When you have been injured due to the negligence of another, you deserve compensation for pain and suffering. Many people are familiar with the term “pain and suffering.” While some have an understanding of the term, many are not aware that the phrase is a critical aspect of many personal injury cases. Understanding how a court of law defines pain and suffering as well as how the amount is calculated in personal injury lawsuits. Below we will outline common pain and suffering settlement examples, and how you can best go about establishing your pain and suffering claim.
What Constitutes Pain and Suffering?
Pain and suffering is a legal term that refers to injuries that a victim suffers as a result of the negligence of another person. While special damages typically cover lost wages and medical bills, pain and suffering damages encompass physical pain as well as emotional and mental pain. In almost every personal injury case, the plaintiff should be able to receive pain and suffering damages.
- Physical Pain: Physical pain and suffering include the pain associated with a person’s actual physical injuries. Pain and suffering compensation will include not only the medical issues that the victim has endured but also any medical complications that the victim is expected to suffer in the future due to the negligence of another party. Medical treatment for your physical pain should be documented. Documentation should include doctor’s notes, any diagnostic testing, medical bills, and even a journal of your physical pain after the accident.
- Emotional and Mental Pain: The category of mental pain and suffering is associated with a person’s injury and includes emotional distress, loss of enjoyment, and other negative emotions associated with an injury.
The most severe types of mental pain and suffering examples include anger, depression, and in some cases even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These special damages for pain and suffering will take into account the negative effects of the injury that a person is likely to experience both now and in the future.
For example, if a person involved in a motor vehicle accident incurs numerous broken bones and internal organ damage. The accident victim is no longer able to participate in his usual daily activities, even such mundane tasks as brushing teeth or tying shoes. He experiences anger, frustration, and depression as a result. While he is entitled to compensation for his pain and suffering for his physical pain, this victim might also receive compensation for mental pain and suffering associated with the accident.
If the victim’s depression and anxiety lingered for many years following the accident, he or she may be able to claim any special damages connected to the resulting mental pain and suffering, including lost income if he or she was unable to continue working as a result.
Pain and suffering settlement examples include compensation for emotional and mental pain also covers the intangible aspects of agony that are unable to be measured through medical bills. If you can never pick up your grandchild again or if you are unable to travel on vacations with your family, this is mental and emotional pain and suffering
The ability to receive compensation for pain and suffering requires an experienced understanding of personal injury law. To better understand your rights and to receive the compensation owed to you, contact a personal injury attorney today.
Pain and Suffering Settlement Examples
If you file a personal injury lawsuit, your experienced legal counsel and you will determine the types of pain and suffering you are requesting for your specific case. If the case is settled outside of the courtroom, both parties will ultimately agree to an amount that represents compensation for pain and suffering.
However, if the case goes to trial, it is important to note that a presiding judge in your personal injury case does not typically provide a jury with specific guidelines regarding the value of pain and suffering in a personal injury lawsuit. No uniform charts or established guidelines exist to accurately determine how much a jury will award a victim in a personal injury case. Judges typically request juries to use common sense to determine what would be considered reasonable and fair compensation for the plaintiff’s pain and suffering.
Oftentimes a “multiplier” is typically between 1.5 and 4 times the actual damages the victim suffered. While only a rough estimate, this multiplier assists juries in making a determination regarding a final number for compensation for pain and suffering damages.
If your personal injury case goes to trial, there can be many factors affecting the total value of a pain and suffering award from a jury. These can include the following:
- Is the victim a likable, credible, good, or bad witness?
- Is the victim’s testimony regarding personal injuries consistent throughout the testimony?
- Does the victim appear to be exaggerating claims of pain and suffering?
- Do medical experts agree and support the victim’s claim of pain and suffering?
- Does the jury believe the victim lied about anything (even something unrelated to pain and suffering) ?
- Do the pain and suffering claims seem reasonable?
- Does the victim have a criminal record?
While different types of compensation are possible after a personal injury case, it is best to visit with an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss the specifics of your case. Attempting to settle a pain and suffering claim without a lawyer would be challenging, and insurance companies are notorious for attempting to offer victims who are not represented by counsel lower compensation for their pain and suffering.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Receiving compensation for pain and suffering can be extremely difficult. Your insurance company has a team of people working hard on their side and may attempt to offer you a settlement amount for less than you deserve. If you or a loved one suffered damages due to the negligence of another in a personal injury accident, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced accident attorney, who can help you understand your rights. Contact Ferrara & Gable today to schedule an initial free consultation.