To many people, the concept of damages for “pain and suffering” is vague, but if you have been injured in an accident, these damages provide compensation for any severe physical and mental pain and mental anguish that you must live with in the aftermath. Examples include physical pain, anxiety, fear, insomnia, and even loss of enjoyment of life.
Judges and juries calculate these noneconomic damages by taking factors like the following into account:
- Your age and the extent of the injuries
- How much your daily life will be limited or changed by the injuries
- How it will impact you in the long term
- Whether or not the injury impacts your personal and professional relationships
Damages for pain and suffering can be awarded for any past, existing, or future pain.
Although some states limit pain and suffering damages and will cap awards at a certain amount, New York is one of the few states that does not impose such limitations. This means that the amount that you can potentially receive is unlimited.
Evidence of pain and suffering
Proving pain and suffering can take any one of a number of forms. The more evidence that you have, the better your chances of receiving the award you need. Examples of such documentation include:
- Photographs of your injuries
- Records of treatment
- Feedback from friends and family regarding the ways that your injury has negatively impacted your life.
- Journal entries that record your feelings and physical pain
- Proof of treatment by a mental health professionals if you are claiming damages for injuries such as depression and insomnia
New York law permits the relatives of a deceased loved one to file a lawsuit within 12 to 36 months after the accident. Depending on the actual circumstances of the accident and injuries, they may even be able to claim pain and suffering damages.
Pain and suffering and car accidents
If you were injured in a car accident, it may be more difficult to obtain damages for pain and suffering because New York is a no-fault state. All of the costs of your medical treatment, including physical therapy and psychiatric treatment, are covered by insurance, along with lost income up to $2,000 per month for up to three years and other expenses associated with your injuries for up to one year. A pain and suffering claim is therefore more difficult to make and position.
If you have experienced an injury that leaves you in ongoing physical and mental anguish, contact a New York personal injury attorney to obtain the compensation you need. A fair award will provide you with the financial resources to improve your quality of life. Start with a free in-person initial consultation with attorney Jayson Lutzky. He has an office located one block away from the 183rd Street 4-train stop in the Bronx and has handled numerous car accident cases in the past with many positive results. Visit www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com to learn more about Jayson Lutzky, P.C.