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 personal injury attorneys of Cohen & Jaffe 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.
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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:
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.
To persuade a jury that you have suffered pain that you should be compensated for, your attorney may present:
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.
The personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices 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 Cohen & Jaffe or e-mail us today for a free, no obligation review of your case and your legal options.