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What does pain and suffering include?

Written by Ankin Law Office

Many turn to an attorney for car accident claims each year

When Chicago residents are involved in a car accident, they can experience a wide range of consequences, from minor aches and pains to complete disability. An experienced attorney for car accident injury claims knows that most injury accident victims are able to seek compensation for more than their physical injuries. This compensation often includes an amount for any suffering and pain victims may have experienced as a result of the accident.

Basics of pain and suffering

The goal of damage awards is to make a plaintiff whole again, as if they had never been involved in an accident at all. Damages are broken down into two separate categories: special and general damages. Special damages include medical costs, lost wages, and any other concrete, quantifiable financial loss that can be proven with little difficulty. General damages are more commonly known as pain and suffering.

Pain and suffering includes the physical or mental distress that victims endure following an accident. Forbes reports that both types aim to compensate victims for any psychic harm they experience, including the pain they have or the joys they fail to feel. This commonly includes the following types of harm.

  • Actual physical pain the victim has endured or will endure in the future as a result of his or her injuries.
  • The emotional effects of physical disfigurement.
  • The emotion and mental effects of disability.
  • Mental anguish associated with the accident, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, insomnia, loss of appetite, anxiety, anger and humiliation.
  • Sexual dysfunction and loss of enjoyment of a relationship with a spouse.
  • Lowered quality of life.

This type of award is subjective because insurance adjustors and claimants must attempt to put a dollar amount on something that is not quantifiable. Due to the highly subjective nature of the effects of these ailments, juries are generally very inconsistent in their awards for general damages.

Chicago worker accident

The family of a 37-year-old Chicago Department of Transportation worker recently received a $7.5 million verdict for damages they sustained when the worker was killed while on the job. Sys-Con Media reports that the 13-year veteran of the CDOT was standing near the 100th Street Bridge preparing to do repair work when an 18-wheel semi-tractor trailer rig hit him, pinning him between a City truck and the semi and dragging him 20 feet. The man died two hours later at a local hospital. An itemized listing of the jury’s award includes $1 million for future lost support of the man’s family, $500,000 for the pain and suffering that he endured during and after the accident, and $6 million for the loss that his children sustained. The pain and suffering awarded in this case is neither typical nor atypical because of the highly subjective decisions a jury makes when it comes to these awards.

Categories: Auto Accidents