What is Considered “Pain and Suffering” in Arkansas?

“Pain and suffering” is a term that is often thrown around in the context of injury cases.  Pain and suffering damages are one type of damages that you might be able to claim in your personal injury case, and it is important to understand what these damages are and how they might help you recover monetary damages after a serious injury case.  Fayetteville, AR personal injury lawyer Ken Kieklak explains what these damages are and how much they might be worth in your injury case.

What Are Pain and Suffering Damages in an Arkansas Injury Lawsuit?

When you are injured in an accident in Arkansas and file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault parties (the “defendants”), the court could order them to pay a wide range of damages.  These damages are paid directly to you as the victim (the “plaintiff”) with the goal of compensating you and restoring you to the condition you were in before the accident.  Most of these damages will be “economic” damages, in that they cover things like medical bills and lost wages to restore you to the same financial state you were in.  Other damages are “noneconomic” damages.

Instead of compensating you for things with dollar values attached to them, noneconomic damages compensate you for things that do not have monetary values easily assigned.  The loss of a limb or a permanent disability are not things that money can restore, but you can still get compensation for those harms.  Even without such serious injuries, you would still face pain and mental suffering and other problems after an injury, and so noneconomic damages can be paid to cover those harms.

“Pain and suffering” refers to a group of these noneconomic damages.  “Pain” in this context refers to the physical pain, discomfort, and other experiences you face after an accident.  “Suffering” refers to the mental anguish and other mental and emotional experiences you face after an accident.

Types of Pain and Suffering Damages in Injury Cases in Arkansas

Whether you were injured in a car accident and suffered only whiplash injuries or you were injured at work and suffered amputation injuries or traumatic brain injury in Arkansas, one of the most important damages in your case will be pain and suffering damages.  While physical and mental experiences account for most of the pain and suffering damages you face, there are other things that can be included under the title of “pain and suffering,” including the following:

Emotional Distress

Many people claim emotional distress damages after accidents.  These damages cover the mental experience and stress that you faced, compensating you for what you had to go through.  These damages are often proved through your testimony about what you experienced since it is almost impossible for other people to know what is in your mind and what your emotions were like through data and physical evidence.

Reduced Enjoyment

Many injuries make things harder for the victims, potentially leading to depression and making activities that they used to like harder to enjoy.  If an injury keeps you from playing tennis, riding your bike, hunting, fishing, or doing other things that you used to love, you can seek damages for that.  In many cases, injury victims might be unable to pick up their children, barbeque with their family, or enjoy other activities, causing depression and reduced joy in their life.  All of this can lead to damages.

Loss of Companionship and Sexual Dysfunction

If you are no longer to have relations with a spouse or significant other because of your injury, this could lead to additional pain and suffering damages.  The inability to have intercourse can cause huge interruptions and changes in a victim’s life, and victims deserve substantial compensation for this kind of harm.


Not all pain and suffering damages involve hard-hitting, life-altering effects.  The mere inconvenience of having to walk around with crutches, take the bus instead of driving, or depend on others for help getting dressed or preparing food can lead to damages in some cases.


Some injuries lead to effects that are generally considered embarrassing.  Falling in a store could be embarrassing, as could the after-effects of some injuries.  For instance, injuries that affect your ability to control your bowels or urination could lead to difficult situations, and you could be entitled to compensation for that harm.  This is also related to a classic type of damages called “mortification,” which is very similar.


In some injury cases, you might lose a loved one during the same accident that caused your injuries.  You can claim a wide variety of damages for the death of a loved one with the help of a Fayetteville, AR wrongful death attorney, including damages for grief and loss of companionship.  However, grief can come in many forms, including grief for lost function in a body part, grief for a lost limb, or even grief over a loss of ability.


Some accidents and injuries can cause physical changes to your appearance.  Although the term is quite outdated and potentially offensive, these harms are referred to as “disfigurement” in the legal context.  Whether that means an injury that changed the shape of a limb or the victim’s body or it means extensive burns or scarring, you could be entitled to compensation for this kind of harm.  In many cases, these damages are higher for young people, people who are not married, and women, as society typically sees physical “disfigurement” as worse for these groups.

Call Our Arkansas Personal Injury Lawyer for Help Valuing the Pain and Suffering in Your Injury Case

After a serious accident, it is important to talk to a lawyer about claiming pain and suffering damages.  In many cases, insurance will not cover these damages, so car accident claims and Workers’ Compensation claims should always be reviewed by a lawyer before you accept any damages.  For help with your case, contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, today at (479) 316-0438.  Our Arkansas personal injury lawyer offers free legal consultations to help you understand what your case is worth and how to proceed.