How Are Pain and Suffering Determined in Car Accidents?

Damages for pain and suffering are paid for the emotional and physical stress of an injury. New York is one of the states that recognize pain and suffering. Many other states do not recognize pain and suffering. There are several kinds of damages involved in a car accident. Let us look at them.

  • Economic Damages – The easiest type of damages to calculate are economic damages. Economic damages relate to things such as medical bills, lost wages, and damage to personal property. They can be measured as long as you keep documentation.
  • Non-economic Damages – These are much harder to measure. They include things such as depression, fear, and stress. They are things you cannot touch. You have to evaluate them on a case by case basis. Pain and suffering are non-economic damages.

Pain and suffering damages are hard to calculate. Usually, your attorney will be able to settle your case. You may never have to go to court to prove you deserve compensation. If you do, you need to show a jury just how bad your pain and suffering is. This is what your car accident lawyer will do for you.

Let an Expert Car Accident Attorney in Buffalo Review Your Pain and Suffering Case


If you are involved in a car accident, you need to get a lawyer. Your lawyer knows the law and knows how to get you the money you deserve. One of the things your lawyer will present to the insurance company is proof of your pain and suffering. Ideally, your lawyer and the insurance company will come to an agreement and settle your case.

If you go to trial, your lawyer will try to prove your pain and suffering to a judge or jury. He will show:

  • The severity of the initial injuries

Hopefully, you went to the hospital or doctor immediately following your car accident. There will be pictures and medical records to show your initial injuries. These may include cuts, bruises, and broken bones.

  • The severity of the pain

Everyone feels pain differently. One way to prove your pain is to show you can no longer enjoy your life because of it. Maybe you can’t sleep because the pain keeps you up at night. Perhaps the pain is so bad that you can’t do your job anymore. Your attorney knows what questions to ask both you and your doctor to prove your level of pain.

  • The permanency of the pain

When you are in a car accident, you may end up in some pain for the rest of your life. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you could face years or a lifetime of pain. You may need treatment for as long as you live. Maybe you need surgeries that will impact you on an ongoing basis. Unfortunately, you may suffer spinal injuries that cause you to be paralyzed. This will certainly affect you forever. Your car accident attorney will demonstrate what long-term damages you have suffered.

  • The economic impact of your injuries

Are your injuries going to hurt you financially? They likely will. You may miss work or have to change jobs because of your injuries. and you may not be able to drive or operate equipment that is part of your job. You may have to make changes to your house to accommodate disabilities that result from your car accident. Your lawyer will document all of this for the jury.

  • The impact on your family

You are not the only one affected by your accident. You may have suffered injuries that will impact your family. Perhaps you suffered an injury that prevents you from having children. Or maybe you can’t coach your son’s soccer team anymore because of your injuries. All of these things are considered when calculating pain and suffering.

It is important that you go to all of your doctor’s appointments and therapy. Your attorney needs to be able to show what injuries and damages you actually suffered.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Buffalo, New York


There is no cap in New York on how much you can collect in damages for pain and suffering. Your attorney will look at your actual damages (economic) and use them to help measure your pain and suffering. If you can no longer perform the same job because of your injuries, your attorney will point this out. Assume you are young and were making $100,000 a year Because of the accident, you can now only earn $40,000 a year. Your attorney can argue that you are losing $60,000 a year until you would have retired. You likely won’t get all of this money, but you get the point.

Contact a local accident lawyer in Buffalo, New York for a free consultation. You do not want to wait. You could lose your rights to collect damages.


Subject Related Articles