In many Personal Injury lawsuits, damage claims are made for pain and suffering. Similar to the differences between economic and non-economic damages, some pain and suffering claims can be hard to quantify. Two types of damage claims are involved: physical and mental. The physical pain and suffering is easier to assess than mental pain and suffering, which is highly subjective. Both types of pain and suffering can last far into the injured person’s future, to cause physical and financial problems while disrupting normal lifestyles.
Pain and Suffering
Following an injury accident, the victim who suffered harm will experience different types of pain and suffering; sometimes it is physical, sometimes mental, and in many cases, both types. Accident injures can be simple, like a bruise or scrape, or they can be extensive and severe, like cuts, amputation of a limb, a concussion or death. Bodily injuries are easy to ascertain, and it is expected that with any injury to the body, the victim will also suffer pain.
Mental or emotional pain is less visible and is only felt by the victim internally. The effects of these types of injury can be described many ways. Anxiety, fear, loss of enjoyment of normal lifestyle, shock, depression, anger and humiliation are just a few examples of mental or emotional pain and suffering. Loss of a loved one can also cause non-physical pain and suffering. In addition to financial costs for a funeral and burial, survivors suffer pain and suffering from losing their companion, guardian and all the future experiences they might have shared had that person not been killed.
Personal Injury – Lawsuit Claims
In a Personal Injury lawsuit, claims for pain and suffering include physical and mental aftereffects that relate to being injured. Many types of pain and suffering are mental or emotional, rather than physical. These can last long into the person’s future, as they continue to deal with the impact upon their lives that the original physical harm had upon their life.
Lawsuit claims in a Personal Injury case include economic and non-economic items. The things that have a price tag or bill are easy to calculate. Other claims, especially for mental or emotional pain and suffering are tougher to calculate. A person’s lifestyle may change completely after an injury, as they come to grips with fear, anger, anxiety, loss of their ability to participate in normal activities, or being unable return to work. There is a long list of negative emotions that might be included in injury claims.
Again, the primary goal for winning a Personal Injury lawsuit is proving negligence and liability for injuries. After all the facts and evidence are examined, your attorney will help you get through settlement talks or a court trial and judgment to obtain fair compensation for your injuries, including non-physical pain and suffering. A settlement or award should include fair compensation for all types of injury and any related property damage. The end result should be monetary compensation for current and future financial expenses, plus additional awards for non-economic damages. In some cases, a jury will also award the plaintiff punitive damages.
Calculating Pain and Suffering
Trying to calculate a monetary value for pain and suffering can be difficult to assess. Just as the physical injuries create financial costs, so do mental or emotional injuries. The victim may need extensive psychological treatment and therapy to get past their pain and suffering. They may have a fear of driving and be unable to work again. Even non-physical injury cases, like discrimination, can cause stress and financial costs to a victim.
In making the calculations of value for claims of pain and suffering, there are not set rules. A jury generally has plenty of leeway to determine the amount of compensation equal to a plaintiff’s pain and suffering claims. In some cases, a state will have a cap on this type of award. Sometimes a multiplier is used, perhaps 3 times the amount awarded for economic claims. Still, this area of justice is flexible and depends on many factors.
An award may be affected by the jury’s interpretation of the plaintiff’s personality and apparent honesty. They may be swayed by how the plaintiff acts on the witness stand, are they likeable, credible and consistent in their testimony, or do they appear to be exaggerating their claims. Supporting medical evidence may play a part in the award determination also. How the plaintiff conducts themselves on the stand and how they answer questions can also sway the jury. If they have a criminal record, appear to be lying or the case does not make sense to the jury, these claims could be denied.
Personal Injury Attorney
A competent and honest Personal Injury Attorney will take time to inform their client about what to expect during settlement negations or a court trial appearance. They will discuss claims with the client and build a solid case backed by firm evidence, such as medical records, police and doctor records and other testimony to support their client’s claims. An experienced lawyer will assess the claims and work with you to target a reasonable monetary figure to strive for in your case. They will have expert witnesses to call upon to provide additional information and assessment of the pain and suffering claims in the case, including valuation of intangible claims.
A Personal Injury Attorney has the knowledge and skills needed to help you recover fair compensation when your life is affected negatively by someone else’s careless behavior. You do not deserve to suffer pain or financial duress when another person or company was negligent and the result harmed you. It is worthwhile to consult with a lawyer about this area of legal protection if you believe you have been harmed in any way. You may have encountered discrimination at the workplace or been injured while on-the-job. Both situations will result in different types of pain and suffering, but the outcome is the same. Your injury was unwarranted, caused by careless behavior or a deliberate act.
Take time to arrange for a free consultation about your injury situation and to determine if further legal action is warranted. Call our experienced Personal Injury Attorney now to get started.