Pain and suffering, sometimes called “general damages”, is an element of damages for which a plaintiff may recover. Generally, pain and suffering is associated with personal injury claims and deals with the internal pain and distress associated with physical injury and the limitations it causes.
This can be one of the most complex elements of damages to value because of the difficulty entailed in attaching a specific dollar amount to someone’s pain and suffering. Pain and suffering may include frustration, regret, distress, hurt, hopelessness and despair. When a plaintiff is no longer able enjoy sports or other types of physical activities because of physical limitations caused by the accident, this type of frustration and loss of enjoyment can be powerful aspect of general damages.
When personal injury insurance adjusters negotiate a settlement for compensation of plaintiffs pain suffering, they use a formula that equals two-to-three times the plaintiffs medical bills. Often pain and suffering can be the largest component of the plaintiffs damages case because it is intangible yet jurors can identify with it precisely because all of us have experienced pain and suffering in our own lives. Consider that some people sincerely believe that life is not worth living if it filled with nothing but physical pain and anguish.
For more information on accidents and injuries consider reviewing the following personal injury topics: