Pain and suffering is the legal term for the physical and emotional stress caused from an injury.
Under New York law, in addition to your economic damages (lost wages, medical expenses, property damage, expenses, etc.) you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering. If the injuries were sustained in a motor vehicle accident, then you must sustain a “Serious Injury” to recover for your pain and suffering.
The definition of a “Serious Injury” is often misunderstood by lawyers claiming to be experts and insurance companies. Under the law, some injuries are automatically considered serious, such as those involving fractures, significant scars and/or cases where you cannot work for at least 90 days following the accident. Some injuries are presumed serious, such as those requiring surgery, those requiring pain management such as epidural injections and/or those whereby you have permanent restrictions in your range of motion more than 90 days after the accident.
In order to be successful with this type of claim, it is imperative that you have consistent treatment starting soon after the accident, that you attend all diagnostic tests ordered by your physicians (such as MRIs, Xrays, EMGs) and that you continue to treat on a regular basis for as long as you are symptomatic. Once you stop receiving regular treatment, the insurance company will assume that you have recovered from your injuries and that you have not sustained a “Serious Injury”!