How Do You Quantify Pain and Suffering?

"Pain and suffering" is one of the many different types of damages that accident victims can claim after they are wrongfully injured. Unlike with medical expenses and lost wages, one cannot simply look at hospital bills or at documentation of the victim's annual income to determine how much pain and suffering a victim endured. When it comes down to it, only the victim truly knows the extent of the physical pain and mental anguish that resulted from his or her injuries. There are, however, various factors that are commonly used to assess the level of pain and suffering in personal injury cases. These include the following:

  • The type and extent of treatment required (for example, an injury that leads to multiple surgeries will likely be thought to have a higher level of pain and suffering)
  • The duration of the victim's recovery time
  • For mental anguish, the extent to which the injury changed the victim's way of life (such as when a victim becomes paralyzed and is no longer able to care for himself or herself)

While a physician can observe a victim's symptoms and condition to make an assessment of the victim's pain level, even this is really nothing more than an educated guess—especially since each person has a different threshold for tolerating pain. In many cases, the extent of the victim's pain and suffering is unfairly minimalized by the insurance company or the at-fault party's lawyers. This often happens in cases where the injuries are less visible, such as when the victim suffers from soft-tissue injuries or from psychological trauma.

You should not move forward with a personal injury claim or lawsuit without a skilled lawyer who can help you pursue fair compensation for the pain and suffering (and other damages) you experienced. Your attorney may be able to strengthen your claim through evidence such as pictures of your injuries, your medical records, documentation of your prescriptions and medication purchases, testimony from medical experts and so on. At Kalka & Baer LLC, we have Atlanta personal injury attorneys who are familiar with the tricks insurance companies pull when it comes to these types of damages. It is our goal to ensure that you are properly restored by the at-fault party's insurance company for the physical and mental turmoil you went through. Contact our firm for aggressive legal support in your personal injury case!