How Much Money Can You Sue for Pain and Suffering in New York
After an accident, you may be recovering from physical injuries. Accidents can be very stressful, and you might also be contending with serious mental health issues. While the pain and suffering a person endures during and after an accident can be hard to describe, plaintiffs should be compensated for enduring physical and emotional turmoil. Assessing damages for pain and suffering is not always easy, and a legal professional will have to help you assess your situation and make the proper calculations.
There is no right or wrong answer to how much a person’s pain and suffering is worth. Some people think they should be greatly compensated for their pain and suffering. Other people may be less affected by the pain. Damages for pain and suffering must be uniquely tailored to your case. Several methods are available for calculating damages for pain and suffering. An attorney can help you figure out the best way to handle damages in your case.
If you were injured in an accident of any kind, you could be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit against the person or people responsible. In your lawsuit, you may claim damages for the pain and suffering you have gone through. Our Manhattan personal injury lawyers will help you calculate an accurate amount for your damages claim. Call The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083 for a free legal consultation.
How Much Are Damages for Pain and Suffering Worth in New York?
The amount of money your pain and suffering damages may be worth depends on your case. You may claim physical pain, mental suffering, or both. Your damages will depend on the extent of your pain and suffering. Some plaintiffs are deeply affected by pain and suffering, while others are not, even with similar injuries. How much your damages are worth may be influenced by how you are personally affected by the pain and suffering you experienced.
To put a value on your pain and suffering, we must examine how it affected your life. Were you able to continue working? Did you develop a mental health condition like PTSD or depression? How long did you suffer? Is your suffering ongoing? Will you ever recover from your condition? We need to ask these questions to get an accurate picture of your damages for pain and suffering.
It is important to understand that the damages we claim are not necessarily the damages you will be awarded in the end. It is very possible that you will be awarded some but not all the damages you initially claim in your complaint. However, the more damages we can claim and make arguments for, the more money you are likely to be awarded. Call our Queens personal injury lawyers for more information.
How to Calculate Damages for Pain and Suffering in New York
Determining damages for pain and suffering relies heavily on your personal experiences and how you feel your pain and suffering has affected you. However, some methods that are a bit more mathematical can be used. In New York, it is common for either the “multiplier method” or the “per diem method” to be used when calculating damages for pain and suffering.
The multiplier method is one of the most common methods used in New York for calculating damages for pain and suffering. Under this method, we must first determine an accurate number for your economic damages. Economic damages are those with discernable values. For example, medical bills, lost earnings, and costs of property damage are economic damages. Once we have an accurate value of your economic damages, this number is multiplied to get your damages for pain and suffering.
The multiplier is usually a number between 1.5 and 5. The more serious your case is, the higher the multiplier and the greater your pain and suffering. The multiplier used in your case may be influenced by unique factors like your pain and suffering duration and the severity of your injuries.
Our Bronx personal injury attorneys can determine your economic damages and then argue for the highest multiplier possible. This will hopefully get you the greatest compensation award possible for your case.
Per Diem Method
The per diem method takes a very different approach to pain and suffering. Instead of determining economic damages and multiplying that sum, a specific monetary value is assigned to each day you are suffering. For example, if we determine that your pain and suffering is worth $100 per day, and you suffered for 50 days, your pain and suffering damages would be $5,000.
Under this method, the longer you are suffering and in pain, the greater your damages for pain and suffering will be. A variety of factors may influence the dollar amount assigned to your daily suffering. Things like the severity of your injuries and the negative impact on your daily existence must be considered.
Is There a Limit or Cap on Damages for Pain and Suffering in New York?
New York does not impose any statutory caps or limits on damages for pain and suffering. There is no specific dollar amount that acts as a hard limit on damages for pain and suffering. This means your damages may be as great as you see fit, at least within reason. However, your damages may be limited by the factors surrounding your case.
While the law does not limit your damages for pain and suffering, your circumstances will. If you experienced less pain and for a shorter duration, you will likely face more limited damages for pain and suffering. However, if your injuries were severe and extreme, your damages may be much less limited. Our Long Island personal injury lawyers can help you advocate for the greatest damages we can.
