When a person sustains an injury in an accident that is caused by the negligence or carelessness of another party or entity, the injured person can file a personal injury claim to obtain compensation. If successful, the compensation the injured person receives will cover both economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages can cover expenses such as medical bills, assistive devices, and lost wages. Noneconomic damages, on the other hand, can cover pain and suffering, both physical and mental.
Defining Pain and Suffering
There are two types of pain and suffering an injured person can be compensated for: physical and mental.
- Physical pain and suffering: This refers to the pain associated with a victim’s physical injuries. It includes the pain and discomfort that the claimant experienced to date as well as the effects he or she will probably suffer in the future as a result of the injuries.
- Mental pain and suffering: When someone sustains an injury in an accident, it is not uncommon for mental pain to be inflicted as a by-product of the traumatic experience. Mental pain and suffering includes mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, fear, anger, humiliation, anxiety, and shock. In more severe cases, mental pain can also include depression, sexual dysfunction, anger, mood swings, changes in sleep patterns, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Examples of Pain and Suffering
If one were to be involved in a serious motor vehicle accident that resulted in multiple broken bones and a severe concussion and the injured person later became depressed, angry, and experienced difficulty sleeping, this would be an example of both physical and mental pain and suffering.
In a less serious example, if someone was injured in a relatively minor accident that resulted in back strain, preventing the injured person from continuing to train for a marathon and resulting in anger, frustration, and depression, he or she would still be able to be compensated for both mental and physical pain and suffering.
Calculating Pain and Suffering
When it comes to calculating pain and suffering, judges tend not to give many guidelines as to how the value of it is to be determined in a personal injury lawsuit. However, there are some factors that can potentially be factored into the value of pain and suffering. This includes:
- How good or bad of a witness the plaintiff is
- If the plaintiff is likeable
- If the plaintiff is credible
- The consistency of the plaintiff’s testimony regarding his or her injuries
- Whether the plaintiff is exaggerating his or her claims regarding pain and suffering
- If the jury believes the plaintiff is lying about anything
- The plaintiff’s diagnosis and injuries
Knowledgeable Personal Injury Attorneys in Massachusetts
If you were injured in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligent or careless actions, you have a right to pursue fair and just compensation, which can cover medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. At Percy Law Group, PC in Massachusetts, our knowledgeable personal injury attorneys are backed by over 100 years of combined legal experience, an award-winning reputation, and a proven track record of success.