What Is Considered Pain And Suffering
Pain and suffering is a type of non-economic damage, meaning there are no receipts to prove it in court, as may exist with medical bills or car damage.
In Georgia, pain and suffering is considered a broad range of physical or emotional effects the accident had on the victim and his or her family. This can include physical pain, mental anguish, no longer enjoying life, loss of health and vigor, not being able to work, and more.
Personal injury law attempts to compensate a victim for the full extent of their damages, including those that are not so easy to quantify like pain and suffering.
The Difference Between Pain And Suffering
One thing that is at the core of the healing process and is very crucial to be aware of and to understand is the difference between pain and suffering.
It took me awhile to catch on to this myself, but in my experience Ive learned this to be true: Pain is something that occurs in a moment and it is linked to a tangible event. However, suffering is the process of choosing to dwell on the painful event in ways that keep you stuck and feeling miserable.
Therefore, suffering is something you do to yourself and it is rooted in the thoughts that you think.While you did not choose the original painful event, you can choose how much you suffer over the event.
The Dalai Lama said some very wise words in one of his lessons to his followers about suffering:
Consider that while some problems that cause suffering are unavoidable, we can always choose how to respond to the problem. Consider that one person who earns a certain salary may be unhappy with how little they have while someone else would be so very happy to earn the same amount. Have you ever complained, Theres nothing to eat in this house!? Reflect that for someone your nothing could be the source of great happiness.
Again, the essential difference between pain and suffering is this: while you do not have power over the event that caused the suffering, you do have power over whether or not you choose to suffer. Suffering is about how you perceive pain and how you choose to react to it.
S For Calculating Pain And Suffering
Negotiating a settlement for a personal injury claim requires that you calculate a reasonable amount of money that you would accept to resolve your claim. Most insurance companies and injury attorneys rely on some type of formula to give them an idea of what a case is worth. Since every personal injury case is unique, pain and suffering calculations are dependent upon the facts and circumstances of each case.
In a personal injury case, there are two ways to calculate pain and suffering.
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Pain And Suffering In Medical Malpractice Claims
For many years, non-economic damages in medical malpractice claims were subject to one of several caps. Non-economic damages in claims against practitioners were limited to $500,000 while a cap of $750,000 applied to claims against non-practitioners .
However, the Florida Supreme Court overturned these damage caps in 2017. The majority opinion found that the caps on noneconomic damages arbitrarily reduce damage awards for plaintiffs who suffer the most drastic injuries.
So, if you were injured or lost a loved one due to medical negligence, you may be able to recover full non-economic damages in a malpractice claim.
Calculating Pain And Suffering: Insurer Methods
Insurance companies like certainty. However, pain and suffering calculations are uncertain, and each injury victim has a different level of suffering and pain. Insurers most common methods for calculating pain and suffering include a per diem or a multiplier.
Heres how to calculate pain and suffering:
Naturally, these are hypothetical scenarios, and insurers may still demand that a victim provide proof of pain and suffering.
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How Split Limits Work
Bodily injury coverage most commonly has two policy limits, or split limits. One number represents the most the insurer will pay for one claimant, and the other represents the maximum the insurer will pay in total, regardless of the number of claimants involved. This second number would come into play if there were injured passengers involved.
You probably have seen split limits before they most often look like 50/100 or $50,000/$100,000. There are exceptions to this rule, however. For example, there may be other insurance policies involved if the injury was caused by a major corporation or some other large entity besides a private citizen.
This typically means that a person cannot sue an insurance company for a million dollars if the insurance coverage the defendant held only had a limit of $50,000. However, if there are multiple liable parties or if the defendant is a corporation, then you may be able to collect significantly more compensation for your pain and suffering. If the case were to proceed to trial, it depends on the state whether or not there is a limit.
There Are No Limitations On Pain And Suffering Damages In Illinois
In some states, there is a hard limit on the amount of pain and suffering compensation you can recover in a personal injury settlement. Some states only apply these caps to medical malpractice cases, while others apply these limits to every type of personal injury lawsuit.
Thankfully, there is no cap on pain and suffering compensation under Illinois law. The finder of fact in your casetypically a juryhas the final word on determining what compensation you are entitled to recover. This means that you may be able to receive a significant amount of money to help cover both economic and non-economic costs associated with your injuries.
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Insurers Will Fight Pain And Suffering Claims
Regardless of how well a victim and their attorney document a victims pain and suffering, the insurance company will likely fight back. They may claim the victims injuries did not cause that much pain, that the victims actions after an accident exacerbated their pain, or that the victim refused to follow the orders of their medical care team.
