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What is Pain and Suffering in a Personal Injury Claim?

Pain-and-SufferingIf you have suffered an injury because of someone else’s wrongful act, you may experience significant pain on a daily or regular basis. Under the law, you may be entitled to compensation for “pain and suffering.” What does that mean, however? What are the components of a claim for pain and suffering? What types of discomfort qualify you for damages for “pain and suffering”?

As we discussed in an earlier blog, there are two types of compensatory damages available in a personal injury action—economic damages and non-economic damages. Pain and suffering falls in the category of non-economic damages, those types of losses that are less tangible and more difficult to calculate precisely.

Compensation for pain and suffering takes two forms: damages for physical pain and suffering and damages for mental pain and suffering. Physical pain and suffering will include not only any pain experienced to date, but pain that an injured person may be expected to feel in the future. Mental pain and suffering can include depression, anxiety, fear, anger and embarrassment due to physical injury, such as scarring or disfigurement. Mental pain and suffering is typically an indirect result of physical pain and suffering.

As an example, if you slip and fall on someone else’s property and break an arm or a leg, you will be entitled to some compensation for the actual physical pain you felt as a result of the fracture, as well as any pain or suffering that developed as a consequence. For example, if you break your leg, requiring that you change your gait, and you develop muscle pain in your other leg or in your back because of compensation for the broken leg, you can also recover damages for that pain and suffering. In addition, if you are unable to work and become depressed or anxious because you can’t meet your financial obligations, you may be entitled to damages for mental pain and suffering.

Contact Attorney Howard D. Popper

To learn your options when you have lost a loved one in an accident, contact our office online or call attorney Popper at 973-993-8787. We have offices in Morristown and Newton, but will come to your home or the hospital, if necessary. There is no charge for your first consultation.

We handle all personal injury claims on a contingency basis. You won’t be charged any legal fees unless attorney Popper recovers compensation for your losses.

Prior results are no guarantee of a specific outcome in your case. Your results may vary based on your particular facts and circumstances.