In virtually every legal drama on television you can expect to see the attorney for a plaintiff argue that their client has experienced “pain and suffering” due to a personal injury event, and therefore deserves significant financial compensation. In most cases in these shows, the judge ends up awarding the plaintiff millions of dollars in damages, and the characters are able to live happily ever after.
While the “pain and suffering” concept certainly makes for great television, the reality of it can be quite a bit more complicated. Anyone who has experienced a personal injury is going to have experienced pain and suffering. If there was no pain and suffering, there would have been no injury for which to sue. This is why it is important to have an understanding of what “pain and suffering” actually means from a legal standpoint.
Pain and Suffering Vs. Hard Expenses
One of the most important things to understand about pain and suffering in a legal case is that it is typically used to attempt to quantify the value of what a person lost due to the injury. This is important because while it is easy to quantify hard expenses such as lost hours at work, medical bills, damaged property, and more, it isn’t so easy to determine the value of someone’s short or long term injuries.
When in court, arguing for damages due to pain and suffering is essential to almost every personal injury case. When done successfully, the courts will be able to make an assessment of how life altering the injuries experienced are and make a just determination on how much that should be worth.
Examples of Pain and Suffering
To get a better idea of what can be included in pain and suffering, take a look at the following examples:
- Physical Pain – Personal injuries often cause significant personal pain that can last for days, weeks, months, or even a lifetime.
- Reduced Lifespan – If an injury damaged an organ or exposed the victim to something that will likely shorten the length of life.
- Embarrassment – While many people don’t think of it, the embarrassment someone experiences due to a disfiguration after an injury can certainly be a type of suffering.
- Depression – Experiencing some form of depression after a serious injury is very common.
- Physical or Mental Limitations – If the personal injury caused any type of physical or mental limitations, this will be included. This can include limitations that impact the ability to earn money or the ability to engage in activities that the individual once found enjoyable.
These are just a few of the many examples of pain and suffering that one may claim due to a personal injury. When arguing for pain and suffering in the court of law, an attorney must be able to show how the issue was caused by the injury and how it is directly impacting the quality of life for the plaintiff. The better this can be done, the stronger the case will be.
Effective Representation in Court
Personal injury cases often seem straightforward on the surface, but issues like pain and suffering can make them extraordinarily complex. This is why it is critical to have experienced legal representation fighting on your behalf. Contact the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP for an evaluation of your case and to see how we can help you today.