In 2018, a West Virginia jury ordered a man to pay $7.6 million to the family of a 20-year-old woman he struck and killed in 2016 while driving drunk. The award included $500,000 to compensate for the pain and suffering the victim experienced in the six hours between the time she was hit and the time she died.
It seems impossible to put a price on the sadness, fear, depression, anxiety and other aspects of emotional turmoil that follow an accident or wrongdoing. There may be no amount of money that will allow an injured person to regain the type of joy or comfort they felt before an accident occurred, but compensation can be a much-needed resource for people whose suffering has been debilitating.
There is no strict formula for calculating the value of pain and suffering. Lawyers consider a number of factors when deciding the amount of monetary compensation to seek on behalf of clients. The following considerations may be taken into account when estimating pain and suffering damages:
Ultimately, the jury in a civil court case has the right to decide what amount of compensation is appropriate for pain and suffering.
Some states limit the amount of money that can be awarded for pain and suffering. Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina all impose some sort of limitation on what a jury can award for pain and suffering. Damage caps may also depend on the type of case. For example, West Virginia places a cap on pain and suffering in medical malpractice cases but not for pain and suffering caused by the manufacturer of a defective product.
The lawyers at Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban help victims of drunk driving accidents and other accidents to seek compensation for their pain and suffering. To schedule a free initial consultation at one of our offices, call us at (888) 351-1038 or contact us online. We have locations in the Carolinas and Virginia.
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