Understanding the “Pain and Suffering” Part of Your Lawsuit

Lawsuits involving serious injuries almost always have a pain and suffering component. You have probably heard of it, but you may not know what it means to you. Pain and suffering refers to both your physical pain and your mental and emotional pain. It goes into the deep and long-lasting harm that your injuries have caused, that does not tie to an exact cost in dollars but changes your life in ways that mean more to you than money and can also come at a financial cost.

Examples of Pain and Suffering

The most straightforward type of pain and suffering is your physical pain and suffering. This can include the pain immediately after the injury and while you were healing. It also includes chronic pain which can be debilitating and change your life. Other examples of pain and suffering include:

  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Embarrassment
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Withdrawal from social settings or friends and family
  • Inability to participate in activities you used to enjoy
  • Damage to your relationships
  • Inability to interact with your children as you used to

The type of pain and suffering caused by your injuries will be unique to your situation and the cause of your injuries. For instance, if you were hurt in a car crash you may be afraid to drive again which limits your ability to do the most basic things in life such as driving to work and going grocery shopping. As a result, you may experience lost earning capacity and incur expenses because you have to pay other people to run errands for you.

Another common scenario is fear of going to the doctor after medical malpractice preventing you from getting appropriate and necessary medical treatment for the rest of your life. It may not prevent your from ever going to the doctor again but can result in many health issues because you put off routine screenings and timely procedures.

Pain and suffering is one of the most complex aspects of damages in a personal injury lawsuit, but often the part that represents the most meaningful harm to injury victims. If you have been seriously hurt as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, call McPhillips Fitzgerald & Cullum LLP, today or email us to schedule your free initial consultation.


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