The most common issue we Injury Lawyers run into is how to value a Client's pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is both a simple and complex concept. Simply put, it is the pain a client suffers, both physical and emotional, as a result of the accident.
Economic losses are much simpler to put a value on since they are usually tied to tangible medical bills.
Pain And Suffering - The Law
The law has no definite standard for "pain and suffering" in Nevada. When instructing a jury, the law states that there is no definite standard but a Juror shall "exercise your authority with calm and reasonable judgment and the damages you fix shall be just and reasonable in light of the evidence." (Nevada Jury Instructions 2011).
Pain and suffering can include physical pain such as chronic pain which does not go away even after the appropriate medical treatment. For such harm, compensation may be awarded. Emotional suffering is less perceptible and yet is quite common after a serious accident. Injuries which lead directly to negative feelings such as guilty, anxiety, and depression qualify as emotional suffering.
Victims of accidents can find that their prolonged and grueling recovery results in missing out on the joys in life: time spent with family and friends and recreational activities. This is a loss which falls under pain and suffering which should be included in your claim for compensation.
How We Measure Pain and Suffering
While some states place limits on how much can be awarded in compensation for pain and suffering, Nevada has no such limit. On the other hand, as stated above, there is no set guideline for juries to use with which to award a victim.
When we take a case, we typically use medical bills as a base line for pain and suffering. This includes past, present and future medical bills that arise as a result of the accident. When we get the total number of medical bills we usually multiply that by three in order to ensure our client's Pain and Suffering is covered. However, depending on the case, this multiplier can change based on the severity of our client's pain and suffering.
*Kang & Associates d/b/a Ace Law Group has been in operation since 2009 and represents clients in the areas of Personal Injury, Criminal Defense, and Civil Litigation.