Pain and Suffering in a Personal Injury Case

When someone is injured because of another person's negligence or intentional actions, they may experience pain and suffering. This includes physical pain, mental pain and distress, and emotional anguish.

In personal injury lawsuit cases, individuals who have suffered serious injuries can receive compensation for their pain and suffering.

If you need more information regarding a claim, contact DCAL to schedule a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Call us at (720) 770-5454.

Examples of Pain and Suffering in a Personal Injury Case

In a personal injury case, pain and suffering refer to physical and emotional losses resulting from another's negligence or wrongful act. It includes mental anguish, physical pain, and the loss of quality of life caused by the injury.

Types of Pain and Suffering of accident victims include:

  • Physical pain resulting from the injury, such as headaches, muscle aches, internal organ damage other internal injuries such as brain damage and joint pain.
  • Emotional trauma and distress caused by the injury, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PDST), anxiety, fear, and grief.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life due to the injury or its treatment.
  • Loss of companionship or consortium due to the severe injuries suffered in a car accident, wrongful death, or medical malpractice case.
  • Inconvenience due to catastrophic injuries, such as being unable to perform daily activities or engage in recreational activities.

Economic Damages in an Injury Claim

In a personal injury case, economic damages compensate for the injured party's losses. These damages cover lost wages, medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and other expenses. Their purpose is to restore the injured person to their pre-accident state.

an injury claim form on an attorneys desk

Economic damages may also include compensation for pain and suffering, but they are calculated differently from non-economic damages. Typically, they are based on the injured person's medical records and bills.

Medical Bills

Personal injury claims often deal with expensive medical bills. These bills cover hospital stays, doctor visits, medications, surgeries, physical therapy, mental health counseling, and other injury-related treatments.

The costs associated with personal injury cases are often expensive, causing financial strain on the individual and their family. Along with the physical and emotional distress of the injury, these medical bills can also cause significant distress.

Lost Wages/Income

Lost wages are a common type of pain and suffering damages in personal injury accident cases. It includes income lost due to missed work because of bodily injury.

Non-Economic Damages in an Injury Claim

In personal injury cases, non-economic types of damages are given to compensate for intangible losses like physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional injuries and distress. These damages can't be measured in dollars, but aim to provide compensation for subjective losses.

They allow plaintiffs to be compensated for all their losses, including those that can't be objectively measured. Examples of non-economic damages include ongoing pain, emotional suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment in daily life, loss of consortium, and more.

Physical Pain

Physical pain is common in personal injury cases. It can come from many types of injuries, like broken bones or burns. The severity of the pain depends on the injury. For example, a broken arm hurts a lot at first but gets better, while a spinal cord injury can cause long-lasting pain.

Emotional Distress

Emotional distress is a common type of pain and suffering in personal injury cases. In addition to physical injuries, victims often experience psychological trauma from their accidents.

Emotional distress refers to the mental anguish caused by the accident, including depression, anxiety, fear, shock, guilt, embarrassment, anger, grief, and sleeplessness. The emotional pain and suffering from an injury can be just as severe as the physical pain, and victims should be compensated for this loss.

Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Loss of enjoyment of life is a form of pain and suffering sought in personal injury cases. It compensates for the limitations caused by another's negligence. It occurs when an injured person can no longer participate in activities they once enjoyed. This includes vacations, exercise, sports, and hobbies.

a severely injured man meeting with an attorney

Quantifying this damage can be challenging, but a  skilled personal injury law firm can help prove the loss and seek compensation.

How Damages Are Calculated for Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering are common damages sought in personal injury cases. They address physical and mental anguish. Calculating these damages is difficult because there's no exact science. Courts consider factors like severity, type of injury, impact on victim's life, medical bills, etc. The calculation is based on a multiplier system that considers all these factors.

Multiplier Method

The Multiplier Method calculates damages for pain and suffering in a personal injury case. It considers factors like injury severity to determine the compensation amount.

Learn More: What Does an Injury Lawyer Do?

First, a multiplier is chosen to represent the severity of the injury. This multiplier is then multiplied by the medical bills to estimate the award for pain and suffering. For example, if the multiplier is 2 and the medical bills are $10,000, the estimated compensation for pain and suffering would be $20,000.

Diem Method

The Diem Method calculates pain and suffering compensation in personal injury cases. It considers factors like physical pain, emotional distress, and financial loss. For physical pain, it looks at intensity and duration. For emotional distress, it considers fear, grief, anxiety, and depression. For financial loss, it looks at medical bills and wage losses.

A number (the "Diem") is calculated to represent the total amount of pain and suffering. This number is multiplied by the estimated award amount to determine the approximate compensation for pain and suffering.

Types of Injuries That May Result in Pain and Suffering Being Awarded

Physical trauma resulting from a personal injury can leave victims suffering from severe and long-lasting pain and suffering. The types of injuries that can cause significant pain and suffering include broken bones, burns, lacerations, spinal cord injuries, head trauma, and amputation. Injuries of this magnitude may also require extensive medical treatment.


Broken bones are some of the most common physical injuries caused in a personal injury case, and they can result in significant pain and suffering. They can range from minor fractures to severe breaks that may require surgery or long-term medical treatment.


Burns are another type of physical injury that can cause intense pain and suffering for victims. Burns can range from first-degree burns (which cause redness and some swelling) to third-degree burns (which cause permanent scarring and tissue damage).

Spine Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can be particularly devastating, as they can cause paralysis or nerve damage that leads to lasting pain and suffering. Head trauma is another type of injury that can result in long-term pain and suffering for victims. Amputations are also incredibly damaging and may require surgery, physical therapy, and a lifetime of emotional distress.

a woman with neck and back pain after a car accident

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a catastrophic injury that can result from a personal injury. TBIs are caused by a blow or jolt to the head, resulting in damage to the brain. The effects of a TBI can be devastating for victims and their families, as it often involves long-term physical and cognitive disabilities that affect everyday life.

In terms of pain and suffering, victims of TBI may experience physical pain, impaired cognitive functioning, memory problems, speech difficulties, vision problems, and depression. All of these issues can lead to long-term emotional distress.

Neck Injuries

Neck pain is a common symptom of personal injury cases, especially those involving car accidents. Neck injuries are often caused by trauma to the cervical spine, including whiplash and other types of soft tissue damage.

Neck pain can range from mild discomfort to debilitating and chronic pain that requires ongoing medical treatment. Such symptoms may include headaches, difficulty turning the head, radiating pain into the shoulders, arms, or hands, and dizziness.

Our Personal Injury Attorneys are Here for You, Call Now!

If you have suffered from an injury due to another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering. Our experienced personal injury legal team at DCAL is here to help you understand your legal rights and seek full and fair compensation for any physical, emotional, or financial losses you have caused by your injury.

No two cases are the same. Pain and suffering awards are based on a variety of factors, including the severity of the injury, degree of pain, economic losses, medical costs, the duration of time it takes to recover, and the impact it has had on your life. Contact our office today for a free injury victim initial consultation to discuss your case in further detail.

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