How Much Do Pain and Suffering Lawyers Charge in Pennsylvania?
Many injury victims experience tremendous pain and suffering. Pain and suffering lawyers explain that even minor injuries can lead to dire consequences if they become chronic. A serious injury can alter the trajectory of someone’s life in terrible ways, leaving them unable to pursue career goals, enjoy life, and participate completely in family life.
Most personal injury victims also suffer a financial strain. They usually amass large medical bills and may lose income because of temporary or permanent disability. Thankfully, attorneys take personal injury cases on contingency, so plaintiffs need not worry about paying astronomical pain and suffering Lawyers fee that would make their financial situation even direr.
How Contingency Fees Work
Contingency attorneys charge their clients only if they collect a settlement or award. Until the money is paid, clients have no financial obligation. This transfers onto the law firm the risk of losing in court or being unable to collect from an insolvent defendant.
In addition, contingency fees relieve plaintiffs from the burden of hourly fees. The client must put up a substantial retainer when lawyers bill hourly, usually $5,000 or more. The law firm draws its hourly fees from the retainer until the client's trust account is empty.
At that point, the law firm bills the client for each hour worked. Depending on the stage of the litigation, monthly bills can range from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars.
Few plaintiffs could sustain litigation costs long enough to prevail in court or negotiate an equitable settlement if they have to pay hourly. Contingency fees solve this problem, making court justice affordable for all injury victims.
Contingency fee agreements cover all litigation costs, including attorney, court, expert witness, and court reporter charges. As a result, the client is never out of pocket for the costs of the lawsuit.
This fee structure levels the playing field for plaintiffs. Insurance companies have deep pockets, and without contingency fees, they would gain an unfair advantage over most plaintiffs.
They could offer very low settlements because the plaintiff lacks the wherewithal to continue funding a court fight through trial. Plaintiffs would be compelled to settle for less than the value of their claims because of the astronomical costs of litigation.
What Is Pain and Suffering In a Legal Context? Pain and Suffering Lawyer Explains
Pain and suffering serve as a damages category in a personal injury case. It is generally safe to assume that the victim endured or continues to endure some amount of pain and suffering from an injury. Nonetheless, significant variance in severity exists.
For instance, a slip-and-fall victim may feel a shooting pain from an injured knee when walking up or down stairs, standing or sitting down, walking long distances, and getting in or out of a vehicle. The knee may also stiffen at night, causing pain that disrupts sleep. Because of the injury, the individual cannot participate in his normal exercise routine, causing lost fitness, lowered energy level, and loss of a source of enjoyment in life.
In addition, the sufferer needs extensive rehabilitation therapy, a process that results in giving up many hours of free time and using paid time off benefits at work. Also, medical treatment and therapy costs add significant financial distress to the plaintiff’s life.
This difficulty may last several months, hobbling the person physically while diminishing his life. As a result, the victim has endured significant pain and suffering that qualifies for compensation within the definition of allowable damages under personal injury law.
High-speed auto accidents are a source of many injuries that cause extreme pain and suffering. Broken bones, burns, and lacerations are common and leave people in enormous pain. Healing can take many months, leaving the person unable to perform the normal functions of life, such as working, shopping, exercising, socializing, and engaging in family activities.
Other injuries result in long-term or permanent debilitation. Severed spinal cords are nightmare wounds that leave victims wheelchair-bound. A person suffers incredible physical, emotional, and psychological pain from being confined to a wheelchair. They may be unable to live independently, miss important family events, be forced to give up a prosperous career, and lose the enjoyment of many physical activities.
Long-term injuries often lead to other health problems from forced activity reductions, such as weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease. Depression is common when injuries lead to isolation. Distress from financial woes brought on by lost income and high medical expenses leaves many victims anxious as savings are depleted, debt mounts, and bankruptcy looms.
Victims with these types of injuries experience tremendous and lifelong pain and suffering. Under the law, this entitles them to maximal pain and suffering awards.
Because injuries and their impacts vary, pain and suffering fall into a broad range of categories. The most prevalent include the following:
Physical impairments diminish lives. They preclude sufferers from activities ranging from cherished hobbies to family life to work to basic chores like shopping and cleaning the home. Medical evidence tends to delineate how the injury caused the impairment, making the link difficult for the defense to deny.
