Pain and Suffering Settlement Examples

Have you been hurt due to someone else’s negligence?

An injury or illness can often be devastating on its own. Medical bills pile up, you lose income due to lost work after your injury, and maybe you’re even struggling with a disability now, and you can’t enjoy your life like you used to.

Then, there’s the physical and emotional toll of the pain you’re in.

It’s hard to put a dollar amount on your pain and suffering after an injury, but the party responsible for your pain needs to be held accountable for their negligence, and you need to be compensated for your losses and damages.

That’s justice.

If you’ve been injured due to an accidental or negligent act of another, an experienced personal injury lawyer in Oregon can work to get you the pain and suffering settlement you deserve for going through this ordeal.

Economic Damages Vs. Non-economic Damages

In any personal injury lawsuit, different types of damages can be included in the settlement. Some of those damages are easily proven and directly calculated. Other damages aren’t so easily valued but represent just as much loss—if not more—to injury victims.

For example, suppose someone is in a major car accident and is permanently disabled as a result.

In that case, there are several other losses for which the individual might be able to seek damages:

  • Continued medical treatment of the injury that resulted from the accident
  • Lost wages due to extended hospital care
  • Embarrassment or emotional suffering due to disability or disfigurement
  • Increased physical pain
  • Diminished ability to perform their job

Some of these losses seem challenging to calculate. That’s why there are generally two categories of loss in a personal injury claim: economic damages and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

Also called “special damages,” economic damages refer to direct financial loss that the injury victim experienced due to the accident or injury event.

These types of damages include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Property repairs (i.e., fixing a damaged vehicle)
  • Funeral and burial costs in cases of wrongful death

Economic damages can often be proven directly with medical records, receipts, pay stubs, and repair estimates.

Non-economic Damages

When injuries occur after a negligent act—like catastrophic injuries, a traumatic brain injury, or broken bones—the consequences for the injured person aren’t just bodily injury, and there isn’t necessarily direct proof of the loss incurred. There are emotional, psychological, and mental effects that can be even more devastating than physical injuries.

These types of damages are called non-economic, and they often include:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment in life
  • Loss of companionship
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement

Even though these damages aren’t always as clear-cut as economic damages, they are taken just as seriously in personal injury law.

What Exactly is Pain and Suffering?

When the phrase “pain and suffering” comes into play in personal injury settlements, what’s usually referred to is the physical and emotional trauma and discomfort experienced by the plaintiff as a direct result of the injury or accident. This phrase is often used as an umbrella term to encapsulate all types of non-economic damage.

How Do You Calculate Pain and Suffering?

What is the value of pain and suffering? It’s a common question in personal injury lawsuits, mainly when physical and/or emotional pain is the most significant impact the injury has had on the victim.

How much compensation should one receive for an accident injury’s emotional effects on their life?

Personal injury attorneys will help calculate a fair pain and suffering award to include in a demand letter to the responsible party’s insurance company.

This calculation typically takes into account the following:

  • How severe the injuries were
  • How long the plaintiff was in pain
  • The permanence of the injuries
  • How the injury affected the plaintiff’s life
  • The age of the plaintiff when they were injured

If the at-fault party’s insurance company refuses to pay the pain and suffering damage award proposed, the personal injury case may go to trial, during which a judge or jury will decide the outcome.

Contact a Team of Experienced Oregon Personal Injury Lawyers

An injury can be devastating. It can cost a fortune to treat, keep you from earning a living, and leave you suffering pain and anguish for years—or even for the rest of your life. If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you’re likely entitled to compensation for the losses and damages you’ve experienced.

An Oregon personal injury attorney can advocate for you and your rights and work to get you the maximum recovery for the physical pain, emotional distress, psychological trauma, and other losses you’ve experienced. Reach out to Hess Injury Law for a free consultation on your pain and suffering settlement.

Author Bio

Peter J. Hess grew up in Walla Walla, Washington. He is a 1996 graduate of Walla Walla High School and a 2000 graduate of the University of Washington, with a B.A. in Business Administration/Information Systems.

Peter graduated from Willamette University College of Law, with honors, in 2007. While at Willamette, he was an Associate Editor of the Willamette Law Review, he was a Teacher’s Assistant for a Legal Research and Writing professor, and he worked as a Personal Injury Law Clerk at Swanson, Lathen, Alexander & McCann in Salem, Oregon. After graduation from Willamette, Peter began working here at Hess Injury Law. In 2012, he became a partner in the firm. He is licensed to practice law in both Washington and Oregon.

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