It is tough times in life when you have to go through pain and suffering because of someone else’s negligence. While there are people who simply face the consequences and sit silently, but there are others who know their rights and sue the person responsible for the trouble they had to face. In order to become the latter one from the former one, you need to have knowledge about pain and suffering claims. And, this is something which the common man lacks in most of the cases.
This is the reason why we are writing this post. By the time you will end up reading this post, you will have ample knowledge about pain and suffering claims, and everything else that you may want to know about this type of claims, including your rights when stuck in such a problem. So without further ado, let me share the basics of these claims and the situation when you can sue.
What are pain and suffering claims?
Search on the internet and you will find endless variety of answers to this question. However, the simplest definition that we have come across is “When someone is injured in an accident due to the negligence of another person, and the person at the receiving end of this incident files a claim for the compensation, then the claim is said to be pain and suffering claim.”
The law has been put forward by the government to make sure that people who have to face suffering because of someone else’s neglected are not left without any help. The compensation makes sure that there is a ray of hope for the person who has suffered loss in an incident, to survive and lead a normal life after it.
What are the conditions in which you can file for these claims?
Not all types of conditions fall under pain and suffering claims. Government has defined only certain set of those in which you can file for the claim. Now that you know about the basic definition of pain and suffering claims, let me shed some light on the instances where in you can file:
- Serious injuries – accidents are bound to bring injuries, and these injuries can be the reason of suffering for the person who is at the receiving end. So, one of the first instances where you can file for a pain and suffering claim is when you have gone through some serious injury. This injury could be anything that hinders in your normal living. From a broken bone, to brain injury and any other consequence that leads you to get hospitalized. Under all these conditions you can go ahead and file for a pain and suffering claim.
- Wrongful Death – under the most unfortunate circumstance, when the accident or negligence of someone else’ leads to death of a person, then a pain and suffering claim can be filed. This is the situation where not only the person involved in the accident suffers, but his family members also have to go through traumatic experience. Or in other words, death not only takes the person away from the family members, but it also leaves a void within the heart of loved ones that can never be filled. So, filing a claim against the person responsible for this unfortunate event becomes even more significant as it can give a hope for justice to the people left behind, help them with financial matters they have to suffer.
These are most common scenarios where in you can file for a pain and suffering claim. Now, moving on to the next factor in the discussion, what are the types of damages which are covered under these claims?
What are the expenses covered under these pain and suffering claims?
Well, here is a look at those:
- Medical expenses – when going through traumatic experience of an accident, one of the biggest nuisances can be the medical expenses that you have to incur. Considering the fact that these medical expenses can cost quite a lot, it becomes imperative to know your rights about these claims. Medical expenses for pain and suffering include not only the money spent on current treatment, but also all the payments that you will have to make in the future as well, in case you have sustained injuries that will take long time to heal. So, pain and suffering claims prove to be helpful for an individual stuck in emergency by helping them to manage their medical problems.
- Psychological Trauma – while physical wounds can heal in days, there are other types of injuries that take years to heal. These are clubbed under traumatic loss. Now a psychological trauma can lead to devastating effects of the person’s health as well as his personal life. This is where pain and suffering claims can come to the rescue. With the help of these claims you can eventually get compensation for almost all type of losses, without having to worry about any hiccups in the road to recovery after having to go through the pain and suffering because of someone else’ negligence.
- Loss of income – injuries bring along a lot of distress, and in case there is a serious injury involved, there are big chances that it will have a negative impact on the earning capacity of the injured person and his / her loved ones as well. All these matters are clubbed under loss of income. For instance if you have lost a limb during the accident because of someone else’s fault, then you are most likely going to lose your job. Under this condition you can benefit quite a lot from these pain and suffering claims, as you can get the rightful compensation and lead a normal life afterwards.
- Loss of consortium – now, this is something that not many people have even a slightest of an idea about. When a person faces serious consequences of an accident, then not only the person but his / her family also suffers, especially the better halves with who the person is in intimate relationship. And, these types of losses are clubbed under consortium loss. Although there are different laws in different provinces, when it comes to consortium loss compensation as part of a pain and suffering claim, one thing is for sure that you will get the rightful compensation for yours and your loved ones’ suffering, especially once you have knowledge about what you can claim for.
Can anyone file for these claims?
Well, the answer is definitely a No. The government has put some legal boundaries as to who can file for these claims. And it is not just a person involved in an accident. Well, let us take a look at who can file for these claims under such circumstance:
- Spouses and children, who can be put under the immediate family member category, can file for the claim in first place. These also include children who were adopted by the individual injured. And, in cases where the person involved in the accident is unmarried, then his / her parents have the right to claim for the pain and suffering compensation.
- On top of all categories of people, mentioned in the first point, there is another one: people who were dependent on the deceased person. They can file for the claim as well. This category includes anyone who was dependent on the person for meeting their ends. There are also provinces which allow putative partners, i.e. the partners who believed that they were married to the victim, to file a claim.
- Distant family relatives who were closely involved with the person who went through wrongful death because of someone else’s negligence can also file for the pain and suffering claim. Brothers, sisters, grandparents or any other relatives related to the person who lost his / her life are included in this category. It also includes fetal death because of someone else’s negligence. In such a severe incident, the case also falls under wrongful death, and the person at the receiving end could file for a pain and suffering compensatory claim.
This comes across as one of the most important questions about pain and suffering claims. So, what’s the answer to this question? Well, the answer is that there is definitely a time frame during which you should file for the claim. However, it varies from province to province. There are provinces that allow you to file for a claim within two years of the incident (i.e. Ontario), while there are others that require you to file the claim in lesser time as well.
To put it in layman terms I would like to share this simple example:
If a person is involved in an accident caused due to someone else’s negligence today in Toronto, then he / she can file for the claim within the next two years. If a person fails to file the compensatory claim during this period of time, then he / she won’t be able to get any compensation for the same. This is the reason that you need to be aware of your rights and know when you could file for a claim.
Can you do it yourself?
Now that you have an idea about almost all the possible things that are associated with filing for a pain and suffering claim, we would like to ask a simple question “Do you think that you can do it on your own?” As the last part of this topic I would like to add here that while people think that filing for a pain and suffering claim can be easy, it is not. There are quite a number of complications that might come in your way. This is the reason that getting in touch with a personal injury lawyer should be the first thing in your list, if you stuck under such crisis. A legal professional can help you not only understand the consequence of filing a claim but at the same time help you avoid all the problems that you would face by doing it on your own.
Also, there can be instances when you can get better compensation without even having to go to the court. So, in these cases a lawyer can prove to be of the best help. It is known as the out of court settlements. A lawyer can make sure that you get the rightful amount whether you decided to go to the court or choose to get it done out of the court. And, at the same time personal injury attorneys will make sure that things never get out of hands, which is a huge possibility in case you choose to do it on your own.
We guess that’s about it.
All the above mentioned is more than enough to make you understand about the basics of pain and suffering claims and what you can do to get the rightful compensation for the same. And, as stated in the last part of the article, in case you still have any queries regarding the same, then a lawyer is always there for your rescue.
So, god forbid you have to face such devastating consequences and you are stuck in pain and suffering because of someone else’s mistake. But now you at least have a complete idea as to what you should do.
Stay safe; have a safe and happy life ahead!