Unfortunately, when you’ve been injured at the hands of someone else there is nothing anyone can do – even a court – to fully make it right. That’s why, when providing remedies for personal injury cases, the courts need to look at the facts from a financial lens. You deserve compensation for your injury, and this typically involves the court awarding damages in the form of money for things like medical bills, lost wages, potential losses in future earnings, and property damage or property loss.
In Arizona, that’s referred to as economic damages, and they attempt to set right any money you’ve lost as a result of your injury. While no amount of money can make your injury and its effects go away, it’s the best step one can take after the fact to hold the negligent party accountable for their actions. But what happens when your injury takes a toll on you and your loved ones that goes beyond money you’ve lost? In that case, an Arizona court can award non-economic damages, which are intended to compensate an accident victim for the losses they suffered due to their injury that aren’t just financial. This is when awards for pain and suffering come into play. An Arizona court can provide a monetary award for the pain and suffering that resulted from your injury.
What Kinds of Damages Can the Court Award Me in Arizona?
As discussed above, there are different types of damages that an Arizona court can award a plaintiff in a personal injury case. Firstly, there are economic damages, which seek to compensate an accident victim for any financial losses they’ve suffered due to their injury, including lost wages, reduced earning potential, medical bills, property damage, and the like. Secondly, there are punitive damages. Punitive damages very rarely come into play, only in the rare cases where your injury was caused by a defendant acting with “an evil hand and mind”, or malice. They require that the defendant have intentionally caused the injury. Lastly, there are non-economic damages, which seek to make right any losses as a result of your injury that go beyond money, such as your pain and suffering.
What Is Pain and Suffering?
Like many terms used in the law, pain and suffering has a specific legal meaning beyond its literal definition. Under Arizona law, there are two types of pain and suffering.
Physical pain and suffering speaks to the actual pain associated with the physical damage the injured party suffered. This accounts for pain through the healing process, as well as chronic pain that may continue beyond the expected recovery. It also takes into account any future complications that may come into play.
Mental pain and suffering speaks to the emotional toll that the injury takes on the victim. Mental pain and suffering includes things like depression, anxiety, PTSD, new phobias, anger, humiliation, and loss of enjoyment resulting from the injury.
How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated in Arizona?
Unlike economic damages which come with a clear number, pain and suffering is much harder to calculate and more difficult to prove. However, with an experienced legal team, you can compile and present convincing evidence to demonstrate your pain and suffering. Helpful evidence to show pain and suffering includes any journal entries about your mental and physical state, medical records, testimony from medical and mental health professionals, any new mental health prescriptions for conditions developed as a result of the injury, testimony from family and friends, and, if advised by your legal team, your own testimony.
The total amount of damages awarded for pain and suffering vary greatly from case to case, and depend on factors such as the type of injury, the severity of the injury, the degree to which the injury has impacted the victim’s life and ability to work, the medical treatments required, the medications prescribed to treat the injury, the length of recovery, and the permanence of the injury. Some states place a limit on the amount of money an accident victim can recover, but that is not the case in Arizona. Arizona doesn’t put a cap on the amount that can be recovered for pain and suffering in personal injury cases and wrongful death cases.
You Deserve Compensation for Your Pain and Suffering. Let the Experienced Team at Territorial Law Attorneys Guide You Through the Process.
With over 60 years of experience advocating for the people of Yuma, San Luiz, Somerton, and beyond, Territorial Law is prepared to fight for you and help you win. We pride ourselves on client-centered legal services and our team is qualified and ready to deliver the best representation possible for all your personal injury (and criminal defense) needs. We have a proven track record of success and have recovered over $26 million for our clients. Your pain and suffering matter to us, and we will make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.