Can You Seek Compensation for Pain and Suffering in Personal Injury Cases in North Carolina?

Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matt Arnold answers the question: “What can you sue for in a personal injury case?”


Many victims of car accidents experience pain and suffering that can last a lifetime. An injury and physical pain are not the only things you should deal with following an accident that occurred due to someone else’s fault. Do not underestimate the seriousness of emotional distress and mental anguish that can take a toll on various aspects of your life.

injury-Charlotte-Monroe-Lake-Norman-Personal-Injury-Lawyer-300x200If you experience depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, grief, insomnia, or other emotional, psychological, or mental problems following an accident, you may be able to recover damages and seek compensation for your pain and suffering.


Can You Seek Compensation for Pain and Suffering in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, injured victims have a right to pursue compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are your medical bills, property damage, diminished earning capacity, and out-of-pocket expenses, while non-economic damages include but are not limited to:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress
  • Humiliation
  • Loss of enjoyment of activities
  • Inconvenience


When are Pain and Suffering Damages Available?

Pain and suffering and other non-economic damages are not available and recoverable in all types of personal injury cases in North Carolina. When it comes to determining whether you are eligible to seek compensation for pain and suffering, the following factors are considered:

  • The severity of your injury. Typically, the more severe the injury, the greater your pain and suffering. Also, pain and suffering damages are determined based on the effects of an injury on your life.
  • Type and length of medical care. The type and length of medical treatment can also affect whether pain and suffering damages are available in your personal injury case. Typically, victims who sustain minor injuries are less likely to seek compensation for pain and suffering than victims who sustain severe injuries and require invasive treatments, surgeries, and years of rehabilitation and physical therapy.
  • The impact on your life. The effect of your physical injury on various aspects of your life and your ability to enjoy life has a tremendous impact on your ability to recover pain and suffering damages.

It is best to consult with a Charlotte personal injury attorney to determine whether pain and suffering damages are available in your particular case and help you get a rough estimate for your non-economic damages.


How are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated?

In most cases, there are only two ways to calculate pain and suffering damages in personal injury cases:

  • The multiplier method. First, all of your economic damages, including medical bills, are added up. Then, the sum of your monetary damages is multiplied by a number ranging from 1.5 to 5 depending on the severity of your injury and other factors.
  • Per diem (“by the day”) method. Pain and suffering damages can also be calculated by determining a certain dollar amount to be paid to the victim for each day from the date of the accident until they reach maximum medical improvement (MMI).

Contact our personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to determine whether pain and suffering damages are available in your case and help you calculate the appropriate settlement amount. Call (704) 370-2828 to receive a video or phone consultation with our lawyers to explore your legal options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe.







The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.





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