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What Is Pain and Suffering in a Personal Injury Case?

If you’re injured in a car accident, chances are the insurance companies involved will try to get you to settle for an amount of money. All you want is peace and recovery after such an ordeal; so you accept their offer.

However, over time you find yourself consulting and receiving treatment with doctors and specialists, still in pain from injuries you suffered long after the accident. You cannot work because of your long-term injuries, forcing you into a financial pitfall between covering the costs of living and the medical bills that are piling up.

This is why speaking to an attorney well versed in personal injury cases is essential. Having peace of mind knowing that someone is looking out for your best interest will ease the burdens of pain and suffering.

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Pain and Suffering Defined

The Legal Information Institute (LII) defines pain and suffering as physical discomfort and emotional distress compensating for noneconomic damages. It refers to the pain, discomfort, anguish, inconvenience, and emotional trauma accompanying an injury. Bearing that in mind, it is imperative to understand the types of damages and what damages are legal, beginning with what damages are. Some examples of damages that frequent a personal injury case include:

  • Medical Bills
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Emotional Distress
  • Travel/Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Loss of work/income

These examples fit under three distinct categories of personal injury listed below:

  • Compensatory – Compensation/money personally received for involvement in or injury resulting from an accident caused by negligence (legally defined as a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances). Even if another person caused the accident, the negligent party pays damages.
  • Nominal – Most often received when the plaintiff has proven to have suffered minimal harm due to another person. While you may receive minimal compensation for such damages, courts will have a record that misconduct occurred despite the lack of serious injury, illness, or economic loss due to harm.
  • Punitive – Frequently received when a plaintiff received severe injury or illness due to malicious or negligent behavior intentionally caused by the defendant. The amount awarded by the court may vary on a case-by-case basis.

At Kelly & West we can help you understand your rights to compensation if you’re injured in an accident. Whether it’s an auto accident or an accident on the job, we have nearly 40 years of experience to help. Contact us for a free consultation.

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