The Psychological Impact of a Personal Injury & Compensation for Pain and Suffering

by | Feb 29, 2024 | Personal Injury

distressed woman with hands in face after car accidentA personal injury accident, such as a car crash or a slip and fall, can cause more than just physical injuries. The psychological impact can be far-reaching and life-changing. What you may not know is that you can get compensation for all losses, including those non-economic damages like pain and suffering due to your mental and emotional struggles after a personal injury caused by someone else.

Psychological Impacts of a Personal Injury

man-holding-chest-on-couch-due-to-psychological-impact-of-personal-injuryA personal injury, beyond the physical harm it inflicts, can have a profound and lasting impact on a person’s mental and emotional well-being. The emotional consequences can range from short-term feelings of shock and anxiety to more severe and long-lasting conditions like depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Some common impacts of a personal injury include, but are not limited to:


Worry, fear, and nervousness are common reactions to a traumatic event. These feelings can be related to the fear of re-injury, concerns about the future, or the financial burden of medical bills.


Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in activities once enjoyed can be significant after a personal injury. This can be due to the physical limitations caused by the injury, the loss of independence, or the change in one’s self-image.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

This is a mental health condition that can develop after experiencing a terrifying event. Symptoms of PTSD can include flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety.

Anger and Frustration

These emotions are common as individuals grapple with the unfairness of the situation and the loss of control they may feel.

Social Isolation

Physical limitations and emotional challenges can make it difficult to participate in social activities and maintain relationships.

Factors That Influence Psychological Impact

Certain factors can influence the psychological impact of a personal injury, including:

  • Severity of InjuryThe greater the physical damage, the more likely it is that there will be a significant psychological impact.
  • Pre-Existing Mental Health ConditionsIf you have a history of mental illness, you may be more vulnerable to developing additional problems after a personal injury.
  • Social Support SystemA strong support network of family and friends can play an important role in helping you cope with the emotional challenges of a personal injury.

Getting Compensation After a Personal Injury

man with broken wrist signing papers to get compensation for personal injuryYou can get compensation after a personal injury for all the losses you experience, including the psychological injuries you endured. Those losses are typically grouped under emotional anguish, mental stress, or pain and suffering.

In South Carolina, there is no cap (or limit) on how much an injury victim can receive in damages for their pain and suffering after an injury. The only exception is for medical malpractice claims, which are limited to $350,000 per claimant.

Calculating Damages for Pain and Suffering in South Carolina

Calculating pain and suffering damages is inherently subjective due to the difficulty of assigning a monetary value to someone’s physical and emotional experience. While there’s no single, universally accepted method, insurance companies often utilize two primary approaches: the multiplier method and the per diem method.

Multiplier Method

The multiplier method takes the total amount of economic damages (medical bills, lost wages, etc.) and multiplies it by a number, called the multiplier, to arrive at a pain and suffering value. The multiplier typically ranges between 1 and 5, with a higher number reflecting a more severe and impactful injury. Factors influencing the chosen multiplier include severity and duration of the injury, impact on daily life, extent of pain and suffering, and liability (degree of fault).

Per Diem Method

The per diem method assigns a specific dollar amount (per diem, meaning “per day”) to each day the injured person experiences pain and suffering due to the accident. The per diem rate can vary significantly, often based on the severity of the injury and the victim’s daily earnings. This method is more commonly used for temporary injuries with a defined recovery period.

What You Should Know About Negotiating a Pain and Suffering Settlement

It’s important to note that these methods of calculating pain and suffering are starting points for negotiation, and the insurance company ultimately determines the initially offered amount. Insurance companies may use computer software incorporating various factors to estimate pain and suffering value. You can negotiate the offered amount based on your specific circumstances and evidence supporting your claim.

Attorney Venus Poe Will Hear Your Story and Help You Get Compensation

When you are suffering after a personal injury accident, you need someone who will listen. Attorney Venus Poe is a compassionate personal injury lawyer who wants to hear your story. She will fight for you to get the compensation you deserve after a serious injury accident. Call today at (864) 754-0823 to schedule a consultation regarding your case.


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