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How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated?

“Pain and suffering” may sound like a straightforward concept until you start to think of its legal context. If you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence, it makes sense that you should be compensated. They caused you pain. But how does “pain” translate into money? You suffered because of their carelessness. But “suffering” doesn’t come with receipts that you can submit for reimbursement.

Calculating pain and suffering damages is an art, not a science. To understand the real value of your injury claim, you should consult with an experienced Alabama injury lawyer at Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys. Our team can help you identify your damages and navigate our state’s laws. But to get you started, read this guide to calculating pain and suffering damages in Alabama.

What Is Pain and Suffering?

In Alabama, the courts categorize damages in three ways:

  • Economic damages: compensation strictly for monetary losses, like medical bills, lost income, and property damage.
  • Non-economic damages: damages that are very real, but cannot easily be translated into a financial loss, such as loss of intimacy with your spouse.
  • Punitive damages: awarded by a judge or jury, they punish a wrongdoer for intentional or incredibly reckless conduct.

Pain and suffering falls under the category of non-economic damages, because your physical discomfort or mental anguish cannot be monetized. The ambiguity of non-economic damages is why you should have an experienced attorney on your case.

RELATED ARTICLE: Struggling With Mental Health Issues After a Car Accident? You’re Not Alone

When speaking in legal terms, pain and suffering refers to a wide range of injuries that a person may experience as a result of an accident.

  • Physical pain associated with your injuries
  • Emotional trauma and despair
  • Fear and worry
  • Negative feelings related to disfiguring injuries
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Mood swings and anger
  • Social isolation and anxiety
  • Loss of enjoyment of previous hobbies and pastimes

Just like you, pain and suffering is unique, and will vary depending on the nature of your injuries, the circumstances surrounding your accident, and other factors.

It’s also important to know that Alabama courts cannot award pain and suffering damages in product liability claims.

How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated?

There is no one way to calculate, in monetary terms, the amount of pain and suffering damages a person might receive for their injury. You can find calculators and complicated equations online that say they can convert your injury into a dollar amount. But these AI-based calculation methods don’t take into account the unique and complex personal nature of your specific experience.

At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we meticulously calculate our clients’ damages, including their pain and suffering. To start, we spend time with every one of our clients, getting to know them, their circumstances, and their profound losses. Once we truly understand their situation, we start crunching numbers.

In most cases, the value of your pain and suffering will depend on your injuries’ severity, how the accident impacted your life and relationships, and other factors.

But the amount of damages you could receive also depends on some circumstances unrelated to your injury—most notably, insurance coverage—that are out of your control. If the party that caused your injury has no insurance or tiny policy limits, your damages will be affected. This is especially true if you do not have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

RELATED ARTICLE: What Happens if an At-Fault Driver Is Uninsured or Underinsured?

This is why so many people turn to personal injury lawyers to analyze their case and help put together a compelling argument for pain and suffering damages. That’s also why we consult with everyone involved in our clients’ cases, including doctors, therapists, insurance companies, to fully understand the big picture and the extent of their non-economic damages.

Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys: We Do the Math and Fight for Our Clients

When you’re injured, you should be able to focus on healing and putting your life back together. But if you were injured through no fault of your own, the last thing you want to spend your time on is trying to calculate exactly how much money you’re owed. The wisdom and guidance of a personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the legal system at a time when you are most vulnerable.

At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, our experienced team will work hard to understand all the nuances of your injury case so that we can take care of the math—and your future. We’ll fight to make sure you receive fair compensation, including pain and suffering damages wherever applicable. To request a free, no-obligation consultation, please complete this brief online form or call 251-888-8888.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

Can I Get Compensation for Shoulder Injuries After a Car Accident?

Shoulder injuries are common following a car accident, and victims often suffer severe initial trauma from the sudden impact. On top of that, many victims also deal with longer-term chronic problems with the bones, tissues, and joints in their shoulder. When you experience chronic shoulder pain and loss of mobility, it can impact your quality of life and your ability to work – not to mention the massive medical bills a shoulder injury can rack up.

Each case is unique, but if your shoulder injury resulted from someone else’s negligence, then the law says you have the right to receive compensation for your financial losses as well as your pain and suffering. The type of injury, the severity, and the injury’s impact on your life are all factors that determine the amount of damages (which is a legal term for financial compensation) you can recover.

To learn more about shoulder injuries and your options for compensation, continue reading.

Common Types of Shoulder Injuries

Most shoulder injuries that result from a car accident happen because of the sudden physical impact that the crash created. These acute injuries may be very painful, and they often require immediate medical treatment. Rehabilitation that lasts weeks, months, or even years may follow as part of the recovery. Examples of acute shoulder injuries include:

  • Severe bruising
  • Sprains and strains
  • Separated shoulder
  • Rotator cuff tear
  • Dislocated shoulder
  • Broken bones
  • Injuries to nerves

Some shoulder injuries, especially those that involve nerve damage or dislocation, may not be obvious for several days or weeks after your accident. Sometimes, acute trauma and the resulting intense pain can mask the symptoms of a secondary or underlying issue. Once the initial acute injury begins to heal, the symptoms of the underlying problem start to become more pronounced.

These issues should not be ignored since they usually get worse over time without proper care. You should always keep your doctor updated about your condition after a car wreck and let them know if you develop new pain or other physical symptoms.

RELATED BLOG ARTICLE: Can I Get Compensation for My Back Pain After a Car Crash?

What Kinds of Damages Can I Recover After Suffering a Shoulder Injury?

The damages you can recover for a shoulder injury fall into two categories. First are economic damages, which are any losses you’ve suffered that have a specific dollar value which you can prove. Examples of economic damages include:

  • Current and expected future medical bills, including ongoing physical therapy and in-home care
  • Modifications to home or vehicle to accommodate new limitations
  • Wages lost so far due to missed work and reduced earnings capacity
  • Loss of future income due to expected missed work and reduced earnings capacity

Documentation is critical for establishing economic damages, which is why it’s essential to keep track of every medical bill and appointment as well as any missed work and any other earnings or opportunities you’ve missed out on due to your injuries. Keeping everything organized can be a challenge, but if you’re working with an experienced injury lawyer, they’ll be able to help.

The second category of damages is non-economic damages. This category includes items like pain and suffering or other effects that lead to a loss of quality of life.

Compared to economic damages, determinations about the value of your suffering and the impact the injury has had on your quality of life are more subjective. Fortunately, an experienced attorney will know how to quantify non-economic damages and frame them in terms that a judge or jury will understand.

One way you can help your attorney make a strong case for compensation is to keep a detailed diary of the ways your injury has affected you. For example, if you can no longer participate in a favorite sport or hobby because of your injury, or if you’re no longer able to be intimate with your spouse because of pain or mobility issues, these are all items to write about in your diary. Make sure to also write about any emotional and psychological issues that have accompanied your injury and the limitations it has placed on you.

RELATED CLIENT STORY: An Injured Victim Demands Justice With Help From Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys

Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys: Experienced, Dedicated Representation for Your Personal Injury Claim

At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we believe that people hurt by the negligence of others deserve justice. If you’re struggling with life-changing shoulder pain or any other type of injury after a car crash, you deserve fair compensation, peace of mind, and space to heal. With decades of experience, our team of attorneys fights to get victims the compensation they need.

To schedule your free, no-risk initial consultation with an attorney from our team, call 251-888-8888 today or fill out our quick and easy online contact form.


Healthwise staff. (n.d.). Shoulder problems and injuries. University of Michigan Health System. Retrieved from

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.