Pain and Suffering Settlements

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What Does “Pain and Suffering” Mean?

Pain and suffering refers to damages that are sometimes issued to the plaintiff in a personal injury case. Aside from actual physical injuries, the victim may be experiencing pain and/or emotional suffering on account of the incident. These can be difficult to measure sometimes, and so a medical expert may be needed to determine the amount that should be issued in connection with the suffering.

An example of pain and suffering is where a person suffered a spine or neck injury. Since pain travels throughout the nervous system, the person may suffer a high degree of pain radiating through other parts of the body, even though the injury originated in the neck (like in a whiplash accident). The defendant may then become liable for the pain experienced by the victim.

Another example is where a person is involved in a wrongful death suit. Here, the plaintiff may be issued a damages award for the emotional suffering connected with the loss of their loved one.

What are Pain and Suffering Settlements?

Pain and suffering is often the subject of personal injury settlements. This is because physical injuries can sometimes be readily verified through the testimony of a medical expert. However, pain and suffering can be subject to various factors, opinions, and circumstantial evidence. As such, it can be a highly contentious point of debate, especially if the plaintiff is asking for high amounts.

Thus, the parties may simply choose to settle over the amount of pain and suffering damages awarded. This can help the parties save time and resources by avoiding extended court procedures. 

Can Settlements be Disputed?

Settlements are generally binding on both parties once they agree to the amount. On the other hand, a settlement award may be adjusted if facts surface later on in the future that would change the legal analysis for the damages award. In such cases, both parties would need to agree to the modifications. If the dispute is major, the case may need to be re-examined in court.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With a Pain and Suffering Settlement?

Damage awards in a personal injury case can sometimes involve complex factors.  One of these factors it the notion of pain and suffering. You may need to hire a lawyer in your area if you need help with a pain and suffering settlement- you may be entitled to a damages award for your losses. A qualified lawyer in your area can inform you of your legal right with regards to a damages award. 

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Last Modified: 08-06-2014 02:38 PM PDT

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