Am I Entitled to Compensation for Pain and Suffering After My North Carolina Car Accident?

A North Carolina car accident can leave its victims with serious injuries. Even seemingly trivial injuries could require surgery and long-term rehabilitation. The at-fault driver is typically liable for all damages incurred by the victim as a result of the accident. These damages include tangible items, such as hospital bills and lost earnings. They can also cover non-economic damages as well. 

If you were hurt in a North Carolina car accident that was caused by someone else, you could be eligible for financial compensation. We urge you to meet with a North Carolina personal injury lawyer from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp. We can clarify your rights, and examine your legal options in a free case review. 

What Qualifies as Pain and Suffering?


Before getting too bogged down in the details, It is important that you understand how North Carolina defines pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is a legal phrase that relates to the non-economic damages that a victim sustained in a negligence-based accident. 

The term “pain and suffering” encompasses intangible, emotional damages such as physical discomfort and pain, inconvenience, decreased quality of life, and mental anguish, just to name a few. It can also include the emotional trauma caused by no longer being able to participate in activities you once enjoyed. 

Calculating damages for pain and suffering is not as straightforward as calculating economic damages because they are both highly subjective and non-monetary. For this reason, a judge will have to review the evidence and make a determination regarding the damages for pain and suffering in each individual case. 

Damages in a North Carolina Car Accident Claim

In North Carolina personal injury claims, there are two primary types of damages, economic and non-economic, also known as special and general damages. Pain and suffering fall under the umbrella of non-economic damages. In order to be entitled to compensation for non-economic damages, you will have to show proof that you endured some form of pain and suffering. 

Types of evidence often used to prove these damages include a physician’s testimony as well as statements from therapists and counselors. Some examples of pain and suffering include chronic headaches, and other forms of chronic pain, reduced or loss of mobility, sleep disorders, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, uncontrollable mood swings, loss of appetite, and many more.

Compensation for Pain and Suffering

Every personal injury case that includes pain and suffering is unique. There is no one calculation that a judge can apply to all situations that will determine a fair amount of compensation for a victim’s pain and suffering. 

Pain and suffering could be linked to real economic damages, but there is no hard and fast rule for determining this. Rather, the judge will examine the specific facts surrounding your individual claim in order to determine how to handle your non-economic damages. 

One recent study showed that most accident victims feel they should receive two times the amount of their medical expenses in pain and suffering, but this does not reflect the actual amount of financial compensation that a judge might order. For instance, if you were injured so severely that you will never be able to work again, the amount you are awarded for your pain and suffering is going to be substantially higher than that of someone who is expected to be out of work for a year.  

Talk to a North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer

Pain and suffering are actual damages for which many North Carolina car accident victims deserve to be compensated. You may find it useful to discuss your accident with a North Carolina personal injury lawyer from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp in order to understand what your rights are and what to expect from your claim. Call (833) 997-1774 to schedule your free consultation with our legal team today. 

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