Pain and suffering does not include medical bills. You could receive compensation for pain and suffering in addition to money to pay your medical bills.
However, in some cases, the amount of your medical bills helps to determine how much you could receive in compensation for pain and suffering and other intangible losses. Still, they are separate categories of monetary damages.
An Explanation of Pain and Suffering Damages in Personal Injury Cases
Each state has its legal definition of pain and suffering damages in personal injury cases. Pain and suffering is a category of damages that addresses an injured person’s physical discomfort, inconvenience, and emotional distress. In some states, pain and suffering and “non-economic damages” are interchangeable terms.
Other Intangible Damages in Negligence Claims
Pain and suffering is not the only non-economic loss a person could go after in their negligence claim. Every case is different, and the facts of your situation will determine which categories or losses you could pursue.
If you were injured in an accident, you could recover compensation for the following:
- Disfigurement: can include amputation or dismemberment, burn scars, extensive scars from the injury, or large, visible surgical incisions
- Chronic pain, weakness, loss of function, decreased range of motion, and other limitations from your injuries
- Post-traumatic stress disorder: Many people develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after experiencing or witnessing a horrific crash, particularly if there was a fatality in the collision. PTSD is a significant condition that can limit a person’s ability to function in everyday life.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: if you can no longer engage in the activities you used to enjoy
If you lost a loved one due to an accident, you can file a wrongful death claim to seek justice for your loss.
Make Sure You Recover All Your Medical Bills
Accident victims don’t always get all the compensation they deserve because they aren’t aware of what they can claim. Your specific damages will depend on your injuries and losses but may include:
- The cost of the medical treatment you needed for your injuries. For example, the ambulance, trauma center, X-rays, blood tests, surgery, doctors, hospital, prescription drugs, and therapy can fall into this category.
- Ongoing medical care. Some wounds require medical intervention at different points in the healing process. For example, if your injuries include severe burn injuries, you might need to heal from one type of surgery before undergoing a later surgery.
- Long-term care. After catastrophic injuries, a person could lose the ability to live independently. They might need daily assistance with their medical treatment and personal care. The expenses of nursing or in-home healthcare can add to your injury claim.
Economic Damages Include More Than Just Medical Bills
Economic damages are separate from pain and suffering and other intangible losses, but the amount of your economic damages will be a factor that affects the amount of your monetary damages for pain and suffering.
- Lost earnings. You most likely missed time from work immediately after the accident, when recuperating, and attending doctor appointments and therapy sessions. If you did not receive pay for this time, we can add your lost income to your injury claim.
- Lost earning capacity. You can also recover compensation for the difference in your wages after the accident. For example, if your injuries require you to take a lesser-paying job, you can recover compensation for the wages you lost.
You can also recover other losses like the cost of renovating your home and vehicle to accommodate a disability. You will want to talk to your attorney about all your losses to ensure they are part of your claim.
Determining the Amount of Pain and Suffering Damages From Your Medical Bills and Other Economic Losses
The court will determine the amount of pain and suffering damages to award you by first adding up all your medical bills and other economic losses. They will then apply a multiplier or add a per diem to your total economic losses to arrive at a sum representing your pain and suffering losses.
These processes are difficult to navigate but our team will manage this on your behalf.
How the Statute of Limitations Could Affect Your Right to Pain and Suffering Damages and Other Losses
No matter how much physical discomfort, emotional trauma, and inconvenience you have endured from your injuries, you will lose all rights to seek compensation from the at-fault party if you miss the filing deadline. The deadline varies by state.
For example, in California, CCP § 335.1 limits you to two years to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
Get Help from Our Injury Attorneys Today
Our team can help you determine what damages you can recover through an injury claim. Talk to the personal injury team at Greenberg Gross today to learn more.