Often, the effects of an injury go beyond medical bills and other expenses. In many situations, an injury can have lasting physical, mental and emotional effects on an individual. For this reason, many personal injury victims are entitled to receive pain and suffering compensation for their injuries.
Our Silver Spring injury attorneys work to maximize fair compensation for those who have been injured because of another’s actions, including fighting for compensation for pain and suffering. Schedule a free, no obligation consultation today to learn how our legal team can help you get the compensation you deserve.
What is Pain and Suffering?
Pain and suffering is one type of compensation that can be recovered from a personal injury lawsuit. It goes beyond the calculated economic losses of an individual, such as medical bills and property damage, to compensate a victim for the mental, physical and emotional suffering he or she has experienced.
Because pain and suffering is not associated with a specific medical treatment or other tangible item, it can be difficult to fully understand what is compensable through this type of compensation.
Some of the main components that make up a pain and suffering case include:
- Mental health and well-being
- Mental anguish
- Physical impairment
- Loss of companionship
- Emotional distress
These things are considered based on what the victim experienced in the past as well as what he or she will likely experience in the future because of his or her injury.
Valuing Pain and Suffering
The amount of pain and suffering that is experienced after an accident and injury is unique to each individual. This requires that every case be examined on a case-by-case basis.
Some of the factors that are considered when determining the pain and suffering compensation that is awarded to an individual include:
- The severity of the individual’s injuries
- The effects the injuries have on the individual’s overall physical and mental well-being
- The physical and mental anguish the individual experienced in the past and can reasonably be expected to experience in the future
- Any humiliation or embarrassment associated with the individual’s disfigurement or scarring
If an individual’s injuries are severe and recovery will take a long time, the individual’s pain and suffering award will likely be higher. And if the injuries are minor and recovery will be quick, the individual’s pain and suffering compensation will be lower.
Proving Your Pain and Suffering Claim
Because there is no set formula for calculating pain and suffering, it is important that your claim is supported by strong evidence of your suffering. This could include:
- A doctor’s opinion about the pain and suffering you experienced during the accident, during your recovery and what you can expect to experience in the future
- The medical treatment you have undergone for your injury and any residual effects your injury has had on your life
- The opinions of medical experts and research studies
- Your descriptions of the physical pain and emotional distress you have experienced
Caps on Non-Economic Damages in Maryland
Individuals cannot recover unlimited compensation for pain and suffering, as there is a cap on the amount of non-economic damages that can be awarded in Maryland.
Maryland Code Annotated Courts and Judicial Proceedings § 11-108 states that in 2018, non-economic damages cannot exceed $845,000 for personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death cases. This amount increases by $15,000 on Oct. 1 of each year.
That cap is increased by 150 percent in wrongful death actions involving two or more beneficiaries, making the maximum that can be recovered from this type of case $1,290,000.
There is also a separate cap on non-economic damages awarded in Maryland medical malpractice lawsuits. As defined in Maryland Code Annotated Courts and Judicial Proceedings § 3-2A-09, awards cannot exceed $800,000 for injuries from medical malpractice and $1 million for a wrongful death case involving two or more beneficiaries in 2018. This number is also increased by $15,000 on Jan. 1 of each year.
No pain and suffering compensation is awarded in Maryland workers’ compensation claims.
Get Help with Your Claim for Pain and Suffering
The Silver Spring personal injury attorneys of Goldberg Finnegan can help you prove your pain and suffering claim by gathering evidence and building a strong case on your behalf.
Learn your legal options for pursuing pain and suffering compensation in a free no obligation consultation. We accept cases on contingency, so there are no upfront fees and you only pay if we recover compensation in your case.