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How is Emotional Pain and Suffering Determined?

We have all heard it said that emotional pain and suffering can be awarded in a court of law.  But what does that exactly mean and how does it get determined?  How is it that one person can receive S100,000 while another receives millions?  It is true that emotional pain and suffering is a somewhat subjective recovery, but there is a solid purpose for it and it is a protected right under the State of Florida Statutes.

How to Prove Emotional Pain and Suffering in a Personal Injury Claim

The amount of emotional pain and suffering recovery is awarded based on a number of factors.  It isn’t just a number magically come up with.  Documentation from credible sources is often brought to court as proof that damages should be awarded on account of emotional pain and suffering.  These supporting evidences generally include:

  • A note from an attending physician verifying distress and mental health disorders brought about by the injury or exacerbated by it. This would also include a record of prescription medications used to cope with the emotional pain and suffering.
  • Testimony by the victim, relatives of the victim and other first-hand accounts to verify the impact on daily life that the injury has had.
  • Precedents set by prior cases for similar lawsuits in which similar injury occurred.
  • Research conducted by credible institutions that can collaborate with the victim’s testimony.

Determining Factors

Not all personal injury claims will make it to court.  In fact, most will settle during the litigation process.  They typically will go to court in the event neither party can come to an agreement.  It is up to the parties to agree upon an amount that is considered fair under Florida personal injury law.  If the case goes to a jury trial, the jury will play a large role in determining the amount awarded which may or may not play out favorably.

Questions that are asked when taking into consideration the recovery amount, whether the case is settled in or out of court include:

  • How severe was the injury?
  • How long did it take to recover from the injury?
  • What medical treatment was required?
  • Is there any more medical treatment required?
  • Does the victim have longer to recover?
  • How has the injury impacted their day to day life?
  • What long term consequences have resulted from the injury?

If you or a loved one has been injured, you may be entitled to fair compensation under Florida law, including emotional pain and suffering for what you have had to and still have to go through.  Talking with a Melbourne, FL area personal injury attorney could get your life back on track.