Being a victim of an accident or personal injury can be a traumatic event. And sometimes, as a result, physical and emotional scarring can occur. The legal term for this is pain and suffering. Georgia law allows victims to recover money for pain and suffering, just like recovering money for medical bills, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses. But what do the terms pain and suffering mean? Let’s take a closer look.
DEFINING PAIN AND SUFFERING
There are two categories to the term pain and suffering. The first category is the physical aspect, which is the pain of actual physical injuries that have occurred since the incident. The second category is emotional, which can be any kind of negative emotion that an accident victim suffers because of having to endure trauma and physical pain due to a defendant’s negligence. There are many kinds of emotional suffering that may include one or more of the following:
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mood swings
Most of the negative emotions that can occur after an accident are mental and not outwardly visible but are still important for compensation if the quality of life is lower than before the accident occurred. Because emotional suffering cannot be seen like physical suffering, it can be more of a challenge to prove.
PROVING PAIN AND SUFFERING
Proving pain and suffering can be a complex undertaking following an accident. The more evidence you can obtain to back your claim of physical or emotional scarring, the better. Documentation like medical records and prescriptions can be helpful because it shows the physical aspect of suffering.
Third-party testimony may also be helpful evidence when it comes to compensation needed for emotional scarring. Sometimes family, friends or co-workers can speak to what your life was like before your accident and how you have been affected since the incident. Perhaps your relationships or quality of work is being affected by lack of sleep, anxiety, mood swings, or PTSD. Or they may be able to testify to the disruption of your daily life due to being injured or emotional suffering. If physical and emotional scarring can be proven, the next question may be, “How are my damages received calculated in the State of Georgia?”
In Georgia, there is no “one formula fits all” for the exact way to calculate damages received due to pain and suffering. The dollar value of damages for pain and suffering is difficult to quantify, unlike concrete expenses like healthcare costs, future bills, and lost wages.
Pain and suffering are different for every case. There is no one-size-fits-all. Therefore, it is important to have legal representation that can navigate Georgia’s laws when it comes to pain and suffering. If you are suffering from an accident that may have been caused by someone else’s negligence, please call the Randy Fry team at (404) 969-1284 for a free consultation.