Recovering Compensation for Physical and Emotional Trauma
In New Jersey, when you’ve been hurt because of the wrongful or careless acts of another person, you have the right to ask a court to award you damages for any losses or injuries. Some of your losses will be easy to calculate. You can quickly and accurately determine the full amount of lost wages or any medical expenses not covered by insurance. Other injuries are less tangible and, consequently, harder to compute, such as loss of enjoyment of life, loss of companionship or consortium, and pain and suffering.
How Does the Law Define Pain and Suffering?
Though “pain and suffering” can seem self-explanatory, it’s important to understand everything that it includes. First, it’s important to understand that it encompasses both physical and emotional discomfort, distress, aches or soreness, and that it includes both traumatic and chronic pain, both past and future. It can also be used to describe physical or mental conditions that limit the length of your life, or result in permanent scarring or mental challenges, such as anxiety or depression.
How Does a Jury Determine the Monetary Value of Pain and Suffering?
Because these damages are intangible, juries may take a couple different approaches:
- The jury may calculate the total amount of economic damages—lost wages, property damage and medical expenses—and multiply it by a certain factor, usually between one and ten, For example, if total economic damages are $100,000, a jury may multiply it by 1.5 and award $150,000 in compensation for pain and suffering.
- The jury may attempt to determine a “reasonable” amount of compensation for pain and suffering, based on how serious the injury is, how severe the pain is, how frequent the pain is experienced, and other factors
In New Jersey, unlike many other states, there is currently no limitation on the amount of compensation that may be awarded for pain and suffering.
Contact the Law Office of Howard D. Popper
At the Law Offices of Howard D. Popper, we can help protect your rights. For a free initial consultation to discuss your options after any type of accident or injury, contact our office online or call 973-993-8787 to set up an appointment. We have offices in Morristown and Newton.
We handle all personal injury claims on a contingent fee basis. You won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover damages for your losses.