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When you are injured in an accident, you are entitled to seek monetary compensation for a variety of financial needs that arise from your injury. One of these needs is simply referred to as “pain and suffering.” Unlike other injury-related expenses, such as medical bills and missed paychecks, pain and suffering compensation in Las Vegas does not have a concrete dollar amount. This is because pain and suffering is not one specific need. Rather, it refers to all the non-tangible needs that can arise as a result of an injury.
Some examples of the needs that can be categorized as pain and suffering include:
Mental issues, such as anxiety about driving again or depression following a disability;
The loss of opportunities as a result of the injury or a resulting disability;
Chronic physical pain; and
Scarring, cuts, bruising, and other physical reminders of the accident.
Because there is no set dollar amount that can compensate for these issues, the process for determining an appropriate settlement for pain and suffering tends to be more subjective than it is for other needs.
As a general rule, individuals who show greater financial need are more likely to receive pain and suffering settlements than those with more financial resources. Nevada does not have a formula in place for courts to use to determine pain and suffering compensation amounts. Courts must use the claimant's evidence to determine an appropriate amount to compensate him or her for his or her pain and suffering. Some factors that can play into this determination include:
Proof of financial need from the claimant, such as the bill for his or her psychological counseling; and
The claimant's age. This, coupled with other circumstances, can play a significant role in determining an individual's pain and suffering settlement amount. For example, a younger individual who is permanently disabled might receive a larger settlement because of the impact the injury has on his or her career opportunities versus the impact it would have on an older individual who is closer to retirement.
Your attorney can help you determine whether you can expect compensation for your pain and suffering and if so, an approximate amount you can expect. Like your other financial damages, you will need to provide evidence of your pain and suffering. Your attorney can help you procure this evidence, which can include testimonies from your relatives, friends and colleagues and photographs of any topical injuries you have suffered.