Pain and Suffering Awards and Related Factors

Posted on Tuesday, November 28th, 2017 at 4:36 pm    

Because pain and suffering is based on the plaintiff’s description of what they are feeling, it is important to be able to convince the insurance adjuster, the defense attorney and the jury that you really were hurt. Therefore, the plaintiff’s ability to present a winning claim in respect of pain and suffering often depends on the following factors:

  • Consistency

Insurance adjusters, defense attorneys and juries put a high value on consistency. Therefore, it’s necessary for the plaintiff to be consistent in statements about how the accident happened and complaints of pain. Inconsistencies can be a sign that the injured person is making something up. Consistency must be found when providing witness testimony and when dealing with doctors, physical therapists and medical specialists. A plaintiff has to be consistent in respect of their pain or it will be hard for anyone to believe that they have legitimate pain.

  • Credibility

It must be noted that consistency is a sign of credibility. Because modern technology in the medical field has not yet developed any tests that determine if someone is experiencing pain; doctors and juries rely on the patient’s word. If a jury does not think that plaintiff is credible the jury is not going to believe the plaintiff’s testimony about how the injury occurred or about pain and suffering. Factors that affect the juries thinking about a plaintiff’s credibility include the following:

  1. whether the plaintiff’s statements and testimony are consistent
  2. whether the jury thinks the plaintiff lied
  3. if the plaintiff has a criminal record
  • Likeability

Being likeable is personal and if an individual does not like someone, chances are they are not going to do that person any favors. Similarly, if the jurors don’t like someone asking for money they aren’t going to give that person much or any. While it is not the law it is human nature. Therefore, if a plaintiff is likeable and a good witness he or she is going to do a lot better at trial than an unpleasant person. A good lawyer will spend time working with their client preparing for deposition and trial.


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