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Car accidents: How is pain and suffering damages determined?

Any person in New York who has suffered injuries that were caused by the negligence of another person is entitled to pursue recovery of damages. Victims of car accidents may file personal injury claims in a civil court and seek monetary judgments to cover medical expenses, lost wages, property damage and other economic losses. However, certain circumstances also allow victims to claim compensation for pain and suffering.

Each case is unique, and instead of a set of determining standards to quantify the value of an award for pain and suffering, the jury is typically ordered to consider specific factors. The first consideration will be the severity and the manner in which the injury will affect the victim in the future. Those injuries that are expected to cause chronic pain or debilitation may justify compensation for pain and suffering.

The victim's age will also be considered, and younger victims who may endure pain or debilitation for more years may receive higher amounts of compensation. The degree or level of suffering will play a role. Pronounced pain that is expected to be long lasting will be more likely to result in a pain and suffering award than the pain that brings only discomfort and annoyance.

Quantifying the amount of an award for pain and suffering is challenging, and it is typically left to the jury's best judgment. Victims of car accidents in New York who have questions about the damages they can expect to recover may get the answers from an experienced personal injury attorney. A lawyer can assess the viability of the claim and assist with the navigation of any ensuing legal proceedings.

Source: FindLaw, "When Can You Sue for Pain and Suffering?", Daniel Taylor, Accessed on Feb. 9, 2018

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