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A Comprehensive Guide to Pain and Suffering Damages in Personal Injury Claims

A Comprehensive Guide to Pain and Suffering Damages in Personal Injury Claims

If you’ve been involved in an accident, you may be entitled to pursue various forms of pain and suffering damages through a personal injury claim. After a serious incident, you may be experiencing a range of physical and psychological injuries that require medical care, rehabilitation, and other various types of support. These losses can disrupt your daily routine and affect your ability to carry out regular activities in the short-term. Furthermore, severe injuries can have lasting consequences that permanently alter your life and that of your loved ones.

In this article, we’ll break down exactly what “pain and suffering damages” means, in addition to defining some of the most common forms of pain and suffering damages that manifest in personal injury lawsuits.

What Are Pain and Suffering Damages?

Pain and suffering damages cannot be easily quantified in a specified dollar amount, unlike expenses such as medical bills and lost wages. These damages are entirely subjective, and it is the responsibility of a jury to determine a specific monetary value for them (if the case goes to trial).

The victim’s subjective experience of pain and its effects are crucial in evaluating these damages. The defense will have their own unique perception of the value of an individual’s pain and suffering damages, making it a subjective opinion.

Despite the subjectivity of these damages, lawyers can utilize medical records, photographs, videos, and witness testimony to demonstrate the impact of physical injuries and emotional trauma on a person’s life. Various formulas, such as calculating a daily dollar amount from the date of injury to recovery, may also be used to determine the extent of the damages.

Types of Pain and Suffering Damages Explained


  • Physical Pain: Physical pain is characterized as harm inflicted upon the body that results in varying degrees of discomfort. In the event that you experience injuries as a result of an accident or altercation, such as those affecting your back, leg, neck, or head, which cause pain or discomfort, you have the option of seeking compensation for the physical pain.
  • Physical Impairment: In the event that you suffer an injury that restricts your mobility, coordination, or ability to carry out routine daily activities, you may seek compensation for physical impairment.
  • Disfigurement: Permanent harm or alteration to an individual’s body, including changes to their physical appearance resulting from an accident, falls under the category of disfigurement. Claims that involve damages such as permanent scarring are typically classified under this type of claim.
  • Mental Suffering: Mental suffering, also referred to as mental anguish, encompasses emotions such as distress, fear, anxiety, grief, depression, or mental trauma that arise as a result of an accident or event. In cases where an incident results in enduring emotional trauma, compensation for mental suffering may be granted.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: Loss of enjoyment of life pertains to any harm caused by an incident that significantly disrupts an individual’s life or their ability to participate in activities or hobbies that they previously found pleasure in. If you are unable to partake in activities you previously enjoyed due to an injury, you may be entitled to compensation for loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Loss of Quality of Life: Loss of quality of life is defined as a reduction in a person’s ability to enjoy or engage in life as they did prior to an event or accident. For example, if a person loses a limb, has paralysis, or incurs serious head trauma, they could cite loss of quality of life in a claim.
  • Anger: Non-economic damages can be sought for anger. This type of claim can be made if an accident or interaction causes significant mental distress and agony that leads to ongoing feelings of anger which were not present before the incident.
  • Shock: Psychological harm that arises from an accident or event is referred to as shock. It can be induced by either observing an accident or experiencing injuries from an incident. Consequently, shock is classified as a form of non-economic damage in a claim.
  • Fright: In the event that an accident, incident, or injury results in a sudden and intense fear or terror that significantly affects your life, you may be eligible to receive compensation for fright.
  • Indignity: In the context of non-economic damages, indignity refers to the insults or harm inflicted upon an individual’s dignity or self-esteem as a result of an accident or altercation. It can manifest as disgrace, vulgarity, mistreatment, verbal abuse, or deliberate disrespect.
  • Mortification: Mortification is the sensation of shame, wounded pride, or acute embarrassment experienced following an accident, incident, or false imprisonment. If an individual experiences a significant event that leaves them feeling ashamed or deeply embarrassed, they may have the option to seek damages under this category.
  • Nervousness: It is feasible to file a claim for unnatural or intense uneasiness or nervousness resulting from an accident or altercation. A compelling example of nervousness could be a modification in behavior or disposition that did not exist prior to the incident.
  • Embarrassment: Regarding non-economic damages, embarrassment is similar to mortification. It refers to the sentiment of shame or disgrace that arises from an incident or the events that follow. This may be due to physical or mental agony and can be claimed as a form of pain and suffering in a legal claim.
  • Grief: Grief is commonly characterized as profound sorrow or melancholy resulting from a loss. In the event of an accident or altercation causing the death, loss, or disappearance of someone or something dear to an individual, they may be eligible to seek damages under this category.
  • Terror: If an individual experiences severe dread of injury, disability, or death resulting from an accident that affects their life, they may seek non-economic damages under the category of terror.
  • Apprehension: If an accident or interaction induces rational fear or uncertainty about the possibility of harm, this form of pain and suffering could be referred to as apprehension. This is particularly applicable if this sensation restricts your capacity to live a typical life.
  • Inconvenience: If an accident or incident that endangers, imposes hardship or injustice, or hinders your daily activities, business, or ability to interact with loved ones, you may include inconvenience as a type of pain and suffering.
  • Ordeal: An ordeal refers to an accident or incident that creates a painful, horrific, or traumatic experience, often lasting longer than expected. As a form of non-economic damage, a person can seek compensation for an ordeal caused by such an event.
  • Anxiety: Legally speaking, anxiety refers to a pervasive feeling of unease, nervousness, or worry regarding uncertain events or outcomes. It can be considered a type of pain and suffering if a person experiences these symptoms as a result of an accident, altercation, or other incident.
  • Humiliation: Humiliation is a type of non-economic damage that a person can claim if they feel degraded, shamed, or made to look foolish after an accident or altercation.
  • Depression: In a personal injury claim, a person can seek damages for depression if an accident or altercation significantly impacts their emotions, behaviors, or thoughts. Depression may also be identified by sudden and profound changes in personality, among other factors.
  • Loss of Companionship: If an accident or incident causes the loss of the ability to provide affection, care, or other benefits of companionship in married life or parenting, this can be cited as loss of consortium, a type of non-economic damage that can be claimed in a personal injury case.
  • Sexual Dysfunction: A person who experiences difficulty in returning to their normal level of sexual activity, which includes physical pleasure, desire, or arousal, after an accident, altercation, or other incident may claim sexual dysfunction as a form of non-economic damage.
  • Emotional Distress: An individual may be able to claim emotional distress as a type of non-economic damage, which can encompass a variety of other forms of pain and suffering. Emotional distress can be cited in cases where a person experiences feelings of anguish, sadness, or anger due to an accident or incident.
  • Damage to Reputation: Non-economic damages in a claim can include compensation for damage to reputation, which is the result of someone making false statements that negatively affect a person’s standing in their community or with their family and friends.

