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How are pain and suffering calculated in a PI lawsuit?

On Behalf of | May 15, 2023 | Personal Injury Law

If you are hurt as a result of another person or entity’s unlawful actions, you may be eligible for financial restitution for the resulting economic and non-economic damages. 

While the economic damages resulting from a personal injury claim are relatively easy to quantify, the same cannot be said of non-economic damages like pain and suffering. So how do you ensure that your pain and suffering are appropriately compensated following an accident that is not your fault?

Understanding pain and suffering

In a personal injury claim, pain and suffering can be classified into two categories:

  • Physical pain and suffering – this refers to the bodily pain that you experience following due to your injuries. This can include both current and future physical pain and discomfort that are directly attributable to the accident.
  • Mental pain and suffering – this can range from mental anguish to emotional distress, anger, insomnia, anxiety changes, changes in your appetite as well as loss of enjoyment of life. Generally, mental pain and suffering refer to any psychological issue that you develop as a result of your injury. And like physical pain and suffering, mental pain and suffering can also be long-term. 

It may be crucial to differentiate your physical and mental pain and suffering in a personal injury claim.

So how are damages for pain and suffering determined?

There is no cut-and-dry formula for determining what your pain and suffering are worth. Instead, the court relies on a number of factors to arrive at a fair and reasonable amount for your pain and suffering claim. Here are some of these factors:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • Consistency in your testimony
  • Psychiatric report if you sought counseling
  • Your doctor’s testimony
  • Witness account
  • Your contribution to the accident
  • The insurance company’s liability limits

If you or someone you love has been injured due to another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to damages. Learning more about Washington’s negligence laws can help you safeguard your rights and interests while pursuing damages associated with pain and suffering.