Car accidents, slip and fall injuries, and dangerous products can all leave you with out of work and with medical debt. While it may be relatively easy for you to prove certain expenses in a case, such as medical expenses, it can be more difficult to prove things like pain and suffering. However, pain and suffering is a recognized type of compensation and a type of payment that you may be entitled to.
What is Pain and Suffering in a Lawsuit?
When it comes to compensating a person for an injury of any sort the laws whole goal is to place the person they would have been in had the injury not occurred. The common law provides that any injured victim be entitled to receive compensation for pain and suffering when his injuries are the result of the willful or negligent actions of another or were caused by the defective condition of products, machinery, or equipment. Pain and suffering goes beyond just physical pain but also includes mental pain and anguish. Generally, pain and suffering damages are reserved for those cases where the injury is “serious” 75 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 1702 has defined “serious injury” as “[a] personal injury resulting in death, serious impairment of body function or permanent serious disfigurement.” Pain and suffering can generally be broken down into two categories:
- Physical pain and suffering –This type of pain and suffering tends to be the most obvious form such as when you have lingering effects from an injury.
- Mental pain and suffering – Mental pain and suffering claims result from a person being physically injured, but because of those physical injuries they suffer some mental pain and emotional distress such as fear, anxiety, anger, humiliation, and shock. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a well known and documented medical condition that can be brought on by extreme and serious emotional trauma and may be a reason why a person is awarded pain and suffering damages.
What Documentation Do I Need to Prove Pain and Suffering?
If you are considering whether or not to include a pain and suffering claim in your lawsuit you should first begin to collect documents that will prove that you have pain and suffering. This can be a good exercise for both you and your attorney as it will allow you to see the impact of the injury and the effects it has had on your life. Pain and suffering claims can be hard to prove in court, therefore, it is important to provide as much documentation as you can, such as the following:
- Medical reports.
- Prescription receipts.
- Over-the-counter medication receipts.
- Medical bills, if applicable, for therapy, ambulance costs, x-rays, emergency room visits, and more.
- Proof of lost wages or time off from school.
- A log of all medical treatment, pain, and missed activities.
- Photos of your injuries.
What’s Covered Under Pain and Suffering?
There are many outcomes after you have been involved in any sort of accident that may qualify you for pain and suffering compensation. Typically, these types of damages are considered “noneconomic loss” and cover things such as:
- Past/Future Pain and Suffering – Which is any physical pain, mental anguish, discomfort, inconvenience, or stress you’ve experienced because of the accident.
- Humiliation/Embarrassment – If you have been severely injured you may experience some form of humiliation and embarrassment because of your injuries. Burns, paralysis and amputation can all affect your self-confidence and greatly impact your life.
- Enjoyment of Life – Your mindset and outlook can change after an accident injury, making life feel difficult to enjoy.
- Disfigurement – Scarring and permanent damage caused by an accident or necessary surgery will stay with you forever.
- Loss of Consortium – The spouse of an injured victim may receive money if they’ve lost companionship and the ability to be close with their significant other because of the injuries sustained in an accident.
Trust an Experienced Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer
The Wieand Law Firm has a track record of successfully representing clients injured all types of personal injury cases. Founding attorney, Brent Wieand, has been selected as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyers “Rising Star” for the years 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
For a free and friendly no obligation consultation, call Brent Wieand, an experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer that works on a contingency fee at 1 (800) 481-5206.