What Are Pain and Suffering Damages, and How Do You Prove Them? 

March 31, 2023Personal Injury

Pain and suffering damages are often awarded as a form of compensation for a victim of personal injury or negligence. It is a type of recovery paid to provide financial relief to the victims for the physical and emotional suffering they endured.

In New York, proving pain and suffering damages in a personal injury case demands a detailed knowledge of the legal process and the elements determining the amount of monetary compensation that should be awarded.

Defining Pain and Suffering Damages

These damages are a form of payment the victim may receive to help compensate for the physical and emotional anguish they dealt with due to their injury. The state of New York considers pain and suffering damages as non-economic. This means they are not determined based on a specific amount of money lost, like wages or medical bills.

Proving Pain and Suffering in New York

In New York, proving pain and suffering damages requires you to provide evidence that exhibits the severity of injuries the victim sustained and the challenges and impact they had on their life. Evidence may include the following:

  • Medical records may provide evidence in a personal injury case by showing the extent of injuries the victim suffered, their chronic pain, and the need for ongoing treatments and therapy.
  • Expert testimony is often used to prove the victim’s claim by providing information about the impact of the injuries, their severity, the future impact of the injuries, and the level of pain and suffering the victim is forced to endure.
  • Witness testimony can be crucial when supporting the injured party’s claim of pain and suffering damages. Witnesses can testify how the victim’s life has been impacted physically, emotionally, and psychologically.
  • Photos and videos may demonstrate the impact of the victim’s injuries. They can illustrate the contrast between their life before and after the injury.

Elements Evaluated When Determining a Pain and Suffering Damages Award

A judge or jury in New York may determine pain and suffering damages. Multiple elements are considered when deciding the compensation amount that should be awarded in a personal injury lawsuit. Some of these factors are as follows:

  • The injury’s severity is considered. The more severe, the more pain and suffering damages are likely to be awarded.
  • How the victim’s life was impacted is another determining factor when deciding how much pain and suffering damages a victim is entitled to. Things like physical limitations faced by the victim, the impact on daily activities, and the emotional anguish and psychological suffering will all be considered.
  • Pre-existing conditions may impact what a victim is awarded. If the pre-existing condition worsened due to the injury, this would factor into the monetary award.
  • New York operates under a comparative fault system, meaning that if a victim is partially to blame for their personal injury, they may receive only the percentage that was not their fault in pain and suffering damages. For instance, if they were found to have pain and suffering damages of $10,000 but were 25% at fault for the accident, they would receive only $7,500.

Getting What You Deserve

The personal injury lawyers with Gold & Gold, P.A., have experience and a solid understanding of how pain and suffering damages can affect our clients. We understand the law surrounding personal injuries and fight tirelessly so that our clients receive the compensation they deserve following a personal injury accident. Contact us today so we can discuss how we can help you.