Determining Pain and Suffering in a Nursing Home Injury & Negligence Case

In a nursing home negligence case, the largest portion of a jury verdict is often the amount allocated to pain and suffering, particularly as nursing home residents usually will not have claims for damages such as lost wages.

New York juries are entitled to consider whatever aspects that they feel are fair in calculating pain and suffering.  In general, severe injuries that involve excruciating pain and suffering over extended time periods tend to receive larger pain and suffering awards than injuries that are not as severe or that do not last as long.

Pain and suffering includes both physical pain and psychological pain.  For instance, a jury can take into account whether the nursing home resident was in fear of immediate death as part of their injury, and whether the injury caused them to have ongoing nightmares or other mental trauma.

Pain and Suffering Awards Should Provide Compensation for Both Past and Future Damages

In many instances, the pain and suffering of an injury is not fully over at the time of a trial.  Some types of injuries are likely to be ongoing.  Back injuries, for example, may not ever heal properly, especially when they happen to a senior.  Pain and discomfort may continue to last a lifetime.  Future surgeries or rehabilitation may also be required which, in and of themselves, will cause additional pain.

In making the case for our clients a trial, we want to ensure that a jury fully understands the level of pain and suffering that our clients have endured, and the future suffering that they will likely face, due to the actions or negligence of the defendants.  By showing the full scope of the damages, jurors will then be a position to award full and fair compensation.

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