Skip to Main Content
Contact US

CALL US TODAY!

(713) 804-8149

You’re probably here because you or a loved one have been through something traumatic – a serious injury, an accident, medical malpractice. And now you’re wondering if you can get compensated not just for the financial losses, but also for the pain, suffering, and overall hardship of the situation.

The short answer? Yes, in many cases you can sue for pain and suffering as part of a personal injury lawsuit. But there’s a lot more to unpack here.

What Exactly Is “Pain and Suffering?”

It’s one of those legal terms that sounds pretty self-explanatory, but actually covers a lot of ground:

  • Physical pain from an injury or illness
  • Mental/emotional suffering from trauma, disfigurement, disability, etc.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life and in ability to participate in daily activities
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish
  • Inconvenience and loss of quality of life
  • Fear, anxiety, and sleep loss
  • Grief and emotional pain

Basically, it encompasses all the crummy non-economic damages that stem from being injured or made ill due to someone else’s negligence or intentional acts. The pain, the heartache, the “I used to be able to ___, but now I can’t.”

But Can You Really Put a Price on Suffering?

This is where it gets tricky. Unlike economic damages like medical bills and lost wages that are relatively easy to calculate, compensation for pain and suffering like pain and suffering is inherently subjective and difficult to quantify.

There’s no cut-and-dry formula insurance companies use. They’ll consider factors like:

  • The severity of the injury and future prognosis
  • The amount of economic damages as a starting point
  • How the injury has impacted your daily life and ability to enjoy activities
  • The amount of emotional distress caused
  • Whether the defendant’s conduct was especially egregious

Then they’ll use software programs, historical data on similar cases, and a whole bunch of voodoo math to spit out what they determine to be a reasonable dollar figure for your pain and suffering.

Needless to say, insurance companies tend to lowball these amounts. Which is why in many cases, when suing for no-economic damages,  it comes down to demonstrating to a jury just how terrible your pain and suffering has been.

Lawsuits for Emotional Damages: Prove It to the Jury (aka Tell a Damn Good Story)

At the end of the day, being awarded pain and suffering damages means telling a compelling narrative that makes the jury empathize with your situation. Some strategies:

  1. Bring the suffering to life with vivid details. We’re talking about the before-and-after reality of your life. Don’t just say “I can no longer play basketball” – describe what playing meant to you, how much joy it brought, and the void left behind.
  2. Use testimony and evidence. Witnesses who can attest to your visible pain and emotional struggles. Photos/videos showing your injuries, scarring, disfigurement. Journals documenting your darkest days. Anything that isn’t just you saying “It was really bad, you guys.”
  3. Don’t be afraid to get emotional on the stand. If you’ve genuinely been through serious trauma, let the jury see that rawness. Just don’t overact – juries can sniff out insincerity.
  4. Remind them you’re still suffering. Make it clear your pain is ongoing, not something you’ve fully “gotten over.” The future pain and hindrances are hugely relevant.
  5. If it applies, emphasize egregious conduct by the defendant. Jurors are more likely to award higher damages, especially for pain/suffering, if the defendant’s acts were willful, malicious, or recklessly indifferent to your safety.

Ultimately, the more you can make the jury understand the true extent of your pain and losses, the higher those non-economic damage awards tend to go.

Legal options for pain and suffering Don’t Provide A Get-Rich-Quick Scheme

It is important to remember that collecting pain and suffering damages isn’t about hitting the lawsuit jackpot or punishing others. It’s simply about exploring your legal options for pain and suffering to ensure you get compensated for something very real you’ve endured through no fault of your own.

Insurance companies will try to cast you as an opportunistic fraudster. Your job is to truthfully illustrate the human costs and prove those non-economic damages have actual value.

Because at the end of the day, while money can’t unring the bell or heal all wounds, it can help make attendant life changes more bearable. It’s a means to an end, not an end in itself.

Legal Options For Pain And Suffering: Advice from the Trenches

If you’re considering a pain and suffering claim as part of a personal injury lawsuit, here are some tips from the front lines:

  1. Manage your expectations. Stories of ridiculous multi-million dollar pain and suffering awards are over-hyped outliers. Most cases net far more modest sums aimed at making plaintiffs whole, not wealthy.
  2. The best time to start a legal claim was three years ago. Bizarre time travel joke aside, the sooner you get the process started after an injury, the better documentation you’ll have of your initial pain and struggles when recounting it later.
  3. Hire a personal injury lawyer, not just any lawyer. There’s an art to presenting pain/suffering damages that requires specialized expertise. Don’t cheap out with a generalist. To get the most out of exploring your legal options for pain and suffering, always go for an attorney who specializes in personal injury cases.
  4. Don’t fixate on the “multiplier” hype. You’ll hear about insurance companies using multiples of economic damages to calculate pain/suffering awards. It’s one tool in their belt, not a golden rule.
  5. The defendant’s liability matters more than your pain. As awful as your damages may be, you first need to prove the defendant was at-fault through negligence or intentional misdeeds. Unclear liability = no damages recovery.
  6. Resist the temptation to wildly exaggerate. Juries can sniff out embellishment, which undermines credibility on damages.
  7. Consider if taking the stand is wise. This puts your character, fortitude, and narrative skills to the test in a major way.
  8. Don’t tunnel vision on just the pain/suffering number. Evaluate settlement offers holistically, including recovery of economics like medical costs.
  9. Read opposing medical expert critiques carefully. They’ll nitpick your claimed damages, so prepare counterarguments.
  10. Know your “disabling” pain/suffering has an expiration date. Arguing permanent damages is a very high bar – plan for fiercer pushback.
  11. Blog commenters are not reliable legal advisors. Avoid luring input from randos spewing strong opinions with no substantive knowledge of your case.

In the end, pain and suffering claims are very situational. Some cases have it; some don’t. The strongest ones weave impactful stories of real human hardship deserving of compensation.

No amount of legalese can manufacture that truth. Which is both the challenge and opportunity of arguing non-economic damages.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one have endured physical and emotional distress, you may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering. To find out about your legal options for pain and suffering, contact Husain Law + Associates — Houston Accident & Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (713) 804-8149 for a free case review. Let our experienced and skilled attorneys help you determine whether you have a good case and advise you on your next steps.

 

About the Author

Avatar

Husain Law Firm

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Read More