Calculating Pain and Suffering is a Complex Matter
If you have been injured, you know how much the pain of those injuries affects your life. You should be compensated for that pain and suffering in addition to the expenses you face due to your injuries.
At Givens Law Firm, we understand the pain and suffering you have gone through and we are dedicated to getting a fair settlement or award in your personal injury or medical malpractice case. Contact us today for more information, or keep reading to learn more about how pain and suffering are calculated in Tennessee.
What Are Pain and Suffering Damages?
Pain and suffering is the most common type of noneconomic damages that one can pursue compensation for.
Other noneconomic damages include:
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Loss of society
- Loss of enjoyment
The Tennessee Court of Appeals defined pain and suffering as “the physical and mental discomfort caused by an injury. It includes the wide array of mental and emotional responses that accompany pain, such as anguish, distress, fear, humiliation, grief, shame, and worry.”
Who Can Get Pain and Suffering Damages in Tennessee?
Tennessee law allows personal injury and medical malpractice victims to get compensation for these noneconomic damages. However, note that worker’s compensation is a different type of case and you cannot get pain and suffering damages in workers’ comp cases. The law also prohibits pain and suffering damages when only property damage is sustained.
In other words, you must have sustained an injury. For example, a slip and fall victim might injure their hip, which requires weeks of recovery and painful physical therapy. This pain and suffering could be awarded noneconomic damages.
What Criteria are Used to Calculate Pain and Suffering?
There is no specific calculation for pain and suffering. Because of its subjective nature, judges and juries are given a lot of leeway in determining how much pain and suffering damages to award.
The main criteria used to determine pain and suffering damages are:
- The type and severity of the injury
- The type and duration of treatment
- The length of recovery
- If a permanent disability will linger
- The strength of the evidence
- The likeability of the plaintiff
To estimate the pain and suffering damages that might be awarded, insurance companies and attorneys estimate case value by assigning pain and suffering a multiplier from 1-5, which is multiplied by economic damages before lost income is added.
Are There Limits to Pain and Suffering Damages?
Tennessee Code Section 29-39-102 limits noneconomic damages, including pain and suffering, to $750,000 in most cases.
This limit is increased to $1,000,000 if:
- The injury is of the spinal cord resulting in paraplegia or quadriplegia
- The injury involved amputation of both hands, both feet or one of each
- The injury included third-degree burns over 40% of the body or face
- Wrongful death of a parent of a minor child
Furthermore, there are no limits on pain and suffering damages if:
- There was specific intent to cause injury
- The defendant intentionally falsified, destroyed, or concealed records to evade liability
- The defendant was under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or other controlled substances unless lawfully prescribed
- The defendant’s action or omission led to a felony charge
These points can be difficult to prove, and it is necessary to have an attorney dedicated to investigating every aspect of the case to get the highest award for your pain and suffering as is possible.
Have You Suffered for Your Injuries?
If you were injured by the neglect or wrongdoing of someone else and you have suffered for your injuries, you deserve to be compensated for that pain and suffering. It is important to get an attorney as soon as possible to help you gather evidence that will solidify your pain and suffering damages.
Givens Law Firm has years of experience getting high pain and suffering awards for our clients. We are dedicated to getting the highest award possible in your case. Contact us today for a free consultation.