What Is Considered Pain And Suffering In An Auto Accident?

Suffering In An Auto Accident

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 42,915 individuals died in vehicular accidents in 2021. The National Safety Council also contributed that approximately 4.8 million people have been injured since 2020 from vehicle collisions.

Those who survived and the surviving family members of the deceased know all too well the pain and suffering these senseless accidents have caused. Because of their suffering, they seek legal representation to get the compensation and justice they deserve.

But what has considered pain and suffering that the victims go through after an accident? This article explains what constitutes pain and suffering in a vehicle accident.  

Pain And Suffering Defined 

Car accidents have caused some of the most devastating physical injuries to the survivors. What follows is the emotional pain of dealing with the accident’s aftermath. Not only do they have to go through physical pain caused by the injuries, but the effects can lead to mental stresses such as depression.

The severity of the injuries and mental health concerns qualify as pain and suffering. The family members of the victim who passed from an accident resulting from someone else’s negligence can file for a wrongful death claim. This claim can include a loss of consortium (loss of benefits of a family relationship caused by injuries).

If you or a loved one is a car accident victim, seek legal representation immediately. Hiring experienced law professionals who genuinely believe in helping accident victims get justice is critical in getting a ruling in your favor.

What Counts As Pain And Suffering?  

Car accidents can cause various injuries, such as broken bones or whiplash. Once a victim is too incapacitated to go to work, that results in lost wages. They’ll also be paying for medical treatment, another financial strain, especially if their only income source has stopped due to the injuries. All of these can cause mental anguish. 

All these fall under the damages category. Here are examples of physical pain that can cause suffering to the survivor:

  • Complications to everyday life or when the accident has compromised normalcy 
  • Shortened life expectancy
  • Loss of function of the body or loss of limbs 
  • Traumatic brain or head injuries
  • Scars, burn, or amputations
  • Physical capabilities have become limited 
  • Shortened life expectancy
  • Discomfort and physical pain
  • Long-term/lifelong disability
  • Dislocated joints
  • Sprained or pulled muscles
  • Damage to internal organs
  • Paralysis

Dealing with these injuries causes mental anguish. The survivor and their family must deal with the disruption these injuries caused their lives, leading to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some survivors might deal with shock, but for those with PTSD, its effects don’t go away.  

If you or your family member has PTSD after a car accident, getting professional help is critical. The following are the symptoms of PTSD: 

  • Experiencing anxiety when driving or riding a vehicle 
  • Memories of the accident keep coming back 
  • Having trouble sleeping and experiencing nightmares 
  • Feelings of unease or irritability 

These are also other examples of mental anguish apart from PTSD: 

  • Mood swings 
  • Depression or anxiety 
  • Fear, anger, embarrassment 
  • Changes in eating patterns 
  • Loss of enthusiasm or enjoyment in things they used to do 

Other forms of pain are not prominent, such as soft tissue damage. You’ll only know for sure after a thorough examination by a health professional. They’ll need to see if there are problems, such as a limited range of motion or other more severe symptoms.

But even when the other party can see the accident’s effects on you, they can still dispute how much pain a person feels. Pain tolerance varies from one person to another. Still, there’s no easy way to compare a victim’s pain and suffering over lost wages and hospital bills. But a victim’s lawyers can use evidence of pain and suffering to prove the injured deserve compensation. 

Proof Of Pain And Suffering 

You and your lawyer must prove your claim even as you’re enduring pain and suffering from an accident. Your lawyer will gather reports about your injuries and other damages for the case. They’ll present any of the following to the insurance company representatives: 

  • Medical records containing information about the pain and discomfort you feel 
  • Testimonials from family members, neighbors, and colleagues who were also witnesses to the effects of your injuries
  • Results of imaging tests, x-rays, and more show the cause of pain and injuries that will eventually cause pain
  • Receipts of purchase and the list of prescription medications and over-the-counter options 
  • Testimonials from your doctor, specialists, or economic experts regarding the effects of your injuries
  • Pain journal entries refer to how often you feel pain and the extremities of the pain

Your lawyer will compile the mentioned and more and push your case to get the settlement you deserve.  


Pain and suffering pertain to the injuries and harm a car accident victim sustained. On top of the physical pain from the injuries, you’ll also likely suffer from mental anguish. It may develop into depression and PTSD because of the damaging effects of the accident. Fortunately, working with an experienced lawyer assures you you have someone in your corner fighting for your rights.

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