Almost every personal injury claim in the Pittsburgh area includes pain and suffering. The mental or emotional effect that an injury can have on your present and future qualifies as pain and suffering. At the simplest level, this includes the pain that accompanies injuries such as broken bones, concussions, spinal cord injuries, or burns. It is a rare personal injury that does not involve some level of pain.
In addition, pain and suffering can describe emotional anguish. You may discover that the incident leaves you unable to ride in a car again because you fear getting into another accident. People may also find that they need to seek therapy or counseling to come to terms with their new reality. The simple fact is that these losses in quality of life are damages for which you can seek payment in a claim.
When Pain and Suffering Applies to a Personal Injury Claim
Injuries from a car crash, motorcycle accident, truck collision, or slip and fall can be severe. There is no doubt that these incidents can leave you with intense physical injuries that require extensive medical care.
However, no matter how serious your injuries are, medical records and bills will make little to no mention of how much pain you were in or how the incident may affect your emotional wellbeing. In fact, even people who make only a single trip to an emergency room following an accident may experience harsh pain and emotional anguish tied to the event. As a result, pain and suffering accompanies almost every example of personal injury claims.
There is no doubt that many incidents that result in personal injuries can also affect your mental health. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), a car accident can leave you suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety, depression, or insomnia. Similar mental health concerns can follow from other types of injuries. A legal team can provide more information about the relationship between physical injuries and pain and suffering.
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Helping You to Measure Your Losses and Demand Proper Payment
A key element of any personal injury claim is placing a proper dollar value on your losses. The question of what qualifies as pain and suffering is a major part of this analysis. A lawyer can help to evaluate the value of your case and demand appropriate payments within the time limits under Pennsylvania law. According to 42 Pa. CSA §5524, many people have only two years from the date of injury to pursue a case in court.
Pain Due to Physical Injury
Every personal injury claim must center around a physical injury. In almost every example, that injury will cause a person to suffer significant pain. Whether treatment involves a single trip to an emergency room or requires surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation, an element of pain will always accompany the injury. This can include pain at the time of impact as well as soreness or stiffness that you experience while making your recovery. A lawyer can work to place an appropriate value on this pain and demand proper payments from at-fault parties.
Even if the physical pain from the injury eventually disappears, the effects of an incident can last for months or years. You may hesitate to get into a car again after a serious crash. In other situations, you may require mental health counseling to come to terms with a new physical limitation or to deal with nightmares or flashbacks. This drop in the quality of your life is a compensable loss that justifies compensation.
Understanding What Qualifies as Pain and Suffering is Essential to a Thorough Claim
It is easy to be confused when considering whether your losses qualify as pain and suffering after a personal injury. Many people assume that they can only collect compensation for their physical losses or property damage. However, a significant portion of many claims involves payment for loss of quality of life that follows an incident. This can include compensation for physical pain and for adjustments that you need to make in your life because of the poor choices of another party.
The legal team at Berger and Green can work with you to determine the value of your claim. This includes explaining the concept of pain and suffering and why an at-fault party is liable to provide payment. We can work to evaluate the impact of the incident on your life and to demand proper compensation for pain, emotional trauma, and all mental health considerations. Contact Berger and Green today at (412) 661-1400 to learn more.