Pain and suffering is a crucial part of your accident claim, along with your medical bills and your economic losses. Pain and suffering can’t be easily calculated, because there is no set amount for emotional trauma, or chronic pain, or the loss of a limb. That is why it is categorized as a “non-economic” damage.
In order to assess what your pain and suffering is worth, members of a jury or an insurance company may consider:
- What type of injury do you have?
- Are your injuries likely to heal with time, or will they be permanent?
- Did you lose the ability, in any way, to use any body part for the rest of your life?
- Did you have any surgeries?
- Which doctors and therapists did you see?
- How often did you see your medical providers to find a way to end the pain?
- What types of things couldn’t you do while you were injured?
- Were you unable to work?
- Were you unable to take care of or enjoy your children?
- What was the quality of time you spent with your wife?
- Did you withdraw from seeing friends?
- Did you have difficulty sleeping, eating, or walking?
Insurance companies usually offer settlements based on what similar injuries have settled for in the past. The insurance carriers also review court judgments for similar types of injuries. That does not guarantee that you’ll get the same payout, however, as another person with a similar condition.
Caps on pain and suffering
In Mississippi, there are caps on pain and suffering. MS Code § 11-1-60 (2017) provides that non-economic damages shall be capped at:
- $500,000 for medical malpractice cases. This includes medical “malpractice or breach of standard of care against a provider of health care, including institutions for the aged or infirm.”
- $1,000.000 for all other civil claims, including other injury claims.
The jury is not told of the cap ahead of time. They place a value on the pain and suffering. If the amount of their verdict is more than the cap, then the judge reduces the amount to the cap limit.
Experience matters in personal injury cases. Explaining pain and suffering to a jury is as much an art as it is attention to detail. Skilled trial lawyers understand how to show a jury how much your life has been changed on a daily basis due to your injuries. The Southaven injury lawyers at Taylor Jones Taylor have been trying cases since 1964. We provide strong representation for clients in the Southaven, Olive Branch, and Hernando areas. To make an appointment, call 662-342-1300 or fill out our contact form to learn more.