Determining Pain And Suffering For Personal Injury Claims
If you've been involved in an accident and have suffered an injury as a result, you probably already decided to hire an attorney (such as one from The Law Offices of Muro & Muro) so that you can be compensated for damages to your body, as well as damages to your vehicle and personal well-being. When you hear the term "pain and suffering" in an injury case, what does it mean, and what are the different claims victims can file under the law? Here is some important information everyone should know about filing for pain and suffering.
Mental and Physical
There are two main types of pain and suffering: mental and physical. Examples of mentally related pain and suffering can include things like mental anguish, depression, PTSD symptoms as a result of the accident, loss of enjoyment, anxiety, and sleep deprivation. This does not have to occur directly after an accident, but can also be relevant much later on down the line after the accident has occurred. Mental pain and suffering may be a bit difficult to prove, and the victim will most likely need to be seen by a mental health professional so they can assess the situation.
For physical pain and suffering, an accident victim may cope with anything from whiplash to much more serious problems like paralysis or even broken bones. Physical pain and suffering can cause people to lose time at work, therefore additionally losing money they need in order to live. This type of pain and suffering is much easier to prove in court, and victims can claim this even a long while after the accident has occurred, since many people don't develop pain or physical symptoms until much later on.
Values and Factors
Determining a monetary value to pain and suffering can vary greatly depending on the local statutes, the severity of the situation, and other factors. There is usually not a set monetary value placed on pain and suffering, but a judge and jury can take many different factors into account when determining these amounts. Some of these factors include:
- If the plaintiff provides plenty of information on the stand and serves as a good, credible witness
- If the plaintiff is both believable and likeable
- Whether the injuries are consistent with the accident itself
- If the plaintiff has the proper medical documentation to back up their claim, as well as any physicians to serve as witnesses
- Whether or not the claim of pain and suffering is consistent with the actual accident and not over-exaggerated
- If the plaintiff has a prior criminal record, a judge or jury may be less prone to award them pain and suffering funds