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Holland & Usry, P.A.

Pain and Suffering (or Non–Economic Damages) Explained

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When accident injury cases are discussed in the news, sometimes we hear a lot of talk about pain and suffering, also called non–economic damages. But no one describes exactly what that is.

If you’re a victim, you know. You’ve lived it. And it can often be the biggest part of your case. It’s not a joke or imaginary. It’s real, which is why the law compensates victims for it.

Because we can’t turn back time, the legal system has no better way to make up for the lost value of your life caused by an accident than giving money for it. At Holland & Usry, we call it “human loss” because it measures the harm to you as a person. It’s different for everyone because everyone’s different. Let’s look at what it can include.

Human Loss Factors

  • Pain, discomfort, and suffering. Hurting can make life aggravating or a living hell.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life. You can be compensated for things you love to do that you can’t do, whether it’s hobbies or activities you enjoy with your family or friends.
  • Physical disability and difficulties. This covers anything it’s impossible or harder for you to do. It includes limitations in doing daily activities, like bathing, dressing, cooking, cleaning, driving…anything.
  • Mental disability and difficulties. You might have these if you sustain a brain injury. If so, your case needs careful attention and skill from a lawyer experienced in brain trauma cases.
  • Permanent injury. If you break a bone or rupture a spinal disc, it’s likely some amount of damage will be permanent. You need to be evaluated for future medical care, especially arthritis. You’ll need an experienced lawyer to help develop this important—but sometimes complicated—medical evidence.
  • Disfigurement and scarring. We often see this in our clients who need surgery, but especially in dog attack cases.
  • Emotional trauma. It’s a chief area of recovery in fatal cases. But it can occur in injury cases, like extreme fright related to witnessing the tractor trailer spiraling out of control towards you, then being wheeled into a serious spinal operation after the trucking wreck.
  • Mental anguish. Often, the most profoundly injured, like folks who get paralyzed or who suffer severe spinal injuries or multiple broken bones, agonize over their future and all they’ve lost as a result of the accident.
  • Embarrassment. For example, being a young man confined to a walker as a result of a motorcycle crash.

How We Prove Human Loss

We get to know you. We talk with you about the injury’s impact on your life. You describe your pain in your own words. We track how it affects you from the beginning of your case to the end, covering the worst until when your health recovers as best as it can. After all, your case is about you. Then we prepare a summary for the insurance company justifying proper compensation based on your reports. If we can’t get it settled, it’s the basis for how we tell your story to the jury.

Sound like a lot of work? It is. But that’s what you hired us to do. We’re happy to do it. We’re here to make it easy on you.

If you got hurt from a trucking wreck, auto accident, slip or trip and fall, nursing home neglect, or medical malpractice and don’t know which way to turn to organize your case, start a live chat right where you are, so we can schedule a free meeting to talk about what we can do to help.

Rob Usry
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Rob is a South Carolina personal injury and criminal defense lawyer.
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