Does “Bodily Injury” Refer to These Same Damages?

Various types of coverage are usually available in insurance policies, particularly in auto insurance, such as property damage, rental car coverage, and bodily injury benefits. Pain and suffering damages are usually covered under “bodily injury” benefits.

For instance, in the event of a truck accident caused by someone else, you can file a claim against the trucking company for your injuries. The trucking insurance policy has provisions for “bodily injury benefits,” which cover your pain and suffering damages.

What is the Compensation for Pain and Suffering?

There is no set amount, or even guideline, for determining the amount of pain suffered for an injury victim. In fact, the award amounts vary depending on the state where the incident occurred. Typically, there is no maximum limit on the amount that can be claimed for non-economic damages.

However, certain states have damage limit caps on these damages, which means there is a maximum amount that can be awarded in a lawsuit. For instance, in Michigan, there is a cap on pain and suffering damages in medical malpractice and product liability cases. As a result, if a higher amount than the damage limit is awarded, the judge must reduce the award to the limit.

Need Help? We’ve Got You Covered.

Seeking the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you receive the maximum settlement for your case. A skilled attorney can gather evidence, interview witnesses, and obtain medical testimony to substantiate your claim for damages. The effective presentation of these damages and how they have affected your life due to the injury is crucial to secure a top settlement.

If you want to know more about the settlement for pain and suffering, you can contact the Mike Morse Law Firm today. Simply call 855-MIKE-WINS (855-738-2606) or contact us online to get in touch with a dependable Mike Morse Law Firm attorney right away.

A Comprehensive Guide to Pain and Suffering Damages in Personal Injury Claims

Content checked by Mike Morse, personal injury attorney with Mike Morse Injury Law Firm. Mike Morse is the founder of Mike Morse Law Firm, the largest personal injury law firm in Michigan. Since being founded in 1995, Mike Morse Law Firm has grown to 150 employees, served 25,000 clients, and collected more than $1 billion for victims of auto, truck and motorcycle accidents. The main office is in Southfield, MI but you can also find us in Detroit, Sterling Heights and many other locations.