I just learned about a recent rear-end car accident Jury Trial in Bucks County where the accident victim had neck and back injuries with two years of past medical treatment and the Jury awarded her $17,500 for Future Medical Treatment, but awarded ZERO for Pain and Suffering.
It’s curious to me why Jurors like the ones in that case seem to find it easy to award Lost Income and Medical Bills, but they don’t award much or sometimes don’t award anything for Pain and Suffering.
Pennsylvania Law requires a fair award for all items of Damage, both Economic (like Lost Income and Medical Bills) and Non-Economic Damages (like Pain and Suffering, Disability and Scarring and Disfigurement).
One purpose of the Verdict is to equal out the Harm with Compensation, to fairly compensate the injured victim to try to make up for the harm. The other purpose of the Verdict is to put a fair price on carelessness to encourage people to be more careful and not to cause needless injuries.
However, regardless of what the Law provides, oftentimes Juries won’t follow the Law and will award little or no compensation for Pain and Suffering.
To me it doesn’t make sense. To me, the value of a Pain Free Life where I can do what I want without restrictions is much more important than having money to pay for medical bills or being made whole from time missed from work.
Think of the last time you were really sick and felt so bad that, if it would be permanent, you’d rather not survive. How much would you have paid at that moment to have the pain and suffering disappear?
If you gave someone one wish in life, if they were really thinking clearly they’d wish for good health.
Why is that? It’s because good health is the foundation of a happy life. It’s tough to be happy if you are in pain and disabled from doing what you enjoy most in life.
Imagine if your pain free and active life was taken from YOU due to someone else’s Negligence, like texting and driving, drinking and driving or even speeding. Imagine if you were injured in a Car Accident and were in pain, constant or periodic, and that you were precluded from doing things you used to love: golfing, gardening or working out.
Would you think those losses had real monetary value above and beyond your Medical Bills and Lost Income, or would you think a ZERO Verdict for Pain and Suffering would be fair?
I wonder why Juries tend not to look at Personal Injury Cases through the lens of their own life and happiness but, instead, choose to be super-critical and skeptical about Plaintiffs in Personal Injury Cases? I wonder why they tend to identify with and give a break to the Defendant, rather than empathizing for the Plaintiff and awarding a Fair Verdict?
What do you think?
Tim Rayne is a Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyer with MacElree Harvey, Ltd. Tim has law offices in Kennett Square and West Chester Pennsylvania. Tim helps injured victims of Pennsylvania accidents understand their legal rights and helps them get fair treatment from insurance companies. Contact Tim with any questions at 6108400124 or [email protected] or check out his website at www.TimRayneLaw.com.