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What Is Pain & Suffering, and How It Impacts My Personal Injury Case in New Jersey? - NOT APPROVED

  • November 22, 2025
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In personal injury cases, pain and suffering are often a point of consideration. But what qualifies as pain and suffering and, more importantly perhaps, how does your pain and suffering impact your personal injury case? This blog will provide you with more details on pain and suffering as related to personal injury laws in New Jersey, including what qualifies as pain and suffering, how to prove this part of your case, and how compensation for these non-economic damages is determined.

What Is Pain & Suffering?

Pain and suffering may sound self-explanatory, but from a legal standpoint, they can be quite difficult to pin down. These are not tangible things that you can hold up in front of a jury or a piece of paper with a clear dollar amount that shows how much that harm is worth. Yet, at Selem Antonucci Law, we recognize that pain and suffering are very real aspects of your injury, and you deserve to receive some compensation for what you have endured.

Broadly defined, pain and suffering are non-economic damages, and are subjective experiences that vary case by case. They can encompass a number of experiences, including both physical pain and emotional trauma.

How to Prove Pain & Suffering

Because pain and suffering are so subjective, it can be difficult to prove to a judge or jury that significant harm has occurred in this area. While it may seem self-explanatory that you have experienced pain and suffering after a significant injury or the loss of a loved one, it is still important for plaintiffs to document their pain on a daily basis after the injury occurs. Write down your pain levels several times throughout the day. Make particular note of any changes in your symptoms, activities you were unable to perform, and so on.

This applies not only to physical injuries but your mental and emotional state as well. Were you unable to drive yourself to work because you were having flashbacks to your car accident? Did your new physical limitations cause you to enter a depressive state? Write these things down as well. Your accounts of your own suffering, in the moment that the suffering is occurring, can serve as concrete evidence that you have experienced real, measurable harm and deserve compensation.

How Other Documents Can Support Pain & Suffering

Your personal accounts alone will not be the evidence our personal injury attorneys use to prove your pain and suffering. As you might guess, some level of pain is assumed from any injury, so your medical records after the accident can provide support for your claims of pain and suffering, as well as provide vital information for receiving compensation for medical bills.

If you are seeking compensation for mental or emotional anguish, we generally recommend that you speak with a mental health professional regarding your injuries. Statements from your psychiatrist can lend support to your case, particularly when diagnosable conditions like PTSD, depression, and anxiety are involved. Just as importantly, they can offer you the help you need for recovering from the trauma of your injury.

Your Testimony in Court Can Help

Even with written records of your pain and suffering, your verbal testimony can hold a lot of weight in strengthening your case. If you are willing and able to do so, we may ask that you take the stand and testify in court about the pain and suffering you have endured as a direct result of your injury. This, along with a strong and effective argument that explains why your pain and suffering deserve compensation, can solidify your claims.

However, we always put our clients’ needs and well-being first. If you are unable to take the stand for any reason—whether your physical health prevents it or you feel that speaking of the incident in court would jeopardize your mental or emotional well-being—we will not force you to testify.

How Does It Impact Your Case?

A personal injury case does not require documented pain and suffering to be successful. You can receive compensation related to the economic costs of the injury, which may include medical bills, physical therapy, loss of income, and other, more tangible damages. However, clearly documented pain and suffering can increase the settlement or ordered payment amount significantly. The exact increase is impossible to name in an article such as this one, due to the number of factors used to calculate payouts for pain and suffering.

If you would like to receive a free consultation on your personal injury case and learn more about how your pain and suffering might impact the settlement in your case, contact Selem Antonucci Law today.

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