By: Darrell Castle
Compensation for pain and suffering covers any non-monetary damages (loss of wages from time off work, medical bills, etc)
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What does “compensation for pain and suffering” mean?
Hi, I’m Darrell Castle and I’m an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Tennessee and that’s a question I get quite often.
Compensation for pain and suffering really means what lawyers would call “general damages.” These are damages for non-monetary loss. In other words, it’s not for lost wages or medical bills. It is non-monetary loss. And a good example would be loss you may suffer from disfigurement or loss from the pleasure of life or time you spend in the hospital or something like that.
It’s usually divided into three categories to justify it.
Category number one for pain and suffering damages would be to bring the injured individual back whole – to bring him back to like he was before; to compensate him for his loss of use of some body part or something like that would be an example. It would be to make him whole in other words.
Item number two would be to incentivize due care. Or, said another way, it would be to make wrong-doers pay attention – to exercise due care and give them an incentive so they are less-likely to injure someone.
Number three – the theory goes along with insurance. Why do you buy insurance when you drive, and sometimes in some states like Tennessee that requires you by law to buy insurance. It requires you to spread the pain and suffering loss across the entire risk pool.
In other words, when you drive your car, you don’t bare all the risks yourself if you have insurance. It’s born in part by other people who have insurance policies. But, defendants should pay the cost of their damage and they should pay attention.