“Pain and suffering” is a common term used by people everyday. In the legal world, the term refers to both of the physical and emotional injuries that a victim has suffered due to an accident. In some cases, substantial mental anguish and physical pain after an accident can qualify as pain and suffering for legal settlement purposes. According to an injury lawyer in Orange County at Aitken * Aitken * Cohn, “Depending on the type and severity of the injury, you may be able to claim non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, disability, or loss of quality of life.”

If you’ve lost precious time and suffered mentally after an accident, understanding how your pain and suffering can be calculated and used in a personal injury claim is critical. Learn more here about what qualifies pain and suffering in a personal injury claim.

Physical Pain & Suffering

The injuries that occur after a serious accident caused by negligence can be painful both initially and long-term. Injuries that result in chronic pain can last for weeks, months, or even years. Some examples of physical injuries that can result in long-term pain includes: 

  • Back pain
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Neck pain
  • Internal organ damage
  • Broken bones
  • Headaches
  • Sprains
  • Dislocated joints

A claim that includes the physical pain of a plaintiff’s injuries includes not just the discomfort the plaintiff has had to endure, but the effects of the injury that they are likely to suffer in the future.

Emotional Pain & Suffering

An injury does not always only result in physical pain. Emotional pain can also result from being in a traumatic accident and have long term mental effects. Experiencing chronic pain can be debilitating and have a major effect on quality of life. There are several examples of emotional pain and suffering, which includes:

  • Fear
  • Insomnia
  • Psychological trauma
  • Worry
  • Anger
  • Cognitive changes
  • Grief
  • Frustration
  • PTSD

Mental pain and suffering can both result from physical injury or as a by-product of a traumatic experience. The emotional pain and suffering that a plaintiff experiences after an accident is eligible to be included in a personal injury claim.

Loss of Consortium

In many personal injury claims, the victim is the one filing the claim for their injuries. Unfortunately, there are also instances when negligent actions result in a person’s death. A family member can bring a wrongful death suit against the responsible party, which can also include damages for pain and suffering. Loss of consortium is the definition of the pain and suffering spouses and families feel after losing a loved one. Examples of loss of consortium include:

  • Companionship
  • Parental guidance 
  • Care
  • Love and affection
  • Spousal intimacy
  • Household services

Every state has their own unique way of calculating pain and suffering in personal injury claims. Even though an accident can seem like just a quick moment in a day, the effects can actually last much longer and have lasting effects on a person’s life.