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Pain and Suffering

Definition - What does Pain and Suffering mean?

Injured claimants may be paid general damages for pain and suffering if they are injured due to the negligent actions or inaction of another person or entity. Pain and suffering are called general damages and differ from special damages which are awarded for losses, including lost wages, property damage, or medical expenses. Unlike special damages, which are quantifiable and easily defined and calculated, pain and suffering is more difficult to prove.

Is there a limit to pain and suffering damages?

Many states have instituted laws which now cap the amount of damages which can be recovered for general damages, including pain and suffering. The caps vary by state. Other limitations such as attorney fees and insurance payments may also affect the amount awarded for pain and suffering in a medical malpractice case.

Claimants who file a personal injury case after the statute of limitations has expired or who are considered at fault for their own injuries may also have their opportunity for recovery limited. Because state laws vary, it is a good idea to talk to a personal injury lawyer if you have questions about the amount of pain and suffering compensation you may receive after a medical malpractice injury or any other type of personal injury.

How do I prove pain and suffering?

Pain and suffering can be both physical and mental. If you have severe burns or have a heart attack from taking the wrong medication it is clear you have suffered physical pain. But there are also detrimental effects of your injury, including the pain and suffering, you are likely to suffer after the injury.

Pain and suffering can also be mental. For instance, it not unusual for those who have severe injuries to become depressed, angry, anxious, and humiliated. Different patients with different injuries will suffer a range of emotions which are related to the trauma of the accident. Some patients can also expect to suffer severe emotional side-effects such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The good news is, if you have been a victim of a medical malpractice claim, you will be compensated for your pain and suffering. How much you will be awarded, however, will vary by state and by injury.

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