A personal injury victim should work closely with a skilled personal injury law firm. Insurers know that victims often do not understand the laws or the compensation they may seek. While a lawyer will make sure a victim understands their rights, insurers are under no obligation to make a victim aware of their rights.
What Is Included In Pain And Suffering In Georgia
According to Food Lion, Inc. v. Williams, pain and suffering in Georgia may include the physical and mental repercussions of being injured, such as:
- Past and future physical pain and suffering
- Past and future mental anguish
- Disruption to bodily health and vigor
- Disruption to normal living
- Disruption the enjoyment of life
- The loss of the ability to work and make a living
- The shock of the impact of the injuries on the victim
- Fear about the extent of the injury
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Evidence Of Pain And Suffering
While you may be eligible for compensation for the pain and suffering you have endured, as the plaintiff in a civil action, you have the burden of proving this aspect of your damages claim.
Your lawyer may present evidence to help substantiate your demand for pain and suffering damages, such as:
- Medical records that show your complaints of pain or other symptoms
- Results of imaging tests that show pain would be likely
- Receipts for prescription pain medications and over-the-counter substitutes
- Testimony from family members, neighbors, and coworkers who can explain how your injuries have affected you
- Entries from your pain journal about the frequency and severity of your pain
- Testimony from medical, vocational, and economic experts about the effects of your injuries
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How Pain And Suffering Is Calculated
No set standard exists for calculating how pain and suffering should be compensated. The subjectiveness of the process underscores the importance of documenting any and all information pertaining to your case.
Saving all evidence such as medical bills and other expenses associated with the injury is imperative. Documenting time spent addressing an injury and its side effects also is important. It can also be helpful to keep a journal documenting your emotional suffering. But many times, pain and suffering settlements are calculated using one of two formulas used by insurance companies.
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What Is The Law In California
Californias laws on pain and suffering damages generally follow the above discussion.
State law says that pain and suffering is a type of non-economic damages that a plaintiff can ask for in a personal injury case.
Other examples of these damages include compensation for:
- suffering and psychological trauma,
- loss of a limb or organ ,
- loss of quality of life from a serious injury,
- inability to engage in pleasurable activities , and/or
- loss of enjoyment of life.
There is no fixed standard in California for deciding the value of pain and suffering damages.3 However, attorneys and plaintiffs often use the multiplier method to estimate damage amounts.
Further, California law does not impose a damage cap in most personal injury claims involving pain and suffering and other economic damages.
But some exceptions do apply.
For example, there is a $250,000 cap on non-economic medical malpractice damages.4 Note, though, that the cap does not apply in cases in which a healthcare provider recklessly or intentionally injured or abused a patient.
California Civil Code 3333.4 also restricts the recovery of non-economic damages in actions for negligence arising out of the operation or use of a motor vehicle as follows:
Further, Civil Code 3333.3 prohibits people from recovering any damages if they were injured while committing, or fleeing after committing, a California felony.8
Contact Bader Scott Injury Lawyers For Help With Your Pain And Suffering Damages Claim
Bader Scott Injury Lawyers represents personal injury accident victims in the Atlanta area. We may be able to investigate your accident and determine what may be considered pain and suffering in your case when we represent you.
From settlement negotiations to trial, we can handle all aspects of your case while you concentrate on recovering from your injuries. Keep in mind that Georgia imposes a general two-year statute of limitations, or legal time limit, for filing a personal injury lawsuit, per O.C.G.A § 9-3-33.
For a free consultation on your case with a member of our team, call Bader Scott Injury Lawyers today at . We may be able to represent you on a contingency fee basis, where you do not pay attorneys fees to us unless and until you receive compensation in a settlement offer or court awards.
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Contact A Personal Injury Attorney For Your Pain And Suffering Claim
A serious examination of all facts and circumstances will be warranted in any personal injury claim. We can help you build your case to illustrate to the court the genuine pain and suffering you have endured due to someone elses negligence. While it is complicated to assign an exact monetary value to pain and suffering, the attorneys at Bressman Law will help you understand your rights, and help you understand the compensation you are owed beyond just medical bills and lost wages.
For more information on how you can receive monetary damages for pain and suffering in the state of Ohio, contact our legal team for a free online consultation at
How Is Pain And Suffering Determined
Those who have been seriously injured and wish to make a claim for pain and suffering must also pass the verbal threshold which was established by Canadian law to discourage all persons from pursuing smaller negligence claims.
In order to establish pain and suffering an expert may be called upon to help the judge understand the extent of an individuals physical or mental injuries as well as the amount of treatment that will be needed. Further witnesses may be called forward to relay how the individual has suffered from the loss of enjoyment of life.
