What Are Pain and Suffering Damages in a Personal Injury Case?
Many of the damages a person faces have some connection to an economic value. For example, for medical treatment, the amount of damages is based on the medical expenses that have already been billed and those that are likely to arise in the future that stem from the accident. Similarly, lost wages can be determined by comparing the amount of wages that a person would have received had the accident not occurred and the amount of wages that he or she did receive. Determining how much lifetime earnings are affected can be more complicated, but an economist can help value this loss based on the person’s age, health, level of education and record of employment and promotions.
In contrast to these economic damages, non-economic damages are those that do not necessarily have an objective value. Pain and suffering falls under the heading of non-economic damages. These damages include such other forms of loss, including disfigurement, emotional pain, anguish, emotional distress, loss of society, loss of consortium, loss of companionship, loss of enjoyment of life and similar losses that do not have a specific economic value attached to them.
Since these damages are not associated with a particular amount of compensation, jurors are advised by the court to use their own best judgment in determining the value of the victim’s pain and suffering. The personal injury attorney who represents the victim is tasked with the difficulty of demonstrating the victim’s pain and suffering to the jury so that it understands its true nature and extent.
The jury may consider a number of factors when making this calculation. For example, if the victim is unemployed or a stay-at-home parent, the jury may believe that being forced to stay home due to an injury may not seem to impact a person’s life as much in these situations than in others. However, the personal injury attorney should take steps to demonstrate how pain and suffering impacts a person. For example, he or she may have a stay-at-home parent testify about not being able to pick up a child anymore or having to spend weeks in care and away from the children. The more sympathetic that a victim seems to be, the more willing that the jury may be to award a higher amount of damages for pain and suffering. The jury can also consider such factors as whether the victim had a pre-existing injury that was made worse by the actions of the defendant, the age of the victim, the extent that a victim’s life was altered because of the accident and the victim’s tolerance for pain.
If you have been involved in an accident or suffered an injury due to someone else's negligence, contact our experienced Tampa injury lawyers today for the guidance you need to get back on your feet. We fight for your right to maximum compensation after an accident resulting in injuries. With 5 offices in Tampa Bay, Carlson Meissner Hart & Hayslett is the injury firm you can trust to see you through.
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