Have you been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence?
Rhode Island personal injury law mandates that the party at fault for an accident compensate any accident victims for their losses – or “damages.”
Pain and suffering settlements are difficult to prove. A Providence personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the complex waters of Rhode Island personal injury and get you the best possible compensation for pain and suffering damages.
Economic Damages vs. Non-Economic Damages
First, it’s important to understand that some damages are easily calculated for a personal injury settlement, and others are more subjective and difficult to put a price tag on. These two categories of damages are called Economic Damages – or “Compensatory Damages” – and Non-Economic Damages.
Economic damages are typically easy to measure and can be proven with various documentation related to the injury.
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
Non-economic damages are typically non-monetary and include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Reduced earning capabilities
How Do You Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages?
Since non-economic damages are difficult to measure, a jury will typically consider a few factors when determining how much pain and suffering to award to injury victims.
Type of Injury Sustained
Minor bodily injury is still compensable, However, serious bodily injuries will result in a larger award. The physical pain associated with catastrophic injuries and the length of time the victim suffers because of them are significant factors in determining how much of a pain and suffering settlement will be awarded.
Physical injuries that are likely to result in significant pain and suffering damages include:
- Wrongful death
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord damage
- Major scarring or disfigurement
- Severe bone breaks
- Injuries requiring multiple or major surgeries
For example, a pedestrian is hit by a speeding car while crossing the street at an intersection. The pedestrian sustains multiple bone breaks, some of which require major surgeries. This injury victim would likely be awarded higher pain and suffering damages than one that only suffered minor injuries like bruising and mild lacerations.
Affect the Injury Has on the Victim’s Life
Injuries that result in chronic pain or permanent disability are also likely to result in higher pain and suffering compensation.
For example, a man sustains an injury to his arm while operating a defective machine. The arm injury results in a permanent disability that prevents the man from ever returning to work again.
The personal injury lawsuit he’ll file will likely result in a significant pain and suffering payout. First, the prolonged pain he will suffer due to the injury will be a factor. However, the enormous negative impact the injury has on his future earning capabilities and enjoyment in life will also play a large part.
Injury Victim’s Age
The age of the accident victim plays a part in any injury award. Sometimes, a younger victim – like a child – will receive a much higher pain and suffering award than a much older person for severe injuries.
For example, a distracted driver runs a red light and hits another car at full speed. One of the passengers is an eight-year-old boy who suffers a severe break to his leg. After multiple surgeries, doctors say the boy will likely walk with a limp.
In this instance, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will pay for pain and suffering damages. This is not only because of the severity of the injury but also because of the prolonged pain associated with the injury and its detrimental effect on the young victim.
How Do You Prove Pain and Suffering?
How do you prove that you’ve experienced pain after an injury that’s someone else’s fault?
Substantiating your pain and suffering comes down to verbal testimonies and some of the same evidence you would use for economic damages:
- Medical records, photos, and physician testimony can attest to the severity of your injuries
- Notes from therapists and psychologists can speak to the mental anguish and emotional distress that the injuries have caused you
- Your testimony and that of your family and friends will also be invaluable.
The testimony of doctors, therapists, and other witnesses to your recovery are some of the major elements considered when discussing how long you were in pain and how much pain you experienced due to the injury.
Get Compensated Fairly With a Providence Personal Injury Lawyer
When you’re injured due to the negligence of a careless driver, a poorly maintained workspace, or other unsafe conditions, your financial costs for recovery aren’t the only thing that weighs you down. Your emotional pain is relevant in a personal injury case, and someone needs to be held accountable for it.
An experienced personal injury attorney will work to bolster your personal injury claim and ensure you get every penny of pain and suffering damages you’re entitled to after your accident. Call Attorney Louis W. Grande for a free consultation today.