In the world of jury trials, you often see a lawyer talk about “Pain and Suffering” as one damage. But it’s not just one damage. Pain and suffering are actually – and literally – two separate injuries.
What is the difference between “pain” and “suffering” in a trial?
Pain is a physical trauma that is hurting somewhere in your body.
Suffering is a mental trauma in your brain – that is suddenly being forced to deal with the physical pain in your body…and the separate, emotional trauma that your brain is suffering.
What the jury can’t see…Emotional Suffering
As you know, you can often see the physical injuries to someone’s body by simply looking at the person. But what you can’t see….is the injury to their brain. For example…when people come up to you and say, “Hey, how ya doin…?” They’re asking you that because they can’t see the condition of your brain! And guess what? Neither can a jury see the emotional suffering that our plaintiff has had to endure because someone else caused them harm.
When pain and suffering happens – it becomes the new “normal” that our plaintiff has to suffer, because someone else was reckless or negligent. Is that fair? Of course not. That’s why it’s our job to make sure that the jury understands how and why – our client has to live with both – pain and suffering because of someone else’s negligence.
Why “Pain” isn’t always easy to fix
Now, on the subject of pain…..some defense lawyers may try to say, “Well…your doctor has prescribed “pain pills” for this accident…. haven’t they?” Insinuating that, “Just pop a few pain pills – and you’re good to go..…because your pain is gone.” Right? Absolutely not!
Because of the defendant’s negligence, our client now has another problem to solve: Fighting against the forced dependence on pain pills in order to recover from the pain and suffering caused by the recklessness of the defendant.
A good lawyer knows how to communicate with the jury
That’s why a good lawyer must explain the difference between physical pain and mental suffering…..so that the jury will understand how to properly compensate the victim for the full damages caused by the negligent defendant(s).
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