What New Jersey Residents Should do After Sustaining a Personal Injury
If you are involved in a civil lawsuit or looking to file one, you probably already know that you may be entitled to monetary damages. There are different categories of damages that a plaintiff can be awarded in a lawsuit, including the often-confusing category of pain and suffering. Pain and suffering damages are intended to compensate victims of severe negligence and intentional harm. While economic damages like lost wages and medical expenses are easily calculated, the non-economic damages of pain and suffering are not as easily agreed upon. Most of the time, the jury decides this number but not all lawsuits proceed to a trial. So what should you know about pain and suffering damages when you are negotiating a settlement with the at-fault party?
What Is “Pain And Suffering”?
Pain and suffering from a legal perspective can be both physical and mental. Physical pain and suffering is all of the discomfort and detrimental effects that the victim has suffered or will suffer because of the defendant’s actions. Mental pain and suffering has to do with the psychological and emotional effects of the physical trauma. This can manifest through depression, anxiety, PTSD, sleep disorders, and other mental/psychological symptoms. The law states that a victim is entitled to monetary compensation for this trauma.
Getting A Fair Number For Pain And Suffering
Unfortunately, there is no specific chart or formula that you can consult to determine what a fair amount is for pain and suffering. A lot of the time, the amount that a plaintiff ultimately gets for pain and suffering comes down to intangible things like the victim’s likability and credibility. This is something that you simply can’t debate during negotiations. One way that some try to determine this number is through the multiplier. This is a number that juries sometimes use to multiply the more easily calculable economic damages (medical bills and lost wages), and is usually between 1.5 and 4. This number is multiplied with the economic damages and then named as the pain and suffering damages. While this is one way juries do it, it is certainly not the only way or the most common way. During negotiations, you and your attorney might research common cases and see what juries awarded to those plaintiffs for pain and suffering. You can then change the numbers to better fit the circumstances at hand and make that the jumping off point for negotiations with the at-fault party.
Always Seek Legal Help For Any Settlement
If you are involved in settlement negotiations that will be legally binding, always seek the assistance of an attorney before agreeing to or signing anything. A lawyer’s job is to help you get the best settlement possible, and their knowledge and expertise will help you navigate the negotiation process to make sure you aren’t getting short-changed in your recovery or giving up any of your legal rights. They will be your advocate throughout the negotiations and will know when going to trial is the better option for you.
Contact An Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer About Your Case Today!
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries in an accident in NJ? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The attorneys at Hanlon Dunn Robertson Schwartz have successfully represented clients in Morristown, Rockaway, Denville, and throughout NJ. Call 973-425-5066 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 33 Market Street Morristown, NJ 07960 as well as an office at 317 George Street, 3rd Floor, New Brunswick, NJ 08901.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.