Tuesday, December 11, 2012

How Pain and Suffering Damages Are Determined




Damages are referred to as an award given to a person as a form of compensation for a certain loss. This mostly applies in the aspect of law, particularly in personal injury. When a person sustains a significant injury that greatly affects his or her life in general, he or she can recover damages.

Most of the time, damages are usually determined in monetary value or in dollars. In a court decision or off-court settlement, the liable party who caused harm towards the injured person must provide the latter with the determined amount of compensation.

There are other forms of damages, though, which can be entitled to a person as compensation but, in essence, does not have a certain value in dollars. One of them under this criteria is the so-called “pain and suffering” damages. This is a legal term referring to the overall trauma of the victim’s physical and emotional aspects following a personal injury accident.

Law firms specializing in personal injury, as well as insurance companies, usually determine pain and suffering by taking a look at the following:

The nature and the type of injury the victim sustained;
The severity and pain the person endured; and
The expectation that a person may experience pain on a certain period of time.


Trying to put a value on a victim’s pain and suffering is a difficult task. Law firms and insurance companies usually consider the following in determining the value:

  •  The victim’s actions are very similar to someone who is experiencing pain;
  • The victim had a pre-existing injury before the accident happened, therefore prolonging the pain;
  • The victim’s threshold of pain may not be tolerable; or
  • The victim’s pain makes him or her unable to perform basic life activities.

A victim can pursue a claim if the accident is caused by another person’s negligence. He or she can have his or her claim evaluated through a Los Angeles injury lawyer to know if he or she is entitled to receive compensation, particularly in pain and suffering damages.