Personal injury cases often involve different types of damages, with medical expenses and missed wages being among the most common. However, awards for pain and suffering are typically part of the case as well. Although medical expenses and missed wages are easier to account for with bills and records, pain and suffering awards in Oklahoma work differently and depend on the nature of the injurious event and the severity of the resulting injuries. In most cases, the courts rely on the evidence presented to determine what is fair and just for the victim in light of the circumstances.

How is pain and suffering defined?

Pain and suffering is a legal term that references the physical injuries and emotional distress of a victim caused by an event like a car accident or an accident in the workplace. Pain and suffering can refer to everything from persistent aches that limit physical activity to depression and lowered quality of life stemming from emotional distress. 

Some physical examples of pain and suffering can include chronic pain, amputations, broken and fractured bones, burns, nerve damage, internal injuries, spinal cord injures, and traumatic brain injuries. 

Examples of emotional distress include depression, anxiety, cognitive issues due to brain injury, insomnia, behavior changes and triggers, debilitating grief, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Keep in mind that physical injuries and emotional distress can manifest themselves in different ways. Furthermore, some may be apparent shortly after the incident in question has occurred, while others may take time to show up or be felt. 

When building a case for a personal injury lawsuit, your attorneys will likely seek medical records and statements from physicians (including psychiatric physicians) to provide clarity and backing for your claims of pain and suffering.  

How are pain and suffering awards determined?