A Dollar Amount for Pain and Suffering? What Is Your Quality of Life Worth?
Being involved in an accident can be a demoralizing experience, but when these accidents are caused through the negligence of others, it can be especially disheartening. According to Bottar Leone, New York attorneys, if an accident leads to injuries, the victim is usually able to recover compensation for their medical costs and lost time at work, but there’s also the chance that they could recover additional damages related to pain and suffering. Because this potential exists, every innocent victim of negligence should understand pain and suffering.
There are different types of damages related to injury cases. Special damages are related to the financial effect an injury had on a person. This includes hospital bills, other medical bills and lost income. Pain and suffering and a loss in quality of life, however, are known as general damages.
It’s unfortunate, but it’s harder to provide a dollar amount related to general damages. Two people could be in the same car accident, for instance, and one may have no ill aftereffect while the other faces an entire lifetime of pain. Luckily, courts and juries look at various factors to decide just how much a person deserves for their loss of enjoyment in life.
What is Quality of Life Worth?
There is no set amount that people get for their pain and suffering. A judge or jury can look at certain things, however, such as the types of medications prescribed to a person, and make a judgment on just how much compensation a person should receive for pain and suffering. The severity of the injuries and whether or not the victim followed doctor’s instructions will also be considered.
It’s also important to note that different people may receive different compensation amounts, and this is true even if they’ve sustained the same injury. An 18-year-old individual suffering a permanent disability, for instance, will likely get far more compensation related to general damages than an 80-year-old who was already in ill health. These factors, and several others, must be carefully considered by the court.
Limitations on Pain and Suffering
In some cases, a court may use what is known as a multiplier to determine pain and suffering damages. This means they’ll multiply a person’s medical bills by a certain number, usually between 1.5 and 4, to determine the amount of general damages a person will receive. It’s important to note, however, that even when using this equation, there are still limitations on pain and suffering compensation.
Many states actually have caps on the amount that a person can receive in pain and suffering damages. It’s important to note, however, that some of these statewide caps only apply to cases involving product liability or medical malpractice. There are even states that will reduce the amount a doctor must pay in a medical malpractice suit based on how much a person’s insurance covered.
Unfortunately, pain and suffering aren’t easily quantifiable, and this means that it can be difficult to determine just how much an injured person deserves. This is why it’s usually a good idea to have an attorney after an accident. They can help decide just how much an injury is worth and find the evidence to prove that point. Either way, a person who suffers needlessly due to another individual’s negligence is entitled to fair compensation.
Pain and Suffering is a hard concept to quantify. Writer Melanie Fleury has been in an accident that caused her to lose time at work and daily pain that kept her from living a normal life. Bottar Leone attorneys of New York want victims to know that pain and suffering is a hard concept and that a qualified attorney should be consulted for best results.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/68751915@N05/6355327519/
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