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What is Considered Pain and Suffering in a Lawsuit in Tennessee?

June 15, 2023 

What is Considered Pain and Suffering in a Lawsuit in Tennessee?

If you’ve suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you should know that you may be entitled to compensation beyond your immediate medical expenses and lost wages. One of these is “pain and suffering” damages, a form of compensation that can often be overlooked. You might wonder, “What is considered pain and suffering in a lawsuit?” 

The answer can help you determine if you have a valid claim and estimate the potential compensation you might receive. In this blog post, we’ll answer that question and share what else you need to know about compensation for pain and suffering and how an attorney can help you prove your case.

As your local personal injury attorneys and advocates, Tennessee Injury Attorneys is passionate about helping you receive compensation for pain and suffering so that you can focus on your recovery. 

At Tennessee Injury Attorneys, we see you as more than just a case – we consider you family. If you’ve been injured, we’d love to review your case. Contact us at (901) 902-7926 to schedule your FREE consultation with a dedicated Tennessee personal injury lawyer.

What is Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering is a somewhat broad term that can cover the physical pain and emotional distress a person experiences due to an accident or injury.

We understand that these experiences are difficult and personal and that no two people will suffer in the same way. Remember that your attorney’s goal is to see that your unique experience of pain and suffering is fully acknowledged and compensated.

Types of Damages: Economic vs. Noneconomic

When you’re filing a personal injury lawsuit, you can receive two primary types of compensation or damages: Economic and Noneconomic

Economic Damages

When dealing with the fallout of an injury, it’s essential to understand your financial situation’s real impact. Economic damages are those tangible costs that can be readily calculated – a direct financial toll of your accident. They include items like medical expenses that may range from emergency care, surgeries, and medications to mental health treatment and rehabilitation services.

We recommend keeping a record of all medical bills, therapy costs, and any wages lost due to your inability to work. 

Don’t forget to account for future expenses, too – if your injury requires long-term treatment or care, these costs should be included in your claim.

Non-economic Damages

Non-economic damages refer to the physical and emotional impact of your injury. These could include:

  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish and emotional distress
  • Loss of society, companionship, or consortium

While economic damages can be easily quantified, non-economic damages like pain and suffering are subjective and vary from person to person. 

Both types of damages are crucial in a personal injury lawsuit, and the goal is to ensure that you receive fair compensation for all the hardships you’ve endured.

Valuing Pain and Suffering

Determining a dollar value for pain and suffering can be a complex task. Generally, attorneys use one of two methods: the multiplier method or the per diem method.

Multiplier Method

In the multiplier method, your total medical expenses are multiplied by a number (usually between 1 and 5), reflecting the severity and impact of your injuries.

For example, if you were in an accident causing substantial injuries with $200,000 in medical costs, your attorney might use a multiplier of 3.5 due to the severity of your injuries and the impact on your life. So, the general damages for pain and suffering would be $700,000 ($200,000 x 3.5).

It’s important to note that Tennessee puts a $750,000 cap on non-economic damages. However, in severe cases, such as where the victim suffers amputation or paralysis, this cap can rise to $1 million. 

Per Diem Method

The per diem method assigns a daily dollar value for the duration of your pain and suffering. For instance, if you’ve had a broken leg due to someone else’s negligence, and recovery is expected to last six months, a daily value is assigned for each of these 180 days.

If you earn $200 daily, this could be your daily rate. Thus, your pain and suffering damages might total $36,000 (180 days x $200). This method, however, may not capture the full severity of your injuries and is unsuitable for long-term or permanent injuries.

Remember, it’s crucial to consult an attorney for the best approach tailored to your unique situation.

Proving Pain and Suffering

Proving the extent of your pain and suffering can be challenging because it’s deeply personal and subjective. Nevertheless, there are ways to build a compelling case. 

We understand how challenging it can be to put your pain into words and express how deeply your life has been affected. The process can feel invasive, but remember it’s all in the service of seeking justice for what you’ve been through. Here’s how you can contribute to providing concrete evidence of your pain and suffering:

Medical Evidence

This forms the cornerstone of any personal injury claim. Your medical records should provide a comprehensive account of your injuries, the treatment required, any future medical needs, and the severity and longevity of your pain. These reports can effectively substantiate the physical aspect of your pain and suffering.

For example, if you had to undergo multiple surgeries due to a spinal injury from a fall, your medical records would provide detailed evidence of your physical suffering.

Mental Health Professional’s Reports

If you’re experiencing emotional distress, reports from psychologists, psychiatrists, or therapists can be critical evidence. These reports can detail the emotional trauma you’re dealing with and how it’s affecting your life.

Personal Journal

Keeping a daily journal that details your physical pain and emotional state can provide a window into how your injury affects your daily life. 

For instance, you could record your sleepless nights, the hobbies you can no longer enjoy, or social events you had to miss because of your injury. This journal can offer powerful proof of your pain and suffering.

Witness Statements

Witnesses can corroborate your claim about the accident’s impact on your life. These can be family members, friends, or co-workers who can attest to your physical pain and emotional distress.

Visual Evidence

Photographs of your injuries can provide tangible proof of your physical pain. If your accident resulted in visible injuries like scars, wounds, or bruises, photographs can be a powerful tool.

The Role of Your Attorney in Proving Pain and Suffering

An experienced attorney can guide you through the process of documenting your pain and suffering. They’ll understand what kind of evidence will strengthen your case and advise you accordingly. 

Your attorney may recommend you to a specialist for a certain type of medical evaluation or suggest the kind of details to record in your personal journal. Remember, every detail counts when you’re trying to prove pain and suffering. 

By meticulously documenting your journey, you’re helping your legal case and taking an essential step toward acknowledging and understanding your own experience. This acknowledgment can be an important part of your healing process.

Maximizing Compensation for Your Pain and Suffering

A skilled personal injury attorney can take several steps to maximize your compensation:

  • In-depth Consultation: They’ll conduct detailed consultations to understand your physical and emotional trauma.
  • Gather Evidence: They’ll collect medical records, accident reports, photographs, witness statements, and any other relevant documentation.
  • Collaboration with Experts: They might collaborate with medical experts to ascertain the extent of your injuries and predict future medical needs and costs.
  • Quantify Non-economic Damages: They’ll help quantify your non-economic damages using methods like the multiplier or per diem approach.
  • Negotiations with the At-Fault Party: They’ll negotiate assertively with the at-fault party’s insurance company to aim for a fair settlement.
  • Representation in Court: If a fair settlement can’t be reached, they’ll be ready to advocate for you in court.

Take Action Today with Tennessee Injury Attorneys

Are you struggling with pain and suffering from the aftermath of a personal injury? You don’t have to navigate these complex waters alone. At Tennessee Injury Attorneys, we see you as more than just a case – we consider you family. 

From the moment you walk through our doors, we’re here to provide legal experience, compassion, and understanding. We’ll evaluate your case, guide you step by step through the legal proceedings, and vigorously fight for your rights.

Dealing with an injury is challenging enough without worrying about legal battles. Let us take that burden off your shoulders. We’re passionate about representing our clients, and our primary goal is to ensure that you’re fully compensated for your pain and suffering and that you can move forward with peace of mind.

Contact us today at (901) 902-7926 to schedule your FREE consultation with a dedicated Tennessee personal injury lawyer. We’re ready to stand by your side and fight for you.

At Tennessee Injury Attorneys, your fight is our fight.

Copyright © 2023. Tennessee Injury Attorneys. All rights reserved.

The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

Tennessee Injury Attorneys
1840 Pyramid Place, Suite 321
Memphis, TN 38132
(901) 902-7926

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