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What is Pain and Suffering in Pittsburgh Personal Injury Claims?

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The law compensates victims who have experienced an injury-causing accident if it occurred as the result of someone else’s negligence. In these cases, the victim may file a personal injury claim with the help of a Pittsburgh personal injury lawyer to seek just compensation for all of their losses and pain. In the context of a personal injury claim, pain and suffering is a wide-ranging term that encompasses all forms of mental and physical suffering the victim has endured as a result of the accident. This can include things like physical pain, as well as things like emotional trauma suffered and mental anguish.

What Are Pain and Suffering Damages?

Pain and Suffering in Pittsburgh Personal Injury ClaimsPain and suffering is a broad umbrella term encompassing many experiences. So when we talk about “pain and suffering,” what exactly are we talking about?

Calculating pain and suffering is certainly not an exact science. Still, everyone can agree that a serious injury that impairs daily life or results in the victim suffering emotional trauma deserves to be acknowledged. Some of the losses or types of pain that may be included in pain and suffering damages are:

  • Loss of well-being or enjoyment of life
  • Humiliation
  • Future pain
  • Grief
  • Disfigurement
  • Mental health struggles
  • And more

A victim’s pain and suffering deserve acknowledgment and compensation, and filing a personal injury lawsuit is one way in which victims can seek this compensation.

What Are the Types of Damages in a Pittsburgh Personal Injury Case?

When a person begins a personal injury claim, they typically aim to receive compensation, or damages, for all the losses they’ve suffered due to the accident or incident. These damages are divided into two categories: economic damages and noneconomic damages. Victims can seek compensatory damages in both of these categories. But what exactly is the difference?

Economic Damages

Economic damages are compensation for losses that have an objective monetary value. For instance, if someone sustains a physical injury that causes them to miss several months of work, the exact value of their lost wages can be calculated. So can their medical bills and medical expenses. Their future medical expenses can also be at least roughly estimated if they’re going to need ongoing care. All of these losses with a specific dollar value fall into the category of economic damages.

Non-Economic Damages

Unlike economic losses incurred, noneconomic damages don’t necessarily reflect losses with a specific dollar value. Instead, these damages are intended to compensate the victim for some more abstract but still devastating losses. This includes things like emotional anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, and more. One benefit of working with an attorney in a personal injury case is that attorneys are skilled at looking at these abstract concepts and affixing them with a monetary value, ensuring the victim is properly compensated for their suffering.

Which Category Does Pain and Suffering Fall Into?

Pain and suffering damages fall into the category of noneconomic damages. Something like pain and suffering doesn’t have a fixed value the way medical bills do, but it’s still a great loss that, of course, deserves compensation. Pain and suffering damages are a key element of any personal injury case.

How Much Suffering Compensation Can Victims Expect?

Generally, the more severe the suffering and the injuries sustained, the more the case is worth.

When you hire a Pittsburgh personal injury attorney, they will thoroughly examine every aspect of the claim to ensure that every loss is compensated for as they seek a settlement. They’ll look at the victim’s injuries, mounting medical bills and the costs of medical treatment, past or future pain, lost wages, physical injuries, and every other way in which the incident in question has impacted the victim financially, physically, and emotionally.

The attorney will use all of this, along with evidence like medical records and witness testimony, to determine the exact value of the case, taking into account any legal minimums or limitations regarding settlements. Attorneys typically use the multiplier method here, meaning they add up all these losses and multiply them by somewhere between 1.5 and 5. The multiplier depends on the severity of the accident and the loss. For instance, if a victim required an arm amputation after their accident, and their work previous to the accident was dependent on the use of their hands, the multiplier would likely be on the higher end. This is because their injury has a greater impact on their ability to work and earn an income in the future.

This amount is how much the victim will seek for their settlement. It’s presented to the defendant and their legal team, who then have the chance to either accept the settlement or counter with an offer of their own. This negotiation process continues until a settlement can be reached. In the rare event that it can’t, a trial may become necessary.

What Role Does Insurance Coverage Play?

In some cases, insurance claims may be able to provide some necessary coverage and compensation outside of a settlement. This is particularly relevant in claims involving a car accident.Pain and Suffering in Pittsburgh Personal Injury Claims

Pennsylvania is a no-fault state, which means that Pennsylvania law dictates that in the event of a car accident, each party uses their insurance to cover any medical treatment received. So, in most cases, an automobile accident victim will file a claim with their insurance company and receive coverage that way, regardless of who the at-fault party is.

However, insurance coverage is often insufficient to match the victim’s suffering. Insurance may fall short if it’s an extremely severe accident requiring years of ongoing medical expenses. Insurance also may not fairly compensate personal injury victims like pain and suffering. In these cases, victims should reach out to a Pittsburgh personal injury lawyer and seek compensatory damages this way.

If you were involved in an accident in Pittsburgh and are not sure what your next steps should be, contact a Pittsburgh personal injury lawyer at Munley Law today to schedule a free consultation. There is no fee until we win your case.

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