If you’ve been injured in a car or other accident caused by someone else, you may be wondering how much money you may be entitled to for the pain and suffering that you have endured. In Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine, courts leave it up to a jury at trial to calculate damages for pain and suffering based upon what they believe to be fair.
How, then, do juries actually determine pain and suffering damages?
In my experience, juries will take into account a number of factors when making this determination. These factors can include considering the following questions:
In other cases, however, jurors may not have suffered a similar injury. Nonetheless, in these circumstances they may attempt to equate a plaintiff’s injury with a different injury or painful event that they had suffered, or perhaps even a similar injury that a family member has suffered. Based upon this “comparative” assessment, each juror for himself or herself can determine a dollar value for the pain and suffering.
As a general rule, the longer that severe pain and suffering last, the higher the damages will be for pain and suffering.
Psychologically, it’s unclear exactly how this sudden fear of imminent death will affect a person, and it is likely that no two people will be affected the same way. For some people, this fear and the associated imagery may haunt accident victims long after the accident, and even intense psychological treatment may not totally erase impact of these catastrophic events.
The greater that the psychological impacts that have been suffered, and will continue to be suffered, the higher a verdict for pain and suffering usually will be.
As with determining other damages in a personal injury lawsuit, ultimately, a jury must determine a dollar amount for pain and suffering. In reaching such decision, jurors will normally discuss the aspects noted above, as well as their understanding and appreciation of the pain and suffering that may have been experience by an injury victim based upon their own life.
My Goal – Showing Jurors the Full Value of the Pain and Suffering that You Have Endured
As a personal injury attorney, my goal is to show jurors the full impact and scope of the pain and suffering that has been endured, so that a jury can determine full and fair compensation for injuries. Often, in addition to testimony from an injured client, medical and other experts may testify, as well as family members or others who can provide first-hand testimony concerning the pain and suffering endured.
If you have been injured by someone else, please call me for a free consultation to learn about your rights to compensation.