What is Pain and Suffering?

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What is Pain and Suffering?

Under personal injury laws, pain and suffering refers to a damages award that is related to the after effects of a particular incident. For instance, if a victim of a car accident had a leg injury that eventually led to severe back pain, they may be able to file for pain and suffering damages. This is related more to the "pain" aspect of the term.

In other situations, a person may experience emotional or psychological distress due to personal injury incident. A common example of this is where a person was assaulted. Even long after the actual assault occurred, the victim may continue to experience recurring trauma. In such cases, the victim may be able to file for pain and suffering to compensate for losses associated with therapy costs, or for lost wages if they missed work. Another example is where a person experiences grief after losing a loved one in a wrongful death incident (i.e., loss of consortium). 

How Can I Obtain a Damages Award for Pain and Suffering?

In many cases, a pain and suffering damages award can be obtained immediately, during the initial lawsuit itself. For instance, if a person files a lawsuit for car accident injuries, they may be able to include pain and suffering in their overall damages award request. When suing for pain and suffering, the court should be informed as soon as the plaintiff is aware of the conditions involving pain and suffering.

In some instances, the pain and suffering symptoms may appear later, well after the initial incident. In such cases, the person may still be able to file for pain and suffering, so long as they are within the statute of limitations (i.e., the filing deadline) for that particular legal issue, and are not otherwise disqualified from such a lawsuit.

Unlike other damage calculations, pain and suffering is not automatically considered, and needs to be specifically requested in court.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Pain and Suffering Awards?

In any personal injury lawsuit, pain and suffering can present some additional legal concepts that need to be addressed. You may need to hire a lawyer if you have any questions, disputes, or concerns regarding pain and suffering concepts. Your attorney can help you when it comes to filing your claim, organizing documents, and other important tasks. Also, your lawyer can represent you during the trial proceedings.

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Last Modified: 03-30-2015 04:45 PM PDT

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