Pain and suffering settlements are sometimes quite large in personal injury cases. While it is easy to put a dollar amount on medical costs and lost wages caused by an accident, pain and suffering are more difficult to assess. Because it is impossible to actually calculate the cost of pain and suffering, judges and juries sometimes give victims large awards.
Reasons You Might Be Awarded Pain and Suffering Damages
A trier of fact that is determining how much pain and suffering compensation to give to you will look at that your level of need. The amount of money you need as a result of how your life was affected by an accident play a large role in determining the amount of pain and suffering compensation you will receive. If you have sufficient income to live comfortably, you may not be awarded pain and suffering damages, no matter how much your life has changed as a result of the accident.
Whether or not you receive a large pain and suffering award may depend on whether the trier of fact believes you. Your credibility in court and other testimonial contexts can sway the judge or jury. They will look to your medical records, your appearance in the courtroom and your overall behavior. Your behavior must be consistent with the facts of the case for the judge or jury to be sufficiently convinced of your need for pain and suffering damages.
Age can also effect pain and suffering awards. If you will spend the rest of your life permanently injured due to the negligence or more heinous behavior of a tortfeasor, you are more likely to be awarded a windfall than if you are older and have less life left. There is no science behind pain and suffering awards though. Getting a sympathetic trier of fact can mean a large award in any case.
Getting Legal Help
If you were involved in an accident and need legal assistance in handling your claim for damages, an attorney can help you with your case. Most attorneys will consult with you on a limited basis for free, and they will keep your conversations private. You may be entitled to pain and suffering damages as well as your more calculable damages. If your future has been impacted by an accident, an attorney may be able to make that future more comfortable.