Basics of Pain and Suffering Awards
If you are considering a personal injury claim, you might have heard about compensation for pain and suffering and may be curious about whether you might qualify to receive those damages.
Not all injuries justify pain and suffering awards. Generally, a victim can receive recompense for past, present and future physical anguish. A jury usually considers many different issues when making its decision. Some of those issues are:
· The type of injury sustained. Injuries that produce constant and continuing pain as well as brain injuries often receive large amounts.
· The age of the victim. A younger victim who will have to endure a lifetime of pain can get a larger award.
· The effect of the injury on the victim, such as the certainty of pain in the past, present or future.
Juries who deliberate on pain and suffering issues are instructed to “reasonably compensate” a victim, yet those determinations can vary widely depending on the facts of each case and the instructions to the jury. Further, there may also be additional state and local conditions that must be met to receive pain and suffering damages as well as limits on how much money can be given.
If a jury awards pain and suffering damages, the award can be later modified. The typical reasons that pain and suffering awards are modified are because of procedural reasons or because the judge deems that the award is too excessive.
As proving and determining damages can be tricky for this type of award, it is always best to keep detailed records and seek out expert advice when considering pursing pain and suffering damages.
Source: Findlaw.com, “How Much Pain and Suffering is Enough to Sue?,” Andrew Chow, 6/08/2012
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