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How is 'pain and suffering' defined?

Many residents of Cary, North Carolina, may have heard the term "pain and suffering" discussed in the context of a lawsuit pertaining to a commercial vehicle accident or some other personal injury lawsuit.

What some people might not realize is that the term "pain and suffering" has a technical legal meaning. It is not merely a catch all for the additional compensation a jury sometimes awards above and beyond medical expenses and lost wages.

"Pain and suffering" serves to put a dollar value on the fact that, above and beyond the actual cost of an injury, an accident victim had to deal with the difficulties associated with being in pain. As North Carolina residents who have experienced it know, pain is a lot more than a mere inconvenience and can often be as debilitating as the injury itself. What value one puts on "pain and suffering" depends on many factors, including how severe the pain is and how likely it is that the pain will continue long term.

However, "pain and suffering" refers specifically to the physical pain that the injured person experiences as the result of an injury. Although recovery may still be possible under other legal theories, pain and suffering does not cover emotional distress or loss of either the injured person or the injured person's relatives and caregivers.

A person who has been injured in a commercial vehicle accident in more than a very minor way should consider asking for at least some compensation for his or her pain and suffering. The assistance of a qualified accident attorney in the Raleigh area may be of valuable assistance in pursuing this type of compensation.

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