Expert and witness testimony can better demonstrate the amount of pain and suffering the victim has endured.
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Insurance Companies Use Their Own Pain And Suffering Calculators
In most cases where the other party was clearly at fault, the injured party will receive at least some compensation for their pain and suffering. Most insurance companies recognize that people who are injured in a car accident deserve something for the way their life has been negatively impacted because of it. However, it is not specifically stated in the settlement exactly how much was allotted for pain and suffering.
Insurance companies will typically use their own pain and suffering calculators. This will help them determine how much they believe your pain and suffering is worth. To do this, they usually multiply your hospital bills by a predetermined number.
This one-size-fits-all type of calculating pain and suffering often undervalues the real suffering injured accident victims experience. Your pain and suffering is unique. As such, you need a settlement amount that accurately compensates you for the pain you suffered after your accident.
Working with an injury attorney is one of the best ways to ensure that you receive the amount of money you deserve. Insurance companies work solely to protect their investments and line their shareholders pockets. You need a lawyer for pain and suffering on your side who can protect you from the deceptive tactics used by insurance companies to reduce your claim and help you fight to receive the maximum in pain and suffering damages.
Slip And Fall Pain And Suffering Damages
Slip and fall accidents occur when a property owner has left unsafe conditions on their property that can lead to falls. Some of these dangerous conditions can include:
- Wet floors without signage
- Uncovered cables
A slip and fall accident can cause severe injuries resulting in pain and suffering. To recover damages in a slip and fall accident claim, the property owner must have negligently left unsafe conditions on their property. You can recover pain and suffering damages with a slip and fall accident filed with the property owners insurance company.
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Can You Sue For Pain And Suffering In Florida
In personal injury law, pain and suffering refers to the physical pain and mental and emotional suffering experienced by someone who has been injured. As a form of non-economic damages, pain and suffering compensates you for the adverse impact on your life, rather than a direct monetary loss.
Florida law does allow personal injury plaintiffs to pursue damages for pain and suffering and other non-economic losses. However, it is important to know how these damages are calculated and the limitations you may face in your claim.
An experienced personal injury lawyer in Florida at Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter can review your case and advise you of the compensation you may be able to recover. Contact us today for a FREE consultation.
Mental Pain And Suffering
While mental pain and suffering may be harder to document than physical pain and suffering, it is just as important to your overall well being. Any mental anguish or negative emotion you may suffer from your initial accident may be classified as mental pain and suffering, and you may be entitled to compensation. For instance, if you need to see a psychologist over fear and anxiety over driving your car again, that may qualify as mental pain and suffering in your personal injury case. Examples of possible mental pain and suffering include:
- Emotional distress
- Stress or anxiety
In some instances, people injured by someone elses carelessness are diagnosed with more severe mental conditions such as:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder or other anxiety disorders
- Impulse control issues, resulting from your anger over the circumstances of your injuries and the life changes theyve caused
- Depression and its symptoms, including loss of appetite, sleep disturbances or changes, sexual dysfunction, and loss of life enjoyment, among others
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Our Team At The Niblock Law Firm Is Here To Help
Working with an experienced personal injury attorney like those on our team at The Niblock Law Firm can be one of the best ways to make sure you receive maximum compensation for pain and suffering damages.
An insurance provider might try to take advantage of your lack of legal experience to convince you that your claim is worth far less than the actual value. Before you settle a claim, get in touch with us today. We know how to help you get the compensation you deserve.
To Ease Suffering Listen To Your Pain
Posted April 15, 2011
As a life-saving alarm system, pain keeps us focused on distress, for the purpose of relieving it. Pain motivates behavior that will help heal, repair, or improve. A pain in your foot, for example, will motivate you to take the rock off it, get more comfortable shoes, soak it in a tub of warm water, or visit a podiatrist.
If we do not act on the motivation to heal-repair-improve , the alarm of pain intensifies and generalizes. The toothache becomes facial pain the sore foot seems to throb along the whole side of the body.
When pain intensifies and generalizes over time, it becomes suffering. Suffering is repeated failure to act successfully on the natural motivation of pain to do something that will heal, repair, or improve.
Like its physical counterpart, normal psychological pain is localized in the beginning, usually in the form of guilt, shame, or anxiety about something specific. But when it comes to emotional pain, the behavior choices that will heal, repair, or improve are more ambiguous. Psychological pain is, therefore, more conducive to suffering.
Anything that numbs or avoids pain undermines its ability to motivate corrective behavior and thereby causes suffering. The most common causes are blame, resentment , anger, addictions, and compulsive behavior. All render us powerless to heal, improve, or repair. All cause suffering.
To prevent suffering, we must follow the motivation of pain.
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