What is Pain and Suffering?

What is pain and suffering?

Pain and suffering is an essential part of many personal injury cases. Pain and suffering is a legal term that refers to a variety of injuries that may occur as a result of an accident. Not only does pain and suffering cover the physical pain of an injury, but also the emotional and mental injuries, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and mental anguish. If another party is liable for the incident, a personal injury victim may be able to recover general damages for pain and suffering in addition to compensation for special damages, associated with the injury and treatment.


From a legal standpoint, pain and suffering is used to quantify the value of an individual's loss due to the their injury. Special damages, also known as hard expenses, are fairly easy to quantify. Hard expenses are those such as hours lost at work, medical bills, and damaged property, among others. Pain and suffering is not as easy to quantify because it is difficult to determine an individual's short- or long-term injuries. The successful quantification of pain and suffering allows a jury to properly assess how life altering an individual’s injuries are. From there, a jury is able to provide a just determination of how much the general damages are worth.


There are many types of pain and suffering damages that a victim may claim due to a personal injury. Additionally, a personal injury attorney must be able to show that the issue was caused by the injury and it directly impacted the victim’s quality of life. When this is shown, a victim will likely have a strong case. Some examples of what constitutes pain and suffering are as follows:


  • Physical pain that may last for days, weeks, months, years or even a lifetime.
  • Reduced lifespan due to an injury that damaged an organ.
  • Embarrassment due to a disfiguration after an injury.
  • Depression after a serious injury.
  • Physical or mental limitations caused to a victim, including the impact on the ability for he or she to earn money or engage in activities that they used to partake in.


Pain and suffering in personal injury cases can be extraordinarily complex. It is critical to have experienced legal representation that will fight for what you are entitled to. The New York personal injury attorneys at Georgaklis & Mallas PLLC can provide sound legal guidance and effective representation if you or a loved one has suffered an injury. For more information or for a free consultation, contact our New York personal injury law firm at (718) 238-2400.