When is pain and suffering compensable?

When is pain and suffering compensable?

Anyone who’s been hurt knows that medical bills are only half the cost of an injury. I’m a relatively new father and, when my daughter turned two, I started throwing her up in the air and catching her. Classic Dad move right? The ensuing smiles and laughter were priceless. Last year, I hurt my shoulder and suddenly became unable to throw her up in the air. That was by far the worst part about the injury. It wasn’t the cost of physical therapy. It wasn’t the physical pain I felt. The fact that I was limited in the way I could play with my daughter was a terrible cost.

In the legal field, we call these non-economic damages or sometimes pain and suffering. They’re hard to quantify, but they are every bit as real as a doctor’s bill. In Kansas auto accident claims, the law (K.S.A. 40-3117) says that only certain types of cases can include a claims for pain and suffering.

You can recover money for your pain, suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience and other non-economic loss if:

  • Your medical bills are more than $2,000,
  • You have some permanent disfigurement,
  • You have a fracture to a weightbearing bone; a compound, comminuted, displaced or compressed fracture,
  • Loss of a body member,
  • Permanent injury
  • Permanent loss of a body function or
  • Death.

Any one of these criteria can legally allow you to recover non-economic damages for your claim. It’s important to remember that personal injury cases are not lottery tickets. They operate under the system of laws we’ve created that attempts to make us whole again after an injury. They are designed to help us recover what we’ve lost, even if some of the pain is difficult to quantify.

If you’re not sure if you can recover damages for pain and suffering in your case, click here to give us some of the details, and we’ll reach out to you to let you know.

This article is written by Matt Patton. Matt is the youngest Patton boy, a father of two, and a legal assistant at our firm. Though the content of this article is reviewed by a lawyer, this nor any post should be viewed as legal advice. For legal advice concerning your particular situation call our office.

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