Pain and Suffering

In a personal injury claim, pain and suffering is a legal term for the physical and/or emotional or mental stress that is caused by a particular injury or illness. When an innocent person is injured because another party or party’s negligence, malice or reckless behavior, they may be entitled to compensation to pay for medical and other expenses from the party or parties that caused their injury.

Physical pain and suffering refers to pain caused by physical injuries. When a plaintiff seeks damages for their pain and suffering in a personal injury lawsuit, it is typically for the pain and suffering the claimant has endured to date, as well as the pain and suffering they may be likely to go through in the future.  

Mental pain and suffering is a common result of physical injuries but it is often viewed as a by-product of those injuries. Regardless of what they are viewed as, mental pain and suffering can be just as real and difficult to endure as physical pain and injuries. Mental pain and suffering can also be caused by another person’s behaviors or actions towards an individual that do not include any sort of physical contact such as when a person is subjected to ongoing verbal abuse or harassment, etc. Examples of mental pain and suffering include but are not limited to:

– Emotional distress

– Anxiety

– Depression

– Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

– Inability to focus

– Mental anguish

– Loss of the ability to enjoy life the way the victim used to

– Fear

– Anger

– Humiliation

– Shock

Any sort of negative emotion that an accident victim suffers after the pain and trauma of a physical or mental injury, can be considered mental pain and suffering.

Common symptoms of mental pain and suffering include but are not limited to:

– Anger

– Loss of appetite

– Loss of energy

– Sexual dysfunction

– Mood swings

– Insomnia, hypersomnia, and other sleep disorders

– Mood swings


Like physical pain and suffering, mental pain and suffering is often caused by the effects of the injury the victim has had to endure to date, as well as the mental pain and suffering they will likely suffer in the future.

Both physical and mental pain and suffering can prevent a victim of one or both of these from being able to do the kind of work they were employed by before they got injured. Physical and mental pain and suffering can prevent a person from doing their job or daily duties even if they are not officially paid by an employer, such as a stay at home parent or homemaker. Not being able to perform a paid or unpaid job can cause serious financial hardship for victims of injuries.

If you or someone close to you is no longer able to perform their job and/or daily duties, it may be time to discuss the situation with a good personal injury lawyer. They may be able to help the victim of this get the compensation for their pain and suffering that they are entitled to.

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