Pain and Suffering Damages are some of the hardest damages to convey to a jury. This is because they are non-economic damages. They do not have a number that is easily associated with the pain and suffering someone feels after an injury. However, when a client is more severely injured in a way that is more visible to a jury, they are more likely to get more money. However, the visibility of an injury is just one thing jurors use to make a decision based on someone’s pain and suffering. Many articles have pointed to a few other factors that contribute to the jury’s decision-making process.
What Are These Factors?
Juries typically want to know how an injury interferes with someone’s daily life, they want to have a reference point numerically to help them get to a more accurate damages award, and they want to know if the plaintiff is at fault in any way at all.
The first thing that a jury wants to know, how much an injury interferes with someone’s life, is an important part of determining non-economic damages. This is because showing an interference with someone’s life is a more visible way to demonstrate pain and suffering damages. For example, if someone who is injured consistently did a certain activity before their injury, but now cannot due to their injury, that can show an interference with someone’s life.
During the trial, the jury also needs a numerical reference point for non-economic damages. Whether this number is pulled from similar cases, or whether it is something that the client and the attorney come together and discuss, having a numerical reference point for the jury to base their award off of helps the jury to see their award as reasonable.
Finally, despite the fact that many states do not use contributory negligence as a standard anymore (except in cases involving a government entity), jurors will still contemplate the amount of fault of each party. The jurors will weigh the facts and attempt to determine in their own minds the liability of the parties. If jurors view the plaintiff as partially liable, they might reduce their damages award based on their view of that liability.
What Can I do to Obtain The Right Amount of Pain and Suffering Damages for my Client?
The best way to show the jury that your client has lingering pain and suffering from their injuries is to show interference in the plaintiff’s life while also coming up with a reasonable number based off of the defendant’s negligence and the plaintiff’s degree of responsibility. This allows an attorney to come up with a good number that is reasonable for the jury to consider, or to base their award on.
It is also important to make sure the jury understands the extent of a plaintiff’s injury. If an attorney very vividly describes their clients injury, and can convey the severity of the injury to the jury, they have a better chance of getting just compensation for not only their clients injury, but for the lingering pain and suffering that a client deals with every day because their injury interferes with their life, or has prevented them from doing certain activities.
Have You Been Injured in an Accident Recently?
Contact the attorneys at Hurst Limontes, LLC. Our attorneys have decades of combined experience in personal injury law, workers compensation law, and other areas of tort law! We fight for our clients and always ensure that they receive just compensation for their injuries. Call or email today for a free consultation!