The term pain and suffering is often recognized as a common term in a personal injury claim. Many people may not actually understand what the term really means or know how to go about filing a lawsuit after they experience pain and suffering. It is important to understand the definition of pain and suffering and to work with an experienced law firm.
The New York laws related to personal injury are complicated, which is why so many people who experience personal injuries rely on the expertise of a trusted Buffalo injury firm for help with winning their personal injury case, and to receive the compensation that they deserve for their pain and suffering.
What Is Pain and Suffering?
A claim to recover compensation for pain and suffering that occurred after a personal injury is often a major component of a personal injury case. Some people may not have to bring about a lawsuit and may not have to prove who is at fault in order to receive compensation up to the amount of their medical bills and other expenses provided by their insurance policy.
So, what exactly is pain and suffering? The Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute (LII) defines pain and suffering as the pain, emotional trauma, discomfort, inconvenience and anguish that a person experiences as the result of an injury. The definition refers to both the physical discomfort and the emotional distress related to a personal injury.
The Legal Information Institute also explains that in the State of New York, pain and suffering includes all the various non-pecuniary damages. What are non-pecuniary damages? These are the types of damages that are non-economic in nature, and include things like permanent disfigurement from a personal injury such as a car crash or emotional trauma.
New York includes the loss of enjoyment of life as part of the non-pecuniary damages. An example of the loss of enjoyment of life is when the injured party has an inability to participate in activities or events that they once enjoyed before the event that resulted in their pain and suffering.
The laws regarding pain and suffering vary from one state to another, and New York is no exception. That is just one reason that people choose the attorneys at the Buffalo office of Feroleto Law to handle their claim for pain and suffering and their personal injury claim. The caring attorneys know how a personal injury can potentially impact your life and the life of your family.
How Do I Pursue Compensation for Pain and Suffering?
You can receive coverage for your medical bills and other expenses related to a car crash or other personal injuries up to the amount of your insurance policy without having to file a lawsuit and without having to prove fault related to the crash. New York law considers these types of expenses to include nursing, surgical, physical therapy services, dental, ambulance and psychiatric care.
Most people likely have damages that includes more than just the cost of their past medical bills that were incurred because of a crash. Anyone who has other losses related to a crash in New York, may file a legal settlement or lawsuit for losses such as compensation for pain and suffering.
You must meet the state requirements to recover non-economic losses. State laws indicate that this includes pain and suffering. What constitutes pain and suffering that is a serious injury under the New York Chapter 28, Article 51 statutes? Pain and suffering for which you may be able to recover compensation include:
- Loss of a fetus
- Significant disfigurement
- Significant limitation of use of a body function or system
- Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system
There are other serious injuries for which you may be able to recover compensation for pain and suffering, including a fracture, the permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member, or a non-permanent medical injury or impairment that prevents the injured person from substantially performing all of their usual and customary daily activities for at least a three month period after the six months following the personal injury or other act that caused an impairment.
Did you know that mental anguish is considered in a pain and suffering case? Cornell Law School explains that mental anguish is another term for mental suffering, and that it includes involves the discomfort or dysfunction or distress of the mind, and that it typically is the kind that results from physical pain or injury. This type of suffering also includes depression, anxiety, humiliation, grief or certain other emotions.
The laws that govern when and how a person can receive compensation for pain and suffering are complicated. Do you feel that you do not understand these complex laws enough to proceed with recovering compensation for your pain and suffering, or for the pain and suffering experienced by a deceased loved one? You do not have to feel overwhelmed or defeated before you even try to pursue a legal settlement. Trust in the expertise of the law firm where the attorneys have decades of experience and who truly believe in a clients first focus.
How Do I Pursue an Award for Compensation for My Pain and Suffering?
The majority of personal injury claims are settled without ever going to court, including claims for pain and suffering. In fact, an article in the Black’s Law Dictionary reveals that only four percent to five percent of personal injury cases in the U.S. actually go to court.
Some reasons that many cases are settled before a case goes to trial include the time involved in getting a trial date, and finally going to trial, the risk involved when considering the possibility that the client may not win the case, and the fact that the court may award only a small amount of compensation for pain and suffering. The cases that are settled out of court most likely have attorneys who fight for compensation for their clients, and who fight for their clients to receive the maximum amount of compensation, based on their specific losses related to their pain and suffering.
An experienced attorney who puts clients first knows how to help car crash victims, or victims of other types of personal injuries who pursue a settlement claim for pain and suffering under New York Law. Remember, pain and suffering compensation does not include anything that is related to the cost of actual medical expenses. The Center for Justice and Democracy at New York Law School describes non-economic damages such as pain and suffering as those things that include the greatest loss, including loss of the joy of life, and that include the loss of the ability of a person to live their life on a daily basis free of physical or emotional issues that are considered debilitating and that compromise a sense of dignity and self-worth.
Your experienced attorney at the Buffalo injury firm knows how to build your case for pain and suffering and how to aggressively pursue the best possible outcome for your personal injury claim, and for the claim related to your pain and suffering.
How Much Money Will I Get for My Pain and Suffering?
The State of New York is one of several states that does not place a cap on awards for pain and suffering. Do not assume that, because there are no caps on the limits that an injured party can receive for pain and suffering, that you will automatically receive an award of millions of dollars for your pain and suffering. Every case is different, and depends on the facts of the claim and the losses that each individual plaintiff has in their own pain and suffering claim. The insurance company and the attorneys for the other side will fight to reduce the amount of compensation that you receive or will try to keep you from receiving any pain and suffering compensation at all.
Some attorneys encourage their clients to keep a daily log that provides details of their pain, documenting both physical and emotional pain and suffering, and to work with appropriate practitioners that can help them with their pain and suffering. The types of practitioners that you see may be different than the types of practitioners another person sees, and may include a physical therapist, pain management specialist, physiatrist, mental health professional or other professionals that are appropriate for you. Clients work with their attorney to maximize the amount of their pain and suffering compensation by providing documentation and other requested information that may help their legal claim.
Do not worry about details such as knowing who to contact to start your legal settlement and understanding what you should do to win the compensation that you deserve. Trust in the expertise of your attorney, who will guide you through the process of seeking pain and suffering compensation from the start of the case to the best possible outcome. Focus on your physical and mental well-being. Let your attorney focus on proving that the other party was at fault and that you deserve compensation for your pain and suffering now and compensation for future pain and suffering.
Remember that there is a strict statute of limitations for filing a case in New York, so the sooner you contact a highly-skilled attorney to build your case, the quicker your attorney can get started on fighting for you and to get the compensation that you deserve for your car crash or other type of personal injury, or the optimal compensation related to the pain and suffering before the death of your loved one after another party was at fault in a personal injury.