After an injury, you may be asking yourself how much pain and suffering qualifies for a lawsuit. How do the courts determine how much to award for pain and suffering?
Not all injuries automatically qualify for pain and suffering compensation. If you were inconvenienced or annoyed by the injury, then this isn’t typically considered significant pain and suffering. Instead, pain and suffering is awarded when past, present, and future suffering is evident. That means you will be suffering from pain during the accident, during the time of your suit, and in the future.
Claiming you have pain and suffering is not enough. The courts use strict standards for determining your level of pain and suffering and then how much they should award you.
Factors that Determine Pain and Suffering
If you claim pain and suffering in your lawsuit, then the judge will assess three main factors, which include:
• Your Age (or the Age of the Injured Party) – If you are younger and can prove you will have long-term effects from the accident, then you are likely to be rewarded a higher amount; especially if you will be dealing with your injury the rest of your life.
• Type of Injury – Some injuries are subject to higher pain and suffering rewards. Those that cause physical pain, for example, will receive a higher monetary amount than emotional pain.
• Severity of the Injury and the Victim’s Quality of Life – Lastly, the judge will want to consider the severity of the injury and how it will affect the victim’s quality of life. If you will have severe pain the rest of your life or the injury left you disabled, you will qualify for a higher settlement amount than if the injury does not permanently disable you.
If your personal injury case is heard in front of a jury, then the judge will instruct them to consider “reasonable compensation” for your pain and suffering. Most juries, however, do not get instruction as to what is considered reasonable compensation, and that lack of guidance often leads to the judge altering the reward amount.
Florida State does impose limits on how much pain and suffering damages can be rewarded. For example, the maximum you can receive is $500,000 from a physician for medical malpractice.
Contact an Attorney for Your Pain and Suffering
If you think your case qualifies for pain and suffering or you want to learn more, contact a West Palm Beach personal injury attorney. The team at Scott J. Sternberg & Associates can assess your case and tell you right away if you qualify for a lawsuit. Even if you cannot collect pain and suffering, you can still collect for damages. Call today for your free consultation at 561-687-5660.