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Can You Sue for Pain and Suffering in North Carolina?

On Behalf of Christian Ayers
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Most often, when someone sues on a personal injury claim, it’s the result of a physical injury that was suffered as a result of someone else’s negligence. Physical injuries always include some element of pain and suffering as well. While it doesn’t have a clear financial expense the way other aspects of the injury do, such as medical treatment, many people want to know if their Charlotte personal injury attorney will be able to sue for compensation for pain and suffering.

Can you sue for pain and suffering in North Carolina?

Compensation for Pain and Suffering in North Carolina

Pain and suffering are some of the things for which you can receive compensation in a North Carolina personal injury claim and are a part of the non-economic damages that you could receive.

There’s no precise formula for how the compensation for pain and suffering will be calculated. It will generally be evaluated on the specifics of the case, the seriousness of the injuries, the disruption to daily life, and how long the recovery is going to take. Precedence for similar situations may also be considered, as well as documentation such as doctor’s notes. In some cases, even witness testimony could be taken into consideration.

What a Personal Injury Claim Compensates

Pain and suffering are just some of the things that you should expect to receive compensation for in a personal injury claim. According to the law, a personal injury claim should compensate for any costs that can be demonstrated as having been a direct result of the injuries that you suffered. These are generally paid through two kinds of damages:

  • Economic Damages. These damages compensate for the clear financial costs associated with the injuries. Medical bills, both present and future, are often a significant component. If there is any property damage, which is often the case with a car accident, it is paid for as well. If injuries were enough to limit or prevent work, then those lost wages or lost earning capacity are also accounted for
  • Non-economic Damages. Pain and suffering are included in non-economic damages along with other psychological or emotional costs. Issues like mental anguish, loss of enjoyment in life, loss of use of a body part, and others are included. Although none of these concerns are directly impacted by money, the compensation serves as an acknowledgment of the injustice of your suffering and also as a potential indirect means of assistance.

It’s also possible that punitive damages could be awarded in some claims. These damages are not based on the costs that you incurred but rather are a referendum on the actions of the defendant. They are usually only rewarded when the behavior of the defendant is believed to have been ill-intentioned or otherwise egregious. Given that most injuries are the result of honest mistakes, these damages aren’t going to typically be involved.

However, when you discuss your situation with a lawyer, they can give you a better idea of whether or not they could be awarded in your case.


Q: What’s the Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Claims?

A: In most situations, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is three years, meaning a claim must be filed within three years of whatever incident caused the injury. However, there are some possible exceptions based on the kind of claim being filed, who you are trying to hold liable, when the injuries were discovered, and other factors. That’s why it’s important that you speak with an attorney soon after your injuries, as they can help identify the proper deadline for your situation.

Q: How Are Costs Proven in a Personal Injury Claim?

A: Costs in a personal injury claim may be proven in different ways depending on the kind of cost. If there is a direct financial element to the claim, then it might be proven using documentation like receipts or bills. In the case of lost wages, past pay stubs or bank statements may be helpful. However, for the psychological costs, this may require doctor’s notes or testimony from someone with firsthand knowledge of the situation.

Q: What Should I Look for When Deciding on a Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney?

A: When deciding who you should work with as your personal injury attorney, it’s important to make sure you are totally comfortable with your choice. Ideally, you want someone who is experienced and has a good grasp of the law, but it’s imperative that they be someone you trust. You are asking them to take on an important role in representing you through negotiations and possibly in court, and it needs to be a person you are comfortable allowing to do so.

Q: Can You Settle a Claim Instead of Going to Court?

A: Most claims are settled outside of court rather than going through litigation. This is largely because of some of the advantages of a negotiated settlement as compared with a trial. Although there is a possibility of less money awarded than if a trial went perfectly in your favor, a settlement is not subject to the risk of going to court, where it’s possible to end up with nothing. Additionally, a settlement can often take less time and is more private than a public trial.

Seek Restitution for Your Pain and Suffering and Other Injury Costs

Pain and suffering are just one of the costs of an injury that you may seek compensation for. The financial costs, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage, are the responsibility of whoever caused the injuries. In addition to pain and suffering, other psychological costs, such as mental anguish, loss of enjoyment in life, and PTSD, need to be compensated as well. However, getting that fair restitution can often be a challenge.

Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler is a law firm with substantial experience helping personal injury victims get the restitution that they deserve. We understand what it takes to demonstrate liability and why you deserve fair compensation. Whether through a negotiated settlement or by taking a claim to court, our clients can count on a dedicated team ready to make a formidable argument for what they’re owed. If you’ve been injured and are ready to seek restitution for your costs, contact us today.