What Exactly is ‘Pain and Suffering’ in Personal Injury Cases?


If you’ve ever scrolled through network TV in the middle of a weekday, you’ve probably come across one or many commercials for personal injury law firms. One of the phrases these advertisements throw around are “pain and suffering.” This isn’t just a snappy expression designed to get your attention; in Georgia, pain and suffering is actually a legal item of damages. In other words, you might be awarded money to compensate you for your pain and suffering after a serious personal injury. 

Economic vs. Non-Economic Damages

After you submit a personal injury claim or file a lawsuit, the other party will begin determining a proper payout (assuming it is determined that you deserve compensation in the first place). The first order of business is calculating your economic damages. These are expenses that have a particular dollar amount attached to them. Common economic damages are lost wages, doctor bills, pharmacy bills, and general medical costs. 

Sometimes, the victim of a personal injury caused by someone else’s neglect is deserving of non-economic damages. These are subjective and are difficult to quantify. Pain and suffering is one of the most well-known non-economic damages and encompasses a wide array of physical, emotional, and mental effects stemming from an injury. When considering pain and suffering, the court often looks at factors such as: 

  • Impairment to your body health and vigor
  • Past and future mental anguish
  • Past and future pain and suffering
  • Interference with normal living
  • Loss of ability to earn a living
  • The extent to which you must limit certain activities
  • The disruption to your enjoyment of life
  • The shock of the injury’s impact on your life

Ways to Show Pain and Suffering in Court

Because pain and suffering is subjective, plaintiffs must present compelling evidence to the judge or jury. Convincing a judge or jury that you deserve to be compensated for your pain and suffering involves much more than simply going on the stand and explaining how hard the aftermath of your injury has been on you. While personal testimony can be a powerful tool in this situation, it’s also useful to gather every record you can find detailing your medical treatments. Let the court know every doctor visit, examination, and diagnosis. Testimony from your friends, family, coworkers, and medical experts could also go a long way in this pursuit. 

Our Firm Will Stand By You

Besides convincing the court that you deserve pain and suffering, your attorney will be able to argue for a solid amount that adequately covers what you’ve been through. Georgia Trial Lawyer Robin Frazer Clark has spent years successfully representing plaintiffs in complex personal injury cases. When you need somebody to be your advocate, our firm is there for you. Give us a call at 404-873-3700 to set up a free consultation with our legal team. 

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