What exactly is “pain and suffering”?

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In Oklahoma, you can sue for damages stemming from a car accident in which you suffered an injury. In many cases, you may be able to receive money for medical bills, lost income, medication, ambulance bills, work retraining, and pain and suffering.

What exactly is pain and suffering, though? How can you prove it one way or the other?

Physical pain and mental pain

Pain and suffering includes both physical and mental pain. You may be experiencing serious ongoing physical pain and discomfort as a result of your injury. Mental pain can include emotional stress, depression, anxiety and other conditions as a result of your physical injuries. These are separate kinds of pain, and your emotional scars may continue into the future.

For example, say that you have traumatic brain injury after a serious car accident. It has made you moody, anxious and depressed, and you have gone to a therapist. All of that suffering can be directly tied to the car accident. Sometimes, mental pain and suffering is more minor, but you may still recover damages for it. Suppose that because of an accident in which your lower back was injured for several months, you had to quit your sports teams. That has left you frustrated and unhappy. While you do not need counseling for it, that pain and suffering can again be directly connected to the car crash.

Jury awards

Juries have a good bit of leeway when it comes to determining how much to award for pain and suffering, although Oklahoma caps it and other noneconomic damages at $350,000. A jury might award you more if you come across as genuine on the witness stand and offer consistent testimony. On the other hand, even just one lie or a minor criminal conviction could make you come across as less than credible. An experience personal attorney can help you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled.

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