20 Examples of Pain and SufferingPosted on: June 13, 2020
During the fall of 1988, Julie Miramon was in a car accident. She became fearful on the road, fearful of another accident, seeking support in the months that followed, hoping for a way to better cope with her fear. Less than two years later, she was involved in a second accident, which only added to her anxieties and made life even more difficult. In the Court of Appeals, a case known as Miramon v Bradley, Julie was awarded $6,000 for pain and suffering, which the court determined was an “aggravation of symptoms” that had been overlooked by a lower court.
When people talk about “pain and suffering,” those who aren’t suffering may wonder what it all means, and why the victims of an accident don’t just “get over it” or “figure it out” on their own. So let’s break down 15 Examples of Pain and Suffering, addressing the way in which these claims have a legitimate cause for legal action. And rather than jump into the most obvious examples, let’s start with some that are less obvious.
LESSER KNOWN CLAIMS
Example #1: Loss of Enjoyment of Life
The Loss of Enjoyment of Life falls into a category of emotional distress. And this is by no means a frivolous pursuit, especially when a clear line can be drawn between the experience of a car accident victim before said accident and after, showing that the victim can longer participate in activities or hobbies that they had previously engaged and enjoyed.
Example #2: Loss of Quality of Life
Similar to Example #1, the Loss of Quality of Life refers less to the activities and hobbies as it does the general existence and well-being of a victim after a car accident, compared to before that accident. Someone whose days are consumed with doctor visits and health problems could understandably make the case that an overall quality of life has been diminished.
Example #3: Fright and Shock
This one might come as a surprise, but in the early 1900s, Mary Coultas and her husband were trying to cross a train track with the assistance of a railway keeper whose instructions put them so close to the passing train that she fainted from “a severe nervous shock,” and suffered afterwards as the result of a subsequent illness. This could just as easily be triggered at the sight of an accident or a serious injury to someone else.
Example #4: Anger
The existence of angry outbursts from the victim of a car accident may seem understandable, but sustained anger, in a manner that has clearly worsened in the life of someone far less inclined toward aggressive responses before that accident could very well indicate the possibility of a traumatic brain injury, brought on by the violent impact of the crash.
Example #5: Apprehension
For the victim of a car accident to become significantly more uncertain about any number of things in their day to day life may qualify as a type of diminished well being, a category of pain and suffering in which someone can cite the impact of the accident on their response times to things that might have otherwise been less inhibited.
Example #6: Anxiety & Nervousness
Any added sense of worry, dread, or uneasiness that was not present in the victim of a car crash before said accident may have a reasonable claim of personal injury. Consider the diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Depression, and Insomnia as extreme cases where one’s nerves are completely shot, following an incident. But it doesn’t take an extreme case to count as a personal injury claim. A rise in migraines, acid reflux, or even skin rashes could also be an indication of nervousness stemming from the accident.
Example #7: Embarrassment
Embarrassment is a type of mental anguish, brought on by some kind of incident or injury that leaves a victim feeling emotionally vulnerable or ashamed, which falls into a category of non-economic damages. An example could be a slip and fall accident in which the fall itself left the victim feeling incompetent or foolish in front of others who were a witness.
Example #8: Mortification or Humiliation
Similar to embarrassment, mortification and humiliation, like shame and or even a person’s wounded pride, could emerge in the follow up to an accident, as the cause of said accident added insult to injury, poking fun of an individual in the company of others for the results of the incident. For any such mortification or humiliation to have occurred in front of the victim’s family, like a child or a spouse, this could be even more of a legitimate cause for filing a personal injury claim.
Example #9: Indignity
More than poking fun and leaving someone embarrassed or mortified in the midst of an accident, a personal injury claim of indignity involves a higher level of disgrace, including openly vulgar or abusive language, poor treatment, or even someone’s intentional disrespect. This can sometimes be the result of a post-accident altercation or, in reverse, an altercation that actually leads to the accident.
Example #10: Inconvenience
At this point, you can see that pain and suffering comes in many lesser known forms that have an impact on wellness, but this one last category more generally addresses the hardship of having been hampered, or inconvenienced, from doing everyday activities, normal business, or even the ability to interact effectively with loved ones apart from some kind of added support that was not an issue prior to the accident.
REASONABLY KNOWN CLAIMS
Example #11: Physical Impairment
Filing a personal injury claim over a physical impairment can be one of the most obvious and straightforward reasons for doing so, primarily because the evidence is present in the victim, particularly if that individual is limited in his or her ability to move, perform daily functions, or take actions that would normally have been easy.
Example #12: Physical Pain
While less obvious, perhaps, than one’s impairment, physical pain becomes evident at the touch or movement of any body part affected by the accident, such as the back, the leg, the neck, or the head, anything at all which brings out an uncomfortable response that suggests pain or distress.
Example #13: Disfigurement
In the wake of an accident, as the months pass and bodies heal, the scars left over on a human body, to the face, the arms, or anywhere, can be deemed a disfigurement, a permanent disfiguring of one’s physical appearance. A personal injury claim that speaks to matters of disfigurement can be proven significantly well, especially with the existence of images or the presence of the victim in the case.
Example #14: Mental Anguish
In many cases, a personal injury claim that states mental anguish is referring to an overall impact that may encompass several of those lesser known specifics mentioned earlier, such as embarrassment, fright, or anxiety, any type of emotional trauma that has become a lingering, festering result of an injury or an accident.
Example #15: Grief
The loss of a child, or a spouse, or a close friend, anyone who is held dear to someone else, if that loss is the result of an avoidable accident, can fall under the category of grief in a personal injury claim. And this doesn’t have to be a fatality. To lose someone beloved can also mean that in the aftermath of an accident, they are no longer the same person.
Example #16: Depression
While certainly falling under the category of mental anguish, depression also has its own unavoidable reality for the victim of an accident, especially when personality shifts appear sudden and serious. But as someone who battled with hearing loss and depression as a result, Beethoven once described the latter, through his experience, as the complete loss of emotional range, a sense that nothing matters anymore.
Example #17: Damaged Reputation
False allegations against someone, for any reason at all, in such a way as to damage their reputation on a short or long term basis, is to warrant the possibility of a personal injury claim, especially if that damaged reputation is spread throughout their family, friends, and community at large, leading to a shift in perception about who this person is or doubting their otherwise honest intentions.
Example #18: Sexual Dysfunction
Though uncomfortable for many to address, even with an attorney, an accident can sometimes cause a person to lose a certain level of sexual activity that was not an issue prior to the accident, which becomes a non-economic damage to a person’s physical pleasure, sexual desire, or basic arousal.
Example #19: Emotional Distress
One of the umbrella terms of a personal injury claim is known as emotional distress, where things like anger and depression may reasonably fall without being specified as such. Like mental anguish, emotional distress may simply be a combination of causes generally agreed to be the metrics of pain and suffering.
Example #20: Loss of Companionship
Grief takes on many forms, but the loss of companionship relates more specifically to anyone deprived of affection, security, or general care by a spouse or a parent, the kind of relationship that would easily be understood as a companion who is no longer there as the result of an accident.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of a wrongful death, a personal injury, or a motor vehicle accident, please contact the law offices of Beers and Gordon P.A. for a free consultation. Our firm serves all of Seminole, Orange, Volusia, Lake, and Brevard counties, including Oviedo, Winter Springs, Altamonte Springs, Sanford, Longwood, Winter Park, Lake Mary, and Greater Orlando. Our attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience ready and willing to go the distance on your case. Call us right away at 407-862-1825.