, it will be much easier to fight and win the compensation you deserve.