By a Philadelphia, PA Fall Accident Lawyer
Non-Economic Injuries: Pain & Suffering, Embarrassment, Etc.
Plaintiffs in a Pennsylvania slip and fall accident lawsuit can seek compensation for non-economic injuries:
- pain and suffering,
- embarrassment and humiliation,
- loss of ability to enjoy the pleasures of life, and
Pennsylvania law defines pain and suffering as all physical pain and any mental anguish, discomfort, inconvenience, and distress due to the injury or accident. Financial compensation for pain and suffering often includes both past and future pain and suffering. In a slip and fall accident case, the jury will be asked to consider all previous or prior pain and suffering from the date of the incident to the present. In addition, the jury will be asked to consider any future pain and suffering that the plaintiff may experience due to the nature of the injury.
Compensation for pain and suffering isn’t calculated easily. There’s no way formula for how pain and suffering get calculated. Rather, compensation awards for pain and suffering depend on the following factors:
- the plaintiff’s age,
- the extent of the injuries and medical treatment,
- whether the injuries are permanent,
- how the injuries affected the plaintiff’s ability to resume their daily activities, work and family activities, hobbies, etc.,
- the extent of any past and future physical pain and mental anguish,
- any prior health conditions, and
- in cases of disfigurement, the nature of the disfigurement and how it affects the plaintiff.
These factors show that pain and suffering awards vary and will depend on the specific facts of the case. In slip and fall cases in Pennsylvania, pain and suffering awards often increase when the injuries are serious or cause serious problems for the plaintiff. However, it’s important to note that even a minor injury could have a major impact on a plaintiff’s life.
For example, a concert pianist trips and falls on broken sidewalk and breaks her index finger. She doesn’t need surgery, but the finger is in a cast for nearly two months. After the cast is removed, the pianist tries to resume piano playing, but finds it difficult. She attends physical therapy, but over time, arthritis sets into the bone. She cannot play piano at the level needed to maintain her job. She has no choice but to find another job. Naturally, she develops depression as a result of the injury and loss of her job. Here, a pretty simple injury caused major damage because of plaintiff’s unique job. In her fall accident lawsuit, she would seek damages for her pain and suffering caused by the injury and loss of her job. This would be in addition to the financial losses, including medical bills, out of pocket expenses, etc.