Being involved in a car accident is one of the most stressful experiences people endure. For those who sustained injuries, that stress comes with physical pain as well. It can be a difficult process to find your way back, but with solid medical attention and proper legal representation, you can do it. The CosséLaw Firm stands ready to travel that road with you. With more than two decades of experience, we know New Orleans and we know the laws of Louisiana. Our personal injury attorneys can help secure compensation for your medical costs, lost earnings and pain and suffering.
Defining Pain and Suffering
It sounds simple, but in a legal sense, pain and suffering have unique definitions. In personal injury claims, the two types of pain and suffering are physical and emotional (or mental). As you might expect, physical pain and suffering is in reference to the pain and discomfort caused by physical injuries. In a legal sense, the detrimental effects are factored and can affect the outcome.
Mental pain and suffering refers to the stress, anxiety, emotional distress and mental anguish following a traumatic event such as an accident. It is as much an injury as any you can see. Along with the distress and anguish, mental pain and suffering reveals itself as anger, fear, humiliation and overwhelming stress associated with possibly losing a job. Clinical depression, sexual dysfunction, sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, weight loss or gain, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are found in the mental pain context.
Determining the Financial Costs of Pain and Suffering
Juries are typically not given much advice on how to apply the guidelines associated with determining the value of pain and suffering in a personal injury lawsuit. Rather, judges implore juries to incorporate common sense, consider the facts of the case as they were presented, and then use their own experience to guide them as they seek to determine what is a fair and reasonable award for a plaintiff if they are awarded any monetary damages.
A few of those factors when considering the value of pain and suffering in a personal injury claim can include:
- The credibility of the plaintiff
- How the plaintiff is viewed as a witness
- Consistency in the story being told and especially as it’s entered into the record as part of testimony
- Whether there is exaggeration
- Whether the doctors and medical reports support the claims of pain and suffering
- What the jury believes to be fact in the case
- The criminal record of a plaintiff
- Likeability of a plaintiff
Many clients ask for examples of how pain and suffering might reveal itself. A few physical examples might include broken bones, bruises, and cuts. These injuries can lead to psychological and mental setbacks and they might be revealed as depression, loss of sleep, weight loss or gain, anger, loss of appetite and more.
If you’d like to learn more or would like to discuss the details of your case, we invite you to contact our personal injury firm in New Orleans. Our personal injury lawyers stand ready to guide you to an outcome that helps you put the pieces back together and allows you to get back to living your life. The Cossé Law Firm is here for you and we bring more than 20 years of legal experience and a proven track record of success assisting injury victims.