What's Pain and Suffering?

cervical spine fusion with plates

What’s Pain & Suffering?

If you’ve been in a car crash, truck wreck or any personal injury accident (including slip and fall), then you know what pain and suffering feel and look like. However, pain and suffering often goes beyond a broken bone, injured spine and stitches. It also includes the mental distress and turmoil that you and your family endure, along with earning impairment, wage loss, job loss, physical impairment or disability and disfigurement or scarring. The law allows for recovery of physical and mental pain and suffering when someone else is negligent and harms you. And, in a wrongful death case, the pain of a loved one, suffered before death, is also recoverable; along with the survivors’ loss of companionship and relationship to the deceased.

But, how do you put a dollar figure on pain and suffering? Under Oklahoma law, a jury ultimately decides a physical and mental pain and suffering claim in a court trial. But, before you get to a jury, even before a lawsuit is filed while trying to settle your claim, an experienced lawyer goes to great effort to collect evidence in medical records that indicate or record: pain levels, pain medication and sedation prescribed and taken and care providers’ notes that memorialize symptoms. Further evidence of pain and suffering comes from the hurt person regarding their changed life and activities, loss of work time and loss of enjoyment of life and family. Other witnesses to pain and suffering include family members, friends, and care providers as they note changes, facial expressions, complaints of pain, inability to function and change in personality.  The more severe the injuries, the greater the worth of any claim.

Spouses and children of an injured or dead person can claim loss of consortium. That is the loss of the companionship, financial support and services of a spouse or parent due to an injury or negligently caused death. Services includes all that a husband, wife or parent would typically do around the home or in life for their loved one or family and loss of their income and support that should have occurred.

Objective Evidence of Pain and Suffering

Beyond the medical records, witnesses and testimony, an experienced attorney uses photos of the accident or wreck scene, injuries, bruising, stitches, swollen limbs and videos of the injured person attempting to recover and get along in everyday activities with the impairments left behind by the injury. Also, x-rays, MRI or CT scans can show the dramatic nature of the injury and thus the illustrate the pain one would expect. In addition, photos of the life before and after the injury help show the effects of an auto accident, medical malpractice and mesothelioma to the injured person and their family. Journals of the pain and recovery along with statements from friends and family can also help prove the case.

Pain and suffering changes a person’s life and that of his/her family. Get local expert legal help from a lawyer with over 34 years of experience. You can get an experienced free consultation from Tim Gilpin with Gilpin law Office. And, no recovery means no attorney fee.