Pain and suffering is awarded for permanent, serious, or sustained damages from physical or emotional trauma. It is the physical and mental distress caused by injury or traumatic experience. This is caused by the negligence or an intentional attack by another person. The value is subjective. It is typically determined by lost wages, medical bills, and projected medical care costs for future care. These are calculated to determine value and are referred to as “special damages.”
Significant mental pain and suffering may include, but is not limited to, depression, anger, loss of appetite, lack of energy, mood swings, sleep disturbances, or a combination of issues. Severe mental pain and suffering could include (PTSD) post-traumatic stress disorder.
Often during personal injury lawsuits, little information is given in regards on how to determine the value of pain and suffering. Simple instructions may be given to juries in cases to use common sense when determining value. “Special damages” usually apply in those cases.
Factors that affect the value in personal injury cases may include whether the plaintiff gave good or bad witness statements. If the plaintiff is determined to be likable or credible and if their testimony was consistent or exaggerated their pain and suffering claim. If the physician or medical documentation supports the claims and make sense.
For instance, children who are bitten by dogs and have substantial scarring or lose fingers, toes, or an entire limb are often represented in court by their attorney and their parents. Generally, the scarring or the loss of a limb would mean that the child would receive more in pain and suffering than someone who was bitten but had no serious repercussions due to the experience.
A scar or a loss of limb is thought to bring about more substantial “suffering” throughout the life of a child. It’s also important to note that in this instance a child developing a sudden and intense (life-altering) fear of dogs may also be award with pain and suffering.
If you need help determining how much in damages you should claim for pain and suffering, you should contact a personal injury attorney in your area immediately.