When Can You Sue for Pain and Suffering in New York?
Our personal injury lawyers will look at a couple of factors to determine when to sue for pain and suffering in New York. First, there is a legal deadline for most personal injury lawsuits that must be observed. While a single deadline applies to many personal injury cases, some exceptions can pause or delay the ticking clock, which is a statute of limitations. Second, New York only allows personal injury lawsuits for pain and suffering in vehicle accident cases when those accidents involve serious injuries. Whether an injury is serious or not is defined by statutes and refined by case law. Since car accidents are a frequent source of personal injury lawsuits, this requirement is important to consider before filing a suit.
Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
Many states have deadlines by which different types of lawsuits must be filed. One of the reasons behind such a rule is to avoid lawsuits stemming from an event that occurred too long ago. As time passes, it becomes more difficult to gather evidence and determine the facts of an incident. New York is no exception to this rule. Per C.V.P Law § 214(5), most personal injury lawsuits must be filed within 3 years of the underlying accident. This deadline applies to almost all types of personal injury actions, including negligence and intentional torts like assault or battery.
Three years may sound like plenty of time to draft and file a legal complaint, but this may not be the case. Before filing a personal injury action, an investigation must be undertaken to establish the facts of the incident that gave rise to the injury. The injuries from the accident and the other subsequent effects of those injuries also need to be documented, and expert testimony needs to be gathered to ensure your claim has enough evidence as support. Most likely, this investigation will entail interviewing witnesses of the incident, reviewing police reports that were written, and collecting medical documentation and a doctor’s prognosis of injuries. Contact our New York personal injury lawyers as soon as you suffer an injury to allow enough time to build a case and meet this deadline.
There are a few exceptions to the personal injury statute of limitations. Per C.V.P Law § 208(a), if the person who suffered an injury is under 18 years old or is not of sound mind at the time of the accident, the 3-year period does not start until these conditions are removed, which is when the victim turns 18 or regains their mental capacity. Further, if the perpetrator of the injury flees the state after the accident and remains out of state for at least 4 months, the time period that the person was missing will likely be excluded from the 3-year time limit.
Serious Injury Requirement
Before a personal injury lawsuit can be filed due to a motor vehicle accident, New York law has an additional obstacle for a victim to overcome. New York law reserves suits requesting non-economic damages to “serious” injuries only. Pain and suffering are a type of non-economic damage, so your injury must meet the serious injury threshold to file a lawsuit and demand compensation for pain and suffering.
The serious injury threshold is defined in N.Y. Ins. Law §5102(d), and it determines whether an injury is serious by what harmful effects the injury causes. For example, injuries resulting in death, loss of an unborn child, dismemberment, or a fracture are considered serious. These conditions are straightforward to identify. For example, there is generally no debate about whether an injury caused death. However, some of the other effects of an injury listed in the statute are less clear and may require additional evidence and persuasion to establish.
For example, the law states that a temporary injury that prevents someone from performing substantially all their usual daily activities for at least 90 days out of the 180 days following the accident is considered serious. To prove this, a victim would have to show their normal daily activities and prove that they could not substantially complete all of those activities because of the injury. The proof would need to show this routine interruption lasted for at least 90 days; therefore, medical documentation or a doctor’s testimony would need to show that duration.
Whether an injury is considered serious would be decided by a jury. The jury would consider what a victim’s usual daily activities are, what activities the injury prevents the victim from doing, whether those are substantially all of their daily activities, and whether the injuries disrupted the victim’s life for the requisite 90 days. There are several parts to prove in this one definition of a serious injury, and it is more complex than proving something like a fracture or dismemberment. Our personal injury attorneys can help decide if your injury meets this statutory threshold before you sue for pain and suffering.
Contact Our New York Personal Injury Attorneys
If you suffered harm in an accident due to someone else’s carelessness or negligence, you might have a personal injury claim on your hands. Our Staten Island personal injury attorneys can help you determine damages for pain and suffering and other losses you incurred. Call The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083 for a free legal consultation.