The problem of evaluating pain and suffering is difficult for juries, because it is a subjective damage. All types of past, present and future pain and suffering have been recognized as elements of damages in personal injury cases. Science has developed considerable aid in determining the existence of pain from personal injuries and the probability of future pain. It is less helpful to establish its severity with much precision. Therefore, the expected problem of evaluation is a difficult one for juries. One could use mathematical formulas, but it is difficult to put a value on because the fact finder must determine what pain and suffering is worth.
The best way to determine the value of pain and suffering is to consider the seriousness of the injury and to what degree the injuries’ impact is on quality of life. Consider how your injuries affect the quality of your relationship with family and friends, and keep in mind that the amount collected is payment from the time of the accident until you take your last breath.
The bottom line is that there is no mathematical formula which has been proven to determine the monetary value of pain and suffering. Damages for injury claims include compensation for past physical pain and mental suffering experienced by the plaintiff as a result of the defendant’s negligence. The jury is normally told they are to apply logic and common sense to the evidence in the final determination.
An award for pain and suffering compensates the victim for what they went through. The aim of the award is to make up and fix what really cannot be made up for or fixed. The idea is to monetize and put a value on what is a very hard damage to do so. The best way to measure this is, generally, done by using economic damages, such as medical bills and lost wages as a starting point and calculating pain and suffering components as some portion of the figures.
Pain and suffering is only one element of damage awards. There are several damage awards which an injured victim should receive and are listed below:
- Medical Treatment or cost of medical care;
- Income or the loss of wages, past, present and future;
- Property loss for the vehicle or other property damages;
- Pain and suffering for serious discomfort suffered during the accident and will suffer in the future;
- Emotional distress, usually to serious accidents. Emotional distress damages are meant to compensate a plaintiff for psychological impact of an injury including fear, anxiety and loss of sleep;
- Loss of enjoyment. Injuries can cause people to not do their day to day pursuits, such as hobbies, exercise and recreational activities;
- Loss of consortium. This is a damage typically that relates to the impact the injuries had on the plaintiff’s relationship with their spouse, failure to be able to help the injured party financially, and loss of companionship or inability to maintain sexual relationships; and
- Punitive damages, where the defendant is deemed to be outrageously careless or extremely reckless, which rises to almost the amount of intentional acts which may be awarded punitive damages on top of compensatory damages.
In order to prove your pain and suffering, you will need an experienced lawyer who has had several verdicts, settlements and years in handling personal injury claims. David K. Kremin & Associates and its affiliated firms have 20-30 years experience in this area of the law. If you or a loved one has been injured, please contact David K. Kremin & Associates at 1(800) ASK-A-LAWYER or 1(800) 275-2529 for a free consultation.