One of the most elusive concepts in personal injury law is “pain and suffering.” Typically, a victim of negligence will have three basic categories of damages: medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The first two are self-explanatory and easily defined and documented. Defining “pain and suffering,” however, is difficult.
As a preliminary matter, New Hampshire law is clear, however, that a personal injury plaintiff is entitled to recover for pain and suffering damages. The law recognizes that just because therapy, surgery, or doctor’s visit is completed and paid for, a victim is not necessarily “made whole” and fully compensated for their injuries. Therefore, the law allows for damages relating to past, present, or future physical pain, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, discomfort, etc.
In New Hampshire there is no set formula used to calculate how much a person’s claim for “pain and suffering” is worth. Typically, however, pain and suffering damages are related to the physical harm a person endured and/or will endure. This means that a serious injury (which probably resulted in high medical costs) will have a higher likelihood of substantial pain and suffering than a minor or insignificant injury. Similarly, pain and suffering damages would probably be higher if an injured person had a long, arduous recovery period after surgery, or permanent side-effects from an injury.
Because pain and suffering is such a subjective matter, the amount of damages can also vary wildly based on how sympathetic the victim is, the particular circumstances surrounding the injury, and how much a jury identifies with him or her. An experienced attorney can help you determine how much your claim may be worth. Contact us today for a free consultation. We handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis: you only pay attorney’s fees if you win.
Author: Jack S. White
This blog is intended for informational use only. The information contained herein should not be construed as offering legal advice or a legal opinion.