When most people think of the words ‘pain and suffering’, they assume that such feelings cannot be quantified. While this may be true in most cases, it is certainly not so in personal injury cases. Pain and suffering is a key component is almost every personal injury case. From a legal point of view, pain and suffering has many connotations. Depending on the interpretation, when a personal injury insurance-related claim or case pops up, pain and suffering can and is quantified.
Types of Pain and Suffering
When it comes to personal injury cases, there are two main types or categories of ‘pain and suffering’ – physical and mental.
Physical Pain and Suffering
Mental Pain and Suffering
The actual physical injuries that the plaintiff is suffering through are placed under the marquee of physical pain and suffering. Physical pain and suffering include the injuries and resultant pain that the plaintiff has suffered through till date. However, it doesn’t stop there. It also includes the pain and suffering that the plaintiff may incur in the future, which will affect his/her life in a detrimental manner, owing to the negligence of the defendant.
In a personal injury case, mental pain and suffering is also a result of the injuries suffered by the plaintiff. However, they are classified as an indirect by-product of the physical injuries. Mental anguish, emotional suffering, distress, fear, anger, anxiety, shock, loss or reduction of enjoyment of life, humiliation, and other negative emotions that are felt by accident victim’s fall under this category of pain of suffering.
Basically, any mental ailment or suffering that stems from the physical pain and injuries of the traumatic accident are bundled under this category. Mental pain and suffering differs in different individuals based on the severity of the accident and victim’s capacity to handle the situation.
Serious mental pain and suffering comprises of anger, depression, sexual dysfunction, sleep disorders, and more. The worst type of mental pain and suffering is represented by the onset of PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder. Like physical pain and suffering, a personal injury lawsuit takes into account all the mental pain and suffering that has been endured owing to the defendant’s negligence to date as well as the likelihood of mental pain and suffering that the victim might suffer in the future.
A committed and solid personal injury lawyer will be able to quantify this pain and suffering to present a well-formed personal injury lawsuit in front of the judge.