Pain and Suffering: What is It and What to Know?
“Pain and suffering” is a term most people are familiar with. You’ve probably heard it on TV, or even joked about it with friends. However, when it comes to applying the term practically, do you know when it relates to your case?
What Does Pain and Suffering Mean?
As it pertains to Georgia Law, pain and suffering is an expression used to describe an element of the damages a plaintiff can be awarded. If evidence of a physical injury is presented, the law presumes that physical pain and suffering occurs.
Once a jury has been presented with information of a physical injury, they can proceed without further proof in awarding damages as it relates to the pain and suffering of the plaintiff.
The Measure of Pain and Suffering
This is where things get a little subjective. According to the law, the measure of pain and suffering is “the enlightened conscience of fair and impartial jurors,” but what does that mean?
It means that the twelve jurors that are hearing your case will be asked to come up with a reasonable dollar amount that fairly compensates the plaintiff for the injury sustained if they were to find the defendant liable for the injury.
Does this mean that a jury can award a $90 million verdict for a fractured finger? Probably not. If a judge finds the amount awarded unreasonable, the judge will demand a re-trial.
However, this does mean that a jury has enormous discretion when deciding on a reasonable amount of money to award for pain and suffering, if they award anything at all.
In order to award a reasonable amount of money, a jury is asked to consider a number of factors such as how much pain the plaintiff experienced and how long the plaintiff has suffered or will suffer from the injury. Additionally, factors such as the injury interfering with the plaintiff’s day-to-day activities, enjoyment of life, etc., all play a role in determining the amount awarded.
Can You Be Awarded Damages for Mental Pain and Suffering?
Simply put, the answer is yes. Mental suffering can be considered. However, under the law, you cannot have mental suffering without the presence of physical pain and suffering.
As referenced above, the jury can also be asked to consider compensating the plaintiff for future pain and suffering when a plaintiff sustains a permanent physical injury, disfigurement, or loss of function due to an injury.
Call an Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer Today to Discuss Pain and Suffering
As we’ve discussed, pursuing pain and suffering damages in Georgia can be difficult, because the grounds for doing so are quite subjective. That’s why it’s important to have a highly experienced Georgia personal injury lawyer representing you.
If you’ve suffered a major injury, call Andersen, Tate & Carr today at 770-822-0900 for a free consultation and to discuss all the types of compensation you may be entitled to.