One of the most common compensations awarded in negligence lawsuits is for pain and suffering. In our society, we often hear the term but may not understand what, exactly, it is. But if you have been involved in an accident based on someone else’s negligence, it is important to understand what the term means and how it could affect a potential lawsuit.
“Pain and suffering” is actually a legal term that describes the physical and emotional aftereffects experienced following an accident. This can include such varied effects as chronic aches, emotional depression, and shortened life expectancy.
When a lawsuit is filed after an injury, the plaintiff usually seeks remuneration for both any money directly lost as a result of the injury as well as to compensate for the “pain and suffering” incurred because of the injury itself. The money sought for reimbursement for direct costs incurred because of the injury is called “compensatory damages.” In a typical damages lawsuit, the plaintiff could file for compensation for hospital bills and lost work.
Unlike compensatory damages, which are easy to affix a definite price to, there are many outside factors that affect the amount of money awarded for pain and suffering damages. When juries award money for pain and suffering, factors like the particular economic circumstances and other political factors in the area in which the trial is conducted play a major part. The personality and likability of the plaintiff can also be important to juries.
Pain and suffering damages are also frequently awarded outside of trials, often in arbitration, mediation, and insurance settlements. In the cases of arbitration and mediation, the claims do not necessarily have to be litigated.
Politics and Pain and Suffering Settlements
Many states have laws limiting the amount that can be claimed in pain and suffering damages. In most states, the amount of money awarded for pain and suffering damages is limited to the amount asked for in the complaint.
For more information about compensatory and pain and suffering damages, contact the Milwaukee personal injury lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® today at (414) 271-0900.