The Legal Definition Of Pain And Suffering

If you want to win a lawsuit, you’re going to have to demonstrate “pain and suffering” to the people overseeing your case. It isn’t enough to say that you suffered; you need to meet the legal definition of pain and suffering.

Here are some of the damages that fall under this category according to my friend Michael Sawicki of Sawicki Law Firm:

Shortening Of Life

Most people want to live a long and healthy life. If your life was potentially shortened because of an incident, that easily should meet the legal definition of pain and suffering. Anything that reduces your lifespan should qualify.

Temporary Or Permanent Limits On Your Activity

If you had to miss work because of an injury, you had a temporary limit on your activity levels. This qualifies as pain and suffering. If you lost a finger and are no longer able to type at the same rate you used to, that could qualify as well.


Even if your injury didn’t put limits on your activity, it could meet the definition for pain and suffering. Scarring definitely qualifies, even if your job isn’t dependent on your appearance.

Depression And Other Mental Health Issues

Depression falls into the “suffering” portion of pain and suffering. However, if you are going to argue that you have been dealing with depression because of something that happened, you will have to see a mental health professional. Depression and sadness aren’t the same things; you are going to have to show that your overall mental health has decreased. The same is true for anxiety and PTSD.

As you can see, there are plenty of things that meet the legal definition of pain and suffering. If you are worried about the likely outcome of a case, you should talk to a lawyer. They will help to determine whether or not your circumstances fit this definition.