Personal Injury Law: How To Determine Pain And Suffering


If you were recently in a vehicle accident and suffered injuries, you have the right to sue for damages. However, when you file this claim, you will need to prove pain and suffering. This can be anything from the physical pain of your injuries, to emotional turmoil, being traumatized by the accident, or losing out on employment wages while you recovered.

Here is more information about determining pain and suffering in this type of case:

The Challenge of Pain and Suffering

In terms of personal injury cases, proving pain and suffering is one of the most difficult. This is because you can't see pain, and a lot of it is considered hearsay. While your physician can tell the courts about the treatments you received and symptoms they saw that indicate a certain level of pain, the severity of it and how it affected you is a little more difficult to prove.

While it is challenging, it is not impossible. People sue for pain and suffering every day and win. You need to know about how to prove it and you need a great personal injury lawyer.

General Damages

When looking at a pain and suffering claim following an accident, the courts refer to general damages. This includes the two main types of pain and suffering: the physical pain and suffering you experience from your injury, and the mental or psychological pain and suffering you experience.

There isn't a set formula for coming up with general damages, so the court tries to go based on the injury itself. For example, most people know when you break a bone, it is very painful, and the healing time is extensive. This is a common injury that is much easier to define with the pain and suffering involved.

However, other injuries are not as obvious because they affect different people in different ways. If you have whiplash or a soft tissue injury, it is hard to determine what pain and suffering you endured. Some people experience more of the mental anguish side of pain and suffering for their injuries, while others can feel the damage to ligaments or tendons much more severely. Soft tissue injuries also don't show up on x-rays, making it more difficult.

How to Evaluate Pain and Suffering

So how exactly is pain and suffering evaluated? Insurance companies use a few different methods, as you usually start there and go to court next. Their first principle is that if you did not seek medical attention, you were not in that much pain. This is why it is imperative that you see a doctor for your injuries right away, even if you think they are minor.

The insurance company also looks at the type of treatment you got, what the recovery period was like, and how often you needed to see your doctor or get surgery. They will also look at any therapy or counseling you needed if you were traumatized by the event, as well as facts about how much work was missed.

Collecting Evidence

There is certain evidence you should collect when you are trying to file a pain and suffering claim. This includes:

  • Medical records
  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pictures of your injuries
  • Pharmacy records
  • Documents from your employer

Keep in mind that your claim for pain and suffering begins with the insurance company, then you will sue if your claim is denied. You need a good lawyer in either case. Need more help? Contact a company like Edward J. Achrem & Associates, Ltd. to learn more.


9 March 2015

Accident Victims Must Stick Together

When I was injured in a slip and fall accident a few years ago, my family and friends had a hard time relating to the things I was going through. While some people thought that my decision to file a lawsuit was frivolous, others were under the impression that I would walk away as a millionaire. Their lack of personal experience with this type of legal problem left me feeling alone during one of the most difficult times in my life. That is why I decided to start this blog so that accident victims from all over would have somewhere to come to get the information and support that they need. I truly hope that this page can be that place for you.