Medical evidence also demonstrates the linkage between a plaintiff’s physical pain and the incident. Jurors expect plaintiffs to experience devastating pain from severe injuries like burns. As a result, they tend to sympathize with the plaintiff and award substantial sums for this type of suffering.
Disfiguring injuries add a new dimension to a person’s pain. In addition to physical pain, these wounds cause emotional distress from social and professional disability. They often lead to isolation, loneliness, and loss of enjoyment of life. These impacts can be lifelong.
Medical evidence and the plaintiff’s testimony provide compelling proof of the severe repercussions of disfiguring injuries, and jurors tend to sympathize with plaintiffs who suffer from disfigurement.
Loss of Quality of Life
Even minor but persistent injuries can wreak havoc on your quality of life, making routine tasks difficult and forcing you to spend many hours in rehabilitation. Severe injuries result in extreme difficulties that make all aspects of life difficult. Days can quickly become filled with medical appointments, therapy, and the debilitation of medication side effects.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
What brings enjoyment into life differs from one person to the next. For most people, family, career, hobbies, religion, and other essential pursuits bring them the joy that makes life bright. A debilitating injury, whether long-term or lifelong, reduces or eliminates the ability to participate fully in life.
Wrongful death cases focus on the pain and suffering of the family. No words can express the grief experienced from the loss of a child, spouse, relative, close friend, or other loved one. Jurors sympathize greatly with this type of pain.
Serious injuries can also lead to grief when the victim suffers such severe damage that he or she is different. Physical injuries such as paralysis can cause this, and brain injuries destroy memory, impair mental function, and cause emotional disturbances.
Depression goes beyond a period of sadness or grief. It causes an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness and despair. Emotional distress from a serious injury often leads to depression, and winning a settlement that provides for mental health treatment can make all the difference to an injury victim.
When an injury forever alters your life for the worse, anger is a natural emotional response. In addition, PTSD often leads to many unpleasant emotions, and brain injuries can reduce a person’s ability to manage feelings.
Severe car accidents and other traumatic incidents often lead to a fear of engaging in routine activities, debilitating anxiety, and panic attacks.
Dealing with a personal injury lawsuit results in one inconvenience after another, eating away at a person’s time and peace of mind. Firstly, the injury itself makes life more difficult and requires an enormous investment of time in treatment.
The legal process can seem byzantine and takes time and energy. Often, plaintiffs must spend hours meeting with lawyers, responding to interrogatories, sitting for depositions, attending hearings, and sometimes enduring a grueling trial.
Embarrassment, Humiliation, or Indignity
Embarrassment, humiliation, and indignity result in mental anguish brought on by some kind of incident or injury that leaves a victim feeling emotionally vulnerable or ashamed. For instance, a person may feel embarrassed about a slip and fall or be stared at because of a visible injury that affects posture and mobility.
Many serious injuries destroy a victim’s sex life. For example, paralysis and traumatic brain injuries can make physical intimacy challenging or impossible.
Loss of Companionship
In wrongful death cases, the family suffers from the loss of companionship with the deceased. The loss of a parent, child, or spouse leaves a hole in a person’s life that can never be refilled. In addition, the loss of a family member can put a financial strain on the family, whether due to lost income or lack of household work and support.
Pain and suffering are key components of personal injury cases. The lion’s share of a plaintiff’s damages may be non-economic. What a person loses and suffers because of an injury goes way beyond medical bills and lost income.
Pain and suffering attorneys work on contingency, making it possible for even indigent plaintiffs to access the court system to fight for the compensation they deserve. Contingency fee arrangements cover all costs related to the lawsuit, so plaintiffs never need to worry about funding a lawsuit with money they can ill afford to pay.
Instead, lawyers receive their fees out of a settlement or award. The law firm assumes the financial risk instead of the client. As a result, plaintiffs can afford to battle the insurance company in court, even if the case takes a year or more.
Call Us to Speak With a Pennsylvania Pain and Suffering Lawyers
No one should settle a personal injury claim for less than their total damages, including intangible impacts such as pain and suffering. Mattiacci Law's pain and suffering attorneys structure their fees so their clients can afford to go as far into the litigation process as necessary to win. Contact Mattiacci Law for a free consultation.
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