Blog Post

What is Pain & Suffering?

The Law Offices of Adrian Crane, P.C. April 29, 2015

A victim of an accident caused by another may be compensated for pain and suffering by making a personal injury claim. Evidence of this pain and suffering must be made to prove the loss or damages.

Unlike a broken bone, the amount of compensation a victim deserves is difficult to calculate. Insurance company adjusters have a reputation for doubting and undervaluing claims made by victims. Consequently, claims for pain and suffering as they relate to auto accident claims are often carefully scrutinized by auto insurance companies.

Pain & Suffering Defined

Generally speaking, pain and suffering is considered the physical, emotional stress, pain and negative emotions and feelings you experience from your injuries. Pain and suffering damages are called “general damages” by some people.

Despite the vagaries and uncertainty of this definition, you legally can make and file a claim for insurance benefits as it relates to compensation for pain and suffering. This amount is considered separate from other expenses such as medical expenses (X-rays, medications, hospital visits; physical therapy), and lost wages compensation.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim: Calculating Pain & Suffering

There is no set or established formula in calculating the costs of pain and suffering. Some people think that multiplying the total medical bills related to the car accident injuries by two, three, or four will give you an estimate of what a victim’s pain and suffering is “worth”. While this would be nice to make it easy to calculate pain and suffering damages, it wouldn’t be a way to accurately ascertain the proper compensation for damages.

Others espouse that a formula based on daily suffering is a better way to estimate the proper compensation for pain and suffering damages. For instance, if your arm was broken in a car accident, you would gauge your daily pain and all of the daily activities you’re incapable of doing due to your injury multiplied by the hours of suffering and then applied to an hourly dollar figure. The product of that multiplication would be what your pain and suffering is worth.

And some others just estimate a generalized cost.

The fact is, the way or method a person comes to a final figure for pain and suffering is not as important in resolving claims as is the final figure. Put another way, if an insurance adjuster and a lawyer’s client can agree about how much the victim’s pain and suffering is worth, it doesn’t really matter what mathematical approach they use to get there.

Whichever method is used, victims of personal injury accidents will need to provide evidence or proof to substantiate the claim. Typically the kinds of documentation that support a claim for pain and suffering are as follows:

  • Photos of your injuries

  • Ambulance records and bills

  • Medical records and bills

  • Prescription receipts

  • Over-the-counter medication receipts

  • Medical bills, if applicable, for therapy, ambulance costs, x-rays, emergency room visits and more

  • Proof of lost wages

  • Proof of lost wages due to incapacitation

Please feel free to contact us for an honest evaluation of your personal injury case including information about your pain and suffering claim as it relates to your accident. Your initial consultation is free, and you pay no legal fees unless we recover on your behalf.

Were you seriously or catastrophically injured in any kind of truck or car accident? If so, do not hesitate to request a free case evaluation from the experienced personal injury lawyers at The Law Offices of Adrian Crane, P.C. Call or contact us online with the free case evaluation form on this website.