A personal injury claimant is entitled to be compensated for his or her pain and suffering. But what does that mean, and more importantly, how do we calculate an amount of money for pain and suffering?
First, it’s helpful to have a general overview of personal injury damages.
There are two broad categories of personal injury damages: economic losses on one side, and non-economic losses on the other. Economic losses include such things as medical expenses, lost wages, and other tangible expenses that can be calculated. On the other hand, non-economic losses are intangible.
Pain and suffering is a non-economic loss. An intangible. It’s hard to grasp and there is no precise method of calculation. In Vermont, pain and suffering may include compensation for disability, disfigurement, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life. These consequences of an injury may be temporary for a defined period, or they may be permanent.
When we evaluate pain and suffering, we are predicting what a jury is likely to award to an injured person after hearing evidence about how the injury has impacted the person’s life. The evidence of pain and suffering is different for every person but in every case it includes a comparison between the person’s life pre-injury and post-injury. How has the person’s life changed as a result of being injured?
Vermont personal injury lawyers who can help
Since most cases do settle without a jury trial, we use data from past jury trials and settlements to determine what we believe is appropriate compensation for pain and suffering. It’s important to note that appropriate compensation does not mean adequate compensation. In reality, there is no amount of money to adequately compensate a person for living with the effects of a personal injury.
At Bergeron, Paradis & Fitzpatrick we have been helping injured Vermonters obtain compensation for their personal injuries for over 30 years.