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Long Island Pain and Suffering Attorney

Pain and Suffering in New York Accidents

Among the compensation or “damages” accident victims may seek in a personal injury lawsuit is money for their pain and suffering. The amount of a pain-and-suffering award in New York is up to the jury. In some cases, it may amount to thousands of dollars or more.

A jury or insurance company will make a pain-and-suffering award based on evidence presented to them. Your personal injury lawyer must understand how your pain and suffering should be valued, as well as how to persuade the jury or insurance adjuster.

The Long Island personal injury attorneys of the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP provide aggressive and effective representation for a wide range of personal injury and wrongful death cases. Our experienced lawyers invest the time and resources to get full value for our clients’ pain and suffering. We know how to calculate damages and justify it to an insurance adjuster or a jury.

Personal injury handled personally. Contact us now to find out how we can help you.

Recovering Money for Pain and Suffering in New York Accidents

It is clear that a person experiences pain and suffering from injuries suffered in a car accident, a slip and fall accident, a workplace accident or from medical malpractice, for example. But pain and suffering are individual and personal experiences that differ from person to person.

In New York, it is up to the jury to put a dollar value on the pain and suffering experienced by a victim in a personal injury lawsuit. In a wrongful death lawsuit in New York, damages for pain and suffering are awarded based on the experience of the person who died, not the survivors’ pain and suffering.

In car accidents in New York, the no-fault insurance law sets a threshold of “serious injury” for a plaintiff to seek pain-and-suffering damages. The statute defines serious injury as a personal injury that results in:

  • Death.
  • Dismemberment (destruction or loss of a body part).
  • Significant disfigurement (scarring, amputation).
  • A fracture (broken bone).
  • Loss of a fetus (traumatic abortion).
  • Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system.
  • Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member.
  • Significant limitation of use of a body function or system.
  • A “medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.”

Some of the above are straightforward – a broken bone, the loss of an unborn child – but some are less clear. Terms such as “consequential limitation” and “significant limitation” are not defined.

To be effective, an attorney must have the experience to understand how they have been previously applied in New York courts. The personal injury lawyers at Cohen & Jaffe have more than 100 years of combined experience handling these types of cases.

Putting a Dollar Value on Pain and Suffering

To persuade a jury that you have suffered pain that you should be compensated for, your attorney may present:

  • Medical records, including the medical treatment your injuries required and any psychological treatment you have received to help with chronic pain and disability.
  • Expert medical testimony to explain your injuries, treatment and recovery expectations.
  • Work records that demonstrate how your injuries have affected your ability to earn a living.
  • Your testimony about the pain and suffering you have endured.
  • Family and friends’ testimony about how you’ve dealt with your injuries and how they’ve affected your lifestyle and family relationships.

A jury considering a personal injury claim will be asked to put a dollar figure on the plaintiff’s pain and suffering. In some cases, a pain-and-suffering award is based simply on a multiple of the injured party’s losses due to medical bills, property damage, lost income, etc.

The jury may also be asked to consider the plaintiff’s age – a younger person disabled by a car accident will likely suffer longer than an older plaintiff – or the context of the injury. A disabling injury from a slip-and-fall accident on ice and snow might not be considered the same as a disability cause by medical malpractice, for example.

The experience our lawyers have with personal injury claims helps us establish a dollar value for pain and suffering – and back it up with solid evidence.

Contact Our Experienced Long Island Pain and Suffering Lawyers

The Long Island personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, recognize that no amount of money eliminates the pain and suffering an accident victim suffers. But a proper settlement may ensure your financial security as you recover or adjust to life with a disabling injury.

Our attorneys work with investigators, medical professionals and financial specialists to ensure we fully document your case before we present compensation demands to insurers or jurors. When we go to court for you, we go prepared to win.

Call the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP or e-mail us today for a free, no obligation review of your case and your legal options.

Sources:

  • Ronen Avraham – Putting a Price on Pain-And-Suffering Damages: A Critique of the Current Approaches and a Preliminary Proposal for Change
  • NYS Department of Financial Services – Article 51 of the New York Insurance Law aka “The No-Fault Law”