When you pursue a personal injury lawsuit, you are asking to be compensated for certain types of losses.
Because pain & suffering is subjective, it varies greatly from case to case. The dollar amount put on pain and suffering depends on the victim, the available evidence, testimony, witnesses and the judge or jury making the decision. The amount awarded also depends on where the case is filed – cases in urban areas generally result in higher awards than those in rural areas.
There are two types of pain & suffering:
- Physical pain & suffering – Includes pain and discomfort, plus detrimental effects that victim will suffer in the future.
- Mental pain & suffering – Includes mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, fear, anger, humiliation, anxiety and shock. In addition, very significant mental pain & suffering can include depression, loss of appetite, lack of energy, sexual dysfunction, mood swings, sleep disturbances and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Bottom line – pain & suffering refers to the lasting effect that an injury has on the victim’s life. This could be lasting physical pain or mental and emotional distress.
Judges do not give juries much in the way of guidelines for determining the value of pain & suffering in a personal injury lawsuit – they are instructed only to use their good sense in determining what would be a fair and reasonable figure.
Some of the factors that affect the value of the pain & suffering component include, but are not limited to:
- Whether the plaintiff is consistent
- Whether the plaintiff is likeable
- Whether the plaintiff is credible about injuries
- Did the plaintiff’s physician support his or her claims?
- Did the plaintiff lie about anything?
- Does the plaintiff have a criminal record?
Damages can be confusing, especially pain & suffering. If you have questions about a potential lawsuit and are the victim of an accident that was not your fault, contact the San Bernardino personal injury law offices of Welebir | Tierney for the help you need.
The attorneys at Welebir | Tierney have what it takes to help you with your personal injury case. We have been serving the Inland Empire for decades, and we have vast knowledge and experience to help you handle any type of personal injury case that you might have.