What is "Pain and Suffering?" | Belt, Bruner & Barnett

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What is “Pain and Suffering?”

Nov 04, 2016 | Personal Injury

Under Alabama law, plaintiffs in personal injury cases may recover what is known as compensatory damages. These damages are intended to cover the losses sustained by an individual who was injured as a result of another party’s negligence. Compensatory damages can be broken down into actual damages, which cover out-of-pocket expenses and general damages, which are awarded for intangible losses that are more difficult to quantify.

Actual damages cover medical costs, lost wages, and property loss or damage. General, or non-economic damages, include things like pain and suffering, physical impairment, disfigurement, physical impairment, and loss of quality and enjoyment of life. In cases where the level of a defendant’s wrongful conduct warrants it, the jury can award punitive damages; damages designed to punish the defendant and deter future bad behavior.

What Are Pain and Suffering Damages?

Pain and suffering damages also referred to as mental anguish, are intended to compensate the victim for the emotional distress that can be caused by a personal injury. In Alabama, pain and suffering damages include the physical pain experienced and the mental distress that accompanies a physical injury including feelings of distress, embarrassment, anger, fear, shock, grief, and anxiety.

Anyone who has been injured in a car accident understands how traumatic an experience it can be. While calculating your out-of-pocket expenses for medical costs and loss of income following an accident are straightforward, it is more challenging to establish your pain and suffering damages. Pain and suffering damages are awarded for intangible injuries, meaning that assigning a dollar amount to these losses can be incredibly complicated.

How Do You Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages?

There is no fixed standard for measuring pain and suffering damages, but common approaches include the per diem method and the multiplier method. With the multiplier approach, the amount of actual economic damages is multiplied by a factor determined by the severity of the injury and recovery period. For the per diem method, a value is assigned to the pain and suffering each day multiplied by the number of days injured.

Every personal injury case is unique and the amount of pain and suffering damages awarded will depend on a number of distinctive factors. Because pain and suffering damages are more subjective, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to get a better understanding of what your case may be worth. With the help of an experienced Alabama personal injury lawyer, you can give yourself the best shot at recovering the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

How an Alabama Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

The Alabama personal injury lawyers at Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. have 65 years of combined courtroom experience and are well-respected trial lawyers. Our attorneys have handled a virtually every type of personal injury cases involving:

  • Truck accidents
  • Car accidents
  • Bus accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Airplane accidents
  • Railroad accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Premises liability
  • Wrongful death
  • Dangerous products

We’ll fight for the maximum compensation available in your case while you focus on recovery and rebuilding your life. Our track record of success includes more than 57 cases that resulted in a settlement or verdict in excess of $1 million and 11 cases in which our clients recovered $5 million or more.

Contact our Alabama injury law firm today at (205) 933-1500 to learn how we can help you pursue the compensation